Jack's Smack: Replacement referees blowing calls, putting NFL integrity on the line

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - This referee situation in the NFL has reached a critical stage. The arrogant owners continue to play their little power game and are trying to break the ref's union.

It ain't going to happen.

The replacement referees - I like to refer to them as "mall cops" - came close to screwing the Chiefs out of a victory in New Orleans. It was so bad that video replays reversed five blown calls.

The Chiefs feared they had lost the game in overtime when Shawn Draughn was ruled to have fumbled when it was clear that he was down by contact. After a replay review, they got it right and the Chiefs continued the drive that produced the winning touchdown.

The Players Union has written the League, pleading for a quick resolution to this mess.

If each owner would pony up $62,000 a year, this could be settled. The Chiefs make five times that much in parking, for one game.

Here's the deep, dark secret that the NFL doesn't want discussed - these replacement guys have the power to influence the outcome of a game.

Scoring is way up because of all the pass interference calls, which have doubled this year. Week 3 produced more points than ever projected by Vegas for one week of NFL football.

I'm not suggesting these replacement refs are corrupt, but let's not be naive. They stand to make a lot more financially by fixing a game than they would risk if they were caught.

Remember, the 'mall cops' are employed week-to-week at a modest salary. The players make mucho bucks and the regular union refs average $160,000 a year.

These replacement guys are gone and forgotten the minute this is settled, and I'm hearing it could be in a week or two. Why would the NFL even allow the temptation for these people to fix a game in the first place?

The integrity of the League is on the line. It's being damaged by the officiating.

They need to fix it, and fix it now.

That's Jack's Smack.

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