The real NFL referees are back on their job. And, right now, we couldn't be happier. But, to be fair, the replacement referees that the NFL brought in to work the first three weeks of the 2012-13 NFL season did do their best. Was it good enough? No. Heeeeeeell no! But, they still did their best. So, we're glad that they're going to get their chance to speak out now after getting pelted with insults for the last month or so.
First up is Jeff Sadorus, a former college official who served as a replacement referee and spoke with the New York Times yesterday about what the experience was like for him. In the NYT piece, he talks about all the training that the replacement refs had to go through prior to working games, the criticism that they faced (Sadorus was the official who called the Ravens game-winning field goal against the Patriots good on Sunday night), and the tall task that the replacement refs were asked to do.
"Everyone wanted perfection," he explains. "But, come on: the last guy who was perfect they nailed to a cross. And, he wasn't even an official."
If you've spent a lot of time bashing the replacement refs, it's a good read that should give you some perspective into what they experienced while filling in for the real refs. Who knows? It might—might!—even make you hate them a little less.