No matter where you end up in life, you rarely lose those connections of your youth. In my case it is Wisconsin and the Green Bay Packers. So when I saw that bogus call by the replacement refs in the final seconds of the game, I started yelling at my flat screen.
I continued my rant when I heard of the NFL’s final decision to uphold the bogus call, and joined Aaron Rodgers in wondering why a multi-billion dollar enterprise can’t settle a basically petty dispute with the real referees.
But it gets a little more complicated because as a newly minted New England Patriots fan and the father of a daughter who gives new meaning to the term Patriots fanatic, I was equally upset when the Baltimore Ravens took away a Patriots victory in a highly suspect field goal that was called good by again the replacement refs.
So to make a long story short, my life as a Packer and Patriots fan is filled with a mix of anger, sadness and anger ( and let me add anger to the mix). Labor disputes that drag on for weeks and weeks always create inconvenience, name-calling and huge voids in services that are taken for granted.
The real refs want more money and pensions, but who doesn’t. The NFL is trying to hold the line on costs and views the refs as incidental employees who are not important to the show. Boy were they wrong. This dispute will end, perhaps in the next 24-48 hours, but the losses by the Packers and Patriots are on the books and who knows may come to haunt both teams down the road.
I really don’t have sympathy for the replacement referees, since they certainly must have known what they were getting into, but of course saw the dollar signs. Now as a result of their incompetence, they will go down in NFL history as labor scabs, petty opportunists and lousy football officials. Not much of a legacy for a few extra bucks.
As for the Packers and the Patriots, I am on my knees praying to the football God that the Super Bowl has these two teams fighting it out on neutral ground with real officials.