Heading to Stanford for my tenth, yeah tenth, back surgery. As I’ve shared, I currently have a pain pump implanted in my abdomen. After years of enduring pain that, with this pump, I shouldn’t have, a dye study and an MRI showed the catheter that delivers the drug from the pump into my spinal canal was defective. The surgery is to replace the catheter. Maybe this is TMI but many of the people who check out this blog are friends and it’s a means of letting them know what’s going on in m life.
The blog will return when I do. Probably next week. Best wishes to all.
If anything can screw up something good, it’s a union. Until I retired last June from teaching, I worked for ten years for one of the few school districts in which the teachers did not have a union. There were instances where that fact hurt us teachers but I can’t think of any of my colleagues who felt we were missing anything, especially with the problems neighboring school districts had with their union.
Unions had their place in the nation’s history. There was a time when their members needed to be protected and the unions provided what they needed. In today’s climate, however, unions have mainly become antagonists. It’s always us against them and there is seldom any good that comes from that mindset.
What’s remarkable is that a sport hell bent on making it safer for its players can’t get the people responsible for enforcing the rules in place to do so. Not only that but the people on the field are obviously unqualified and way over their heads. What hurts the replacement referees so much, beyond jumping so many necessary growth steps to get to the ultimate level of their profession, is the camera.
Or cameras. There are so many of them that any miscue is caught and shown repeatedly. The replacements have been wrong, embarrassingly so, time and again. What we’ve forgotten, because the memory of the fan is a short one, is that the regular referees have been shown to be erroneous as well. Definitely not nearly as much, but still, they get calls wrong. Which is not surprising. It’s a difficult game to officiate and, as I’ve said many times - of the three people who make up the game, i.e. players, coaches and referees - the refs make the fewest mistakes.
What is lost in this battle over, what else, money, is the safety of the players is going to be compromised. I’m no labor negotiator, nor do I want to be. but, if the major concern of the NFL is player safety, the powers-that-be should have figured out a way 1) to either have solved this problem long before it got to this point or 2) to get the professional referees on the field while negotiations take place.
If an injury occurs due to “referee error,” the NFL and its referees will be branded as many think they already are - greedy.
Although I’ve used the quote on numerous occasions, it’s powerful here - especially with all that’s at stake:
“What’s right is more important than who’s right.”