If I was in charge of the NFL, I would pay the officials whatever they want. It can’t possibly be that much that there is no chance of the Commissioner won’t budge on this. The NFL is the most popular game in the world. Why leave the officiating up to people who barely know the NFL rules.
Most of these replacement refs were college and even high school refs. There is a big difference from college officiating and NFL officiating. Calls are different, penalties are different, and for all intents and purposes it’s a differently called game.
ESPN always has ref bloopers from this preseason and the open game. Opening night the refs called as many Pass Interference calls as opening day the last 2 years combined. This is cause for concern. In the Seattle/Cardinals game, the officials gave the Seahawks an extra time out in the last 2 minutes and they were in the Red Zone.
Now this was just opening day, it wasn’t the end of the world, but what if this was a playoff game? Or what if this game determined a team making it into the Post Season? A team might lose a chance to make it to the Super Bowl because of a blown call like this. Now I know the Cardinals or Seahawks aren’t making it there, but the point still stands.
You can’t have the greatest game in the world not have the best officials available. This can turn out to be a very bad thing for the league. The integrity of the game is at stake. I hope this is resolved quickly. The longer it goes on the more of a chance that a team will get screwed over in the end.