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Semi-OT: What's the Hold-Up with the Ref Negotiations?

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by lamafist, Sep 10, 2012.

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  1. lamafist

    lamafist Rookie

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    Can someone explain to me why the league is playing hardball with the officials?

    Don't get me wrong -- I'm not crying "injustice!" for a bunch of guys who don't work a full month's worth of days in any year. I just don't understand the value in it for the league.

    Last year, the NFL spent an approximate total of $8.3 million on the entire season's worth of officiating. That boils down to $260,000 a team. That's 33% less than the minimum salary for an UFA.

    Meanwhile, the replacement ref situation has become a distracting bit of bad publicity at the beginning of this season, and bad publicity has a very real negative dollar value... and if there's one pro ports league in the US that clearly gets that, it's the NFL.
  2. Kabonka

    Kabonka Rookie

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    They want full pensions for life for seasonal part time work. NFL worried all the other employees who work full time for them might be next in line.

    I say dump all the established ref's, let these guys keep going. Unions suk. Enough replays to cover the big stuff. These guys get in the way of the game sometimes and don't have it all down yet, so what. It's no different then running into a fat ref just as a WR is breaking free for the bomb.
  3. pwes

    pwes Rookie

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    Disable Jersey

    -They want more pay. The NFL has agreed to increase their pay every year I can't remember the percentage increase but they want more.

    -The NFL wants full time refs and they do not want to be full time because it would mean giving up their first careers

    -They want lifetime pensions and as stated above they don't deserve them and the NFL doesn't want to give it to them

    -The NFL wants to have reserve crews so bad performing teams can be replaced. The refs do not want this cause then it would mean actually being held accountable for a really badly called game

    This is what I have gathered from various reports. I really do not think the NFL is out of line and I see the Old Refs caving in soon. If not then by the end of the season they will permanently be replaced by D1 college refs.
  4. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The biggest stumbling block and one the league won't budge on is the pension issue. It's about principle as much as money. Full time NFL employees as in most businesses today have 401K plans as opposed to the old defined benefit fully employer funded plans that went the way of the Edsel over the last 20 years because they were bankrupting businesses and even unions or going into default and leaving retirees with nothing.

    Probably the next most significant issue is full time employment. The league wants to start with one full time employee at each position and work towards figuring out whether those guys develop into better equipped officials and possibly go for full time crews down the road. The existing refs want nothing to do with that. The league also wants to hire 3 more full crews to fill in for injured or underperforming officials (there is currently only 1 extra full crew). The existing refs are insulted by the concept that anyone new could be better than the worst of them. And a good number of them are lawyers and insurance agents and business owners who still make more at their day jobs and don't want to be full time NFL employees even at double their current rate.

    The money really isn't an issue in the short term. The league offered to sweeten the salary pot last week by a million. What the existing refs want it to hold on to that defined benefit plan because some of them apparently opted out of their full time retirement plans once they landed these gigs. They are fine with anyone coming along later having to settle for a 401K...
  5. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I don't know the status of the negotiations, but from what I can tell they deserve more money.

    The fact that they all apparently have to work a second job at Footlocker during the week should be proof enough of that.
  6. Avenger

    Avenger Rookie

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    #11 Jersey

    uh, most of them are lawyers and college professors and other jobs like that.
  7. lamafist

    lamafist Rookie

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    I'm really not interested in whether the refs "deserve" the defined-benefit pensions or not, the fact is that they've had them for years now, and it's the NFL that's trying to change the status-quo by transitioning them over to defined-contribution 401(k)s.

    Why bother? The argument that other league employees might start wanting them too is a non-starter -- across the league, the NFL and its teams have been successfully moving its employees from defined-benefit pensions to defined-contribution 401(k)s over the last few years without problem. The employment situations are apples and oranges, and nobody thinks otherwise.

    I'm a huge supporter of having full-time refs, and I'm very happy that the league wants to move towards this. What I don't understand is why they're playing hardball, and insisting on compensation lower than the full-time officials of the NBA and MLB.

