Sunday, September 2, 2012

Send in the Clones

NFL to use replacement officials for Week 1

NEW YORK | The NFL will open the regular season next week with replacement officials and said it was prepared to use them "as much ... as necessary" afterward.

Replacements will be on the field beginning Wednesday night when the Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Giants in the season opener, league executive Ray Anderson told the 32 teams in a memo. Negotiations are at a standstill between the NFL and the officials' union. ...

See the whole story here, from

Kicking Back Comments: Can you imagine what must be going through these replacements heads? I remember my first pro match as a 4th official back when I was 19 or so. It was at BU and involved the Boston Bolts.

I was terrified as it was the first time I was even involved with the pros at any level. My last match before that was an amateur match the previous week between two ethnic Boston area teams in a lousy neighborhood of Boston.

It was easier than the very well behaved pro match.

Heck, when I joined the MLS ranks in 1995, and served as a 4th, JAR, and SAR for several years before getting a shot in the middle, I figured I was a "seasoned pro." I was ready and could handle anything they threw at me, right?


I vividly recall Spartan Stadium, and the match between the (then) San Jose Clash, and Colorado Rapids. I was welcomed by Marcel Balboa almost knocking me on may a$$ and telling me to get the hell out of the way during the opening minuets.

I was kinda in the way ... but he was making a point ... and I took note of it.

I was not in Kansas any more Toto ... and neither are these guys who are stepping in this week.

After failing that assessment I went on to take some lumps and learn a whole bunch ove rthe next 10 years as a pro referee. Most importantly, the pro's are a whole different level than anything else.

I would imagine our replacement brethren will figure this one out soon enough on Sunday.

Good luck to them all.

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