There is no shortage of people who are upset with the performance of the replacement officials in the NFL. Anyone from analysts to former players, to twelve years olds, understand the NFL’s foot is in it’s mouth when it comes to player safety and the integrity of the game by allowing replacement referees to stay on the field. However through the preseason and week one, most people still actively employed through the NFL seemed aware of whom their boss is and acted accordingly. That is until week 2 of the NFL regular season when coach started to loose their patience and do what can only be called bullying the refs.
Fitting with the NFL’s lack of self-awareness when it comes to image, they made a pretty predictable move this week. The NFL enlisted the help of John F. Kennedy Memorial Grade School 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Harris. The NFL had a meeting early this week with Mrs. Harris to discuss rising concerns about bullying of the replacement refs. Mrs. Harris admitted she was aware of the problem and was working with recess staff to mitigate the problem. The NFL pled with her to be more proactive and Mrs. Harris agreed.
On Tuesday, Mrs. Harris held back all 32 NFL head coaches from recess and had a little talk with them. She explained that while the refs are new and the schools they came from might not have been as advanced as their current school, that does not mean they are any less intelligent. She went on to explain that while it may seem fun to gang up on the new refs because they are an easy target, that type of behavior can be very hurtful. Then she turned the tables on the coaches by saying that she understands it can make you feel like a big man to pick on new refs but in reality, what takes real strength is to be man enough to befriend them and make the effort to include them in their games.
It is yet to be seen how the coaches choose to play with the refs in the up coming weeks. However, historically on the playground if you do not know the rules, you are going to get picked on, no matter who your dad is.