Jan 22, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; NFL referee Ed Hochuli (85) during the second quarter of the 2011 NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

NFL Locks Out Officials; Replacement Referees Will Be Sought

Labor strife seems so 2011, but here we are in 2012 writing about another situation between the NFL and its employees. This time it’s the referees. On Monday the league announced it has locked out its game officials and will seek replacements refs. This move comes in response to the NFLRA (the referees’ union) informing the league that it intends to have a strike vote. The league’s response: Go have your strike vote, we’ll just hire and train new officials for the 2012 season.

Now there will be likely be a bunch of court stuff that will make our brains turn to mud, just like last year with the player lock-out. The difference is, no one really gives a crap when or if the current officials come back. I suppose we should be somewhat concerned about a drop off in the quality of officiating with replacement refs but, really, how much worse can the new guys be? Maybe these new guys will actually be better. Maybe once in awhile they’ll even call interference on a Packer defensive back.

I wouldn’t hold my breath for that though. The league training program probably includes a whole day of seminars on how to give the Packers breaks. We’ll have to monitor this situation in between updates about Adrian Peterson’s rehab, the signing of no-name defensive backs and whatever other offseason crap we can dredge up.

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