The NFL and referees union have failed to reach an agreement and it’s looking more like the season openers will begin with replacement refs. The Union is claiming, “after locking out the NFL officials on June 3, and refusing to negotiate with the NFLRA, the NFL is now engaged in a misinformation campaign”. With the season about to begin, the NFL is playing hardball with the refs. And why not? Other than claims of poor calls during pre-season games, what does the union have as ammunition? It’s essentially a small union with very little ground to stand on. The Chicago teacher’s union on the other hand has hundreds of thousands of members affording it some real power. In fact, there are at least a million football fans, me included, who would ref for free. Referees are not teachers or air traffic controllers, they can and have been easily replaced, something the union has obviously failed to take in to consideration. Referees, work once a week and then hope to receive assignments in the playoffs and Superbowl where they make a lot of extra money. But unless they come to their senses, they will all be out of jobs. These guys should feel privileged to be refing NFL football games and not whining about pay and benefits. They’re not sweat shop employees. No one feels badly or empathizes with their plight. So my advice to the NFLRA, negotiate in good faith, get back on the field, or grab a beer and a comfortable seat on the couch with the rest of us.