Unions everywhere owe much to Paul Ryan.
Yesterday, in a mind-boggling stretch of logic, the GOP vice presidential nominee equated Obama with the NFL referees who blew the call in Monday night’s game between Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.
It didn’t take long for a swarm of TV and internet pundits to point out that Ryan had it bass-ackwards – the so-called replacement refs who are screwing up just about every game are in fact scabs – let’s call a scab a scab. They’re union busters like Ryan himself
So the Congressman from Wisconsin is a Packers fan? Well, you reap what you sow, and the National Football League is reaping a bitter harvest from its senseless and vindictive fight with the NFLPA (National Football League Referees Association).
What, after all, are the major points of contention? Well, NFL
Commissioner Roger Goodell contends that the league wants – quell irony!
– to improve the quality of NLF officiating. They say they want to
achieve this by adding reserve squads of three more officiating crews.
The idea behind this is that referee crews would be pressured to make
better decision; if they didn’t they could be replaced by one of these
reserve squads on the basis of performance.
A big part of the problem with that from the perspective of the refs is
that in such a scenario they would have no input on what constitutes a
bad performance. Another problem is that many of the refs believe that
the owners would be using these reserve squads as a blade to hold over
their necks in any further labor negotiations.
But the real obstacle to ending the lockout is – surprise! – money.
Like all corporations these days, the NFL is heavily into cost cutting,
even though the NFL, unlike many other corporations, is having no money
problems, and in fact cleared $9 billion in revenues last season.
The league wants to do away with the current retirement plan and
substitute a 401(K) model which would save the NFL an estimated $3.3
million a year.
Yes, that’s what all this is about.: a lousy $3.3 mil a year, or about what a franchise quarterback is paid per game.
Why so much misery over relative pocket change? Because the NFL owners
absolutely can’t stand to lose a second consecutive labor dispute. Last
year, the players humbled them and this season the league bosses are
determined they’re not going to be beat again.
That’s why there are scabs officiating NFL games and why you get results like we had Monday night.