It’s not the replacement official’s fault. They are literally amateur level officials. They have no business being NFL regular season officials. They are doing as best they can, and I sincerely applaud them for their efforts to get calls right even as fans boo them.
Instead of grabbing the replacement official, Bill Belichick should grab his boss and ask why he and his fellow NFL team owners aren’t willing to satisfy the NFL referees rather modest demands on the almost $10billion per year business that is the NFL so they can have quality officiating. Goodell and the owners are stupidly betting that they can train the replacement officials (from the lower levels of college football and even lesser watched leagues like the Lingerie Football League) to become competent pro officials in about 6 weeks and then turn to Ed Hochuli & Mike Carey and friends and say: stay out forever. This is the same league where playoff officials normally have to earn their playoff jobs with accuracy of judgement and by properly maintaining the game.
The highest-rated eligible officials at each position are selected to work the Super Bowl. They must have at least five years of NFL experience and previous playoff assignments
Let’s review that again…to referee a Super Bowl in a typical year:
“The highest-rated eligible officials at each position are selected to work the Super Bowl. They must have at least five years of NFL experience and previous playoff assignments”
That means no referee you see on TV is a top caliber official by the NFL’s own standard. This a soon to be 10billion/year cartel run by 32 ownership groups who would rather turn their game over to people who they believe cannot do the job to avoid making 10million/year less. The same owners will demand hundreds of millions for stadium construction and upgrades from your local, state and federal governments, continue to benefit from the Personal Seat License market and continue to raise ticket, concession and parking prices. In addition, the owners say they want accountability: they want to be able to pull who aren’t performing up to par. So to prove they love accountability, they are basically putting in a bunch of inexperienced newbie officials into the game, trying to train them on the spot to replace guys with centuries of experience between them
With only 16 games, every game is a big deal. A lost game can cost you home field advantage or a berth in the playoffs. If replacement officials essentially take a game away from a team with a bad call, and that team misses the playoffs, they have to wonder if the official lockout was all really worth it.