No end in sight for NFL vs Locked-Out Referees Stalemate

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Dec 27, 2010; Houston, TX, USA; NFL referee Ed Hochuli calls a penalty in a game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints in the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

If you liked the performance of the NFL’s replacement referees last week, then you will love this news.

According to ESPN via Adam Schefter, the NFL has not scheduled any new talks with the locked out NFL officials.

The NFL and referees are still giving each other the cold shoulder, which has forced the league to plan for the replacement referees to stay on until at least week five of the regular season.

This is not good news for locked out officials as week one went by rather smoothly without any major calls being mishandled.  While the NFL is counting this as a win, the locked out officials are standing firm and simply being patient.

Ironically enough, the locked out officials went on record on Labor day saying they would be willing to sit out months, if not the entire year in order to win their case.

You might think this is standard negotiating tactics until you consider that the gig they are fighting for is essentially a “side job”.  It’s like fighting for better benefits for your side job at Burger King, when you already have your primary job providing most of the income.

The reason that they are remaining firm however isn’t because of the money.  It is about a much higher purpose.

For months, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has treated DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA like that annoying fly that buzzes in your ear.  Occasionally you will swat at it to make it go away when the buzzing gets too loud, but most of the time you ignore it.

Goodell has treated the NFL Referees Association in the same manner. The locked out officials believe that this is an attempt at union busting which the NFL denies.

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