    Again, not really interested in whether the refs "deserve" it or not. This isn't like the negotiation with the players, where there's a major chunk of the league's proceeds at stake. The fact is, the league can easily afford to make the refs an offer they can't refuse. The league could make an offer rich enough to secure both the movement to full-time officials as well as the increase in the number of active officials they want, and it still would cost less than the signing bonus for a career special-teamer.
  8. Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM)

    Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM) Banned

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    I agree with all that you say except the words, "Unions suk." I DO believe in unions but IMO, the regular officials are asking for way too much without committing to a full time work position.

    If they want a "full pension" for life, then they need to become full time employees of the National Football League which should include making appearances at NFL events during the off season and maintaining classroom work updating on rule changes, etc.

    Ed Hochuli is a good example as he has a very lucrative atorney business that he works at during the off season and, in all probability, between Sunday games, too.

    I would not be against the NFL requiring him to become a FULL TIME NFL employee as his main source of revenue. (12 month job) He can either say "no" and quit, or become an NFL "full time" official and earn his pension.
  9. Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM)

    Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM) Banned

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    Then, they have this option..............QUIT.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  10. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Apparently you don't want to know what they holdup is. You want to know why there is any... And not really sure you want to know that, either.
  11. Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM)

    Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM) Banned

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    MLB umpires work well over 100 - 150 games per season and have to travel to different cities a couple of times a week.

    In the NBA its about 70 games per season, also with added travel between cities within a weeks time.

    NFL officials work ONE GAME a week, with a possible maximum of 19 games,and have no additional travel between cities

    Sure, they have a few pre season games to work, but so do MLB and NBA and NHL officials.
  12. ThatllMoveTheChains!!!

    ThatllMoveTheChains!!! Rookie

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    Caving to unreasonable demands just because they can be afforded has definitely been the the key to success for large corporations...
  13. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Per the talking heads on MNF halftime the league has now mapped out a schedule for the replacement refs through week 5...
  14. cmasspatsfan

    cmasspatsfan Rookie

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    Really? You don't see a difference? I think the league would like full time officials but most of these guys would lose money from their days jobs. In which case they should quit the NFL gig and let someone that wants to devote more time for the money offered.
  15. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Except for the extra timeout in one of the late games yesterday (missed by the NFL supervisor on hand as well as by the replacement refs), I didn't see or hear of any more missed or blown calls than we hear in a typical weekend with the regular guys...the closest was the block in the back missed on the return in the SF/GB game, but I honestly can't say that that was worse than the calls we moan about here many weeks.

    so far at least, it's not clear to me that the regular refs have a secret sauce that we desperately need. and, i lost my Defined Benefit Pension a long time ago...
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  16. Patsrock

    Patsrock Rookie

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    I will also do you not see the difference in the jobs?

    NHL and NBA refs work 82 games a year plus playoffs and travel almost every day to get to the next city. Sometimes cross country

    MLB umps work 150 games and most spend the week in 3 cities.

    NFL officials work 1 game a week. At most work 4 preseason, 17 regular season and 2 playoff games
  17. Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM)

    Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM) Banned

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    Exactly my thoughts, too.
  18. Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM)

    Linda_The_Pats_Fan (She was NEM) Banned

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    See post 11 in this thread.
  19. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Foot Locker employees have to be lawyers or professors?

    Near as I can tell the only job requirement is that you're a referee.

    Stop in to Foot Locker at some point, You'll see.
  20. lamafist

    lamafist Rookie

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    You realize that it's the league that wants to make the refs full-time, right? And that when the refs are full-time employees, they'll work more than one day a week, right?

    The way it's worked up to this point is the refs call one game a week during the season and attend a meeting or two in the offseason, and get paid accordingly. They make less money than other sports' refs, but are able to have whole other careers. That's been the status quo, and the current refs are happy with it.

    The league thinks that by having at least some of the refs work full-time, they can improve the level of officiating, and thus make NFL football and even better product. The league is 100% correct. What's more, if the refs are full-time employees, you can send them around to teams' practices during the week, which will not only improve the officiating, but it will help the players learn how to avoid penalties, and improve overall gameplay.

    I am 100% in the league's corner in this. What's getting in the way is that the current refs are reluctant to give up their other careers. This much I get. What I don't get is why the league hasn't come in with an offer strong enough to make the choice a no-brainer, when it would be so relatively cheap for them to do so.
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