*Note. I am going to get a bit political here. It is to give background and I hope nuance to what I am trying to say. If you take it as a view into my politics per se….so be it. Your problem.*

I’ve been very much debating about the replacement ref issue. I, generally speaking (haters just hate me, fine) am a general supporter of the workers right to organize. I’m not saying I don’t understand the subtleties of unions – I’ve dealt with them, and from the employer side. I’m just saying that I support their right to do what they do.

That said, I wasn’t necessarily on the side of the referee’s union issues with the NFL this season. I totally got their stance on their pension. When you’re of a certain age (I guess I am) and you have a pension (and they do) and someone wants to take it, you’d be a little defensive too, I think.

However, in watching preseason play (and I did) while I saw blown calls, I did not see player safety as an issue. I still don’t. That’s the bargaining chip that they’ve been playing, unsuccessfully thus far.

During the Packers game, something became clear that truly couldn’t have been seen by me at least during the preseason.

It’s not player safety that’s at stake. It’s the outcome of the game. I firmly believe that. If it was player safety, I more than anyone would have been badgering Roger Goodell to get this fixed. But I haven’t seen hints of calls blown that are endangering players’ health.

What I have seen, now, is total inconsistency. Now, I’ve been on the receiving end of Jeff Triplette and Phil Luckett’s ineptitude. I know that no one is perfect, even the ‘professional’ referees that are currently locked out. Anyone knows they blow calls.

But I’ve never seen anything like I did in the Packers vs 49ers. In the first half of the Packers game, no false starts could be called on an offense, in the second half, that happened. Pass interference calls were incredibly, screwily, inconsistent. This applied, by the way, to the 49ers as much as the Packers.

I don’t think the Packers lost because of the refs. I agree with those of you that say that a good team wins in spite of the officiating. (Whether or not we have a good team right now….is still in question. Disheartening loss. And even my deep sense of pride in Colin Kaepernick playing (and well) in Lambeau Field, since he was born in Milwaukee and was a Packers fan growing up is muddled by my irritation at the Packers’ defense at this point. Supposedly they prepped for him to come into the game. Did it look like they did to any of you?)

But, as @TundraVision said, I DO think the outcome of this game was impacted, far more than usual, by the officiating. Sometimes, teams are playing very equal and one call at the end decides the outcome – sometimes well called, sometimes not. We’re all human. These people, I have seen clearly now, are not at the level professionally they should be. Not yet.

Are we all willing to wait until they get there? Probably. The NFL is on. We’re a bunch of sheep who were longing for a taste of the NFL season. But this ewe, for one, is starting to give more than a skeptical eye to these replacement refs.

I thought that NFL writers and others were making a mountain out of a molehill on this issue. I’m not sure I still think so….but for a very different reason.

Roger, go figure this thing out. And fast.


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