We could have a smaller version of the 2012 replacement officials on our hands. It’s an unlikely scenario, but it’s also 2020 so common sense means nothing, as NFL referees will likely have until Thursday to decide whether they want to opt out.
A preliminary agreement states that if officials choose to do so, they would receive a $30,000 stipend and their job secured for 2021. (I’m in the process of negotiating a similar deal with Mookie and Field Gulls; hoping for the best.)
The total number of athletes who opted out this season ended at 66. Or 67. Or 69. Please examine for yourself, and someone explain why this has been so hard to figure out.
Regardless, it will be interesting to watch how the demographically very different set of NFL refs handle this option. The average age of officials is reportedly 52, which could presumably make this a more difficult decision for the refs themselves.
The NFL Referee Association has plans in place to move from a seven to a six man crew, in addition to swiping scheduled weeks off in order to fill any voids left by potential opt-outs. If those proposals go poorly, or there is a greater-than anticipated number of opt-outs, the league would be looking to recruit some replacement officials for the 2020 season. Should be plenty to go around as it seems NCAA might have a few to spare.
Fans of the Seattle Seahawks remember with glee the catch-that-never-was, the Fail Mary, the Golden Tate game-winner over the Green Bay Packers in 2012 at the hands of the original replacement officials.
That game, as it turns out, has had an even longer impact than originally imagined. Just this year, fans might have been caught up in the excitement that was the “Great Bamboozle” at the hands of everyonelovesnudez, exacting his nine-year revenge plan against the 12s.
More like Go Away Pack, am I right?
I know the New Orleans Saints are hoping a few particular officials will opt-out this year.
Though we’ve been deprived of training camp footage, coverage, and attendance this year, there’s still quite a bit of intrigue abounding this summer as we continue to inch towards opening day.
Let the countdown to Thursday begin.