There used to be a great alternative band in the 1980s called The Replacements. Most of thet time, they were kick ass — pardon the expression. But every so often, they would take the stage and proceed to stink on ice. The band members on those nights were so wasted they often couldn’t finish songs. An audience truly never knew what it might get at a Replacements show.
But most of the time, they were unbelievable.
The replacement referees now creating consternation for fans of the NFL — and indigestion for owners — have one thing in common with The Replacements: Those watching — and participating — in games never know what might occur when those guys are on the field. That makes watching the games sort of dramatic and sometimes hilarious – but never, ever outstanding.
The nadir, of course, was this past weekend when a series of horrid calls perhaps influenced the outcomes of a few games. On Monday night it crashed into the season’s lowest point when the final play of the game involving Green Bay and Seattle determined the outcome, and the call was not just blown, but in miserable and landmark fashion ensuring ESPN hand-wringing for at least a month. And no one really wants that, do they?
Anyway, the players, fans and media began screaming for the professional referees and the league to reach a settlement in a labor dispute that has kept the real refs off the field all season — something the two sides apparently accomplished late Wednesday night.
Needless to say,editorial cartoonists have had a field day. Here are some of the better ones.
From Cam Cardow of the Ottawa Citizen. See, it’s even big news in Canada.
John Cole of the Scranton, Pa. Times Tribune.
Rick McKee from the Augusta Chronicle.
Nate Beeler with the Columbus Dispatch offering a dig at the media, presidential candidates and the NFL replacement refs.
Jeff Parker of Florida Today.
Meanwhile, I think I’ll leave the replacement ref situation with this old song by the Replacements. One lyric sums it up well. “One foot in the door, the other in the gutter.”
Sounds about right.