Last year at this time we were finally treated to football after a contentious lockout concluded. This time around we’re all caught up in our obsession with the NFL to fully digest the reality of another lockout that will surely affect the game.
With the NFL preseason underway and no labor agreement between the league and its officials the reality of replacement refs calling regular season games is looming large. While the issue hasn’t been completely ignored it is largely being swept under the rug.
Whereas most are concerned with the ability of replacement refs the Raiders very own Richard Seymour sees the potential for an even bigger problem.
“I think the integrity of the game is at stake. You never know who they know and who they’re connected to. And who are their favorite teams. To just say we’ve got some new guys coming in, who knows? They might admire Peyton Manning.”
It might seem like a paranoid reaction on Seymour’s part but the fact of the matter is these replacement officials aren’t exactly the best of the best like their locked out counterparts. In fact, it’s very reasonable to consider every possible problem. After all, wouldn’t we expect the NFL to be much worse with replacement players?
Again, Seymour may be making to big of a reach but his concerns are legit in the sense that there is no prior relationship between the replacement refs and the league. Coaches and players know what to expect from the locked out officials. Those guys make mistakes like any other human being but so too do players who are paid millions to play the game.
Just as Richard Seymour can have a bad game so too can an official. However think of how the Raiders would have looked with Travis Ivey playing instead of Seymour. Ivey’s best day isn’t even on par with Seymour’s worst. With replacement officials it’s the same argument when compared to paid professionals with NFL experience. Now maybe Ivey wouldn’t go as far as too ask Philip Rivers for an autograph but either way the game is being compromised.