September 25, 2012
Goodell, NFL refs resume talks
By JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell participated in talks Tuesday aimed at ending the long lockout of officials.
League attorney Jeff Pash joined Goodell in the negotiations, which had been scheduled before Monday night's mess in Seattle, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post.
Talks resumed on the weekend in private and continued Monday, with little if any progress reported.
The league and the NFL Referees Association, which represents the locked-out regular officials, reportedly remain deadlocked on key issues. Numerous reports in recent weeks have said the structure of the refs' pensions is at the heart of the dispute.
"The referees have been asking for an annual contribution of $38,500 per official to the pension plan, which the NFL considers too generous for part-time employees," the Washington Post reported, citing a source with knowledge of the talks.
Replacement officials have been used in all 48 games this season, as well as in all four weeks of pre-season games in August.
The replacements -- recruited mostly from the lowest ranks of American college football -- are each pocketing either $3,500 (referees) or $3,000 (all other officials such as linesmen, umpires, back judges, etc.) per game, an NFL official said last week.
Egregious errors by the replacements have occurred with greater frequency, and amid increasing outrage, with each passing week. Coaches and players have been speaking up with greater frequency, on the field and off.
After Sunday's debacles, everybody's patience with the replacements appeared to be at a breaking point in the hours before Monday's fiasco.
Now? Off the charts.
Goodell repeatedly has stated the replacements are doing an "admirable" job.
Select tweets regarding "The Immaculate Non-Interception":
"Got f---ed by the refs. Embarrassing. Thanks nfl."
"F--- it NFL. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs."
"Any player/coach in Seattle that really thinks they won that game has zero integrity as a man and should be embarrassed"
-- Packers guard T.J. Lang @TJLang70
"That was bulls---. This is getting ridiculous! The NFL needs to get the refs back bfr we strike and they make no money!"
"The nfl needs to come to gb and apologize to us for f---ing us! These refs r bums!"
"Golden Tate is full of s--- too. Saying he clearly caught that is embarrassing! F---ing jokers!"
-- Packers guard Josh Sitton @jsitton71
"I'm staying off twitter for the night for my own good. Thanks again for all the support. #gopackgo"
-- Packers linebackers Dezman Moses @DexmanM
"How did it get to this?"
-- Giants defensive end Justin Tuck @JustinTuckNYG91
"So my homie joe mays gets suspended one game for a hit but these refs blow a game and go to work next week like nothing happened #dirtyGame"
-- Lions cornerback Drayton Florence @DraytonFlorence
"WHAT A FINISH LAST NIGHT!!! Stadium was on 10! #12thMan showed up as always. Great team win. Clutch plays. 2-1, time to go for 3 next week."
-- Seahawks wide receiver Braylon Edwards @OfficialBraylon
"NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon. -bo"
-- U.S. President Barack Obama @BarackObamalieved him before Monday. Far fewer now.