On the referee lockout.

“Danford” writes:

Being an Econ man and all I would like to know your opinion on the refs lock out in the NFL. Are the owners being greedy??? Or are the refs asking to much to work 16 sundays a year??? Also do you feel it’s affecting the game??? I would just truly appreciate if you wrote a blog on this issue.

I don’t think the owners were being greedy. The owners didn’t want to pay more, and didn’t think they had to pay more to maintain a particular level of officiating. They found out the hard way that they were wrong, at least when it came to how happy the players/coaches/fans were with the officiating. I don’t know whether the lockout affected the owners’ revenues, and I don’t know whether any statistical analysis has shown the replacement refs to be worse than the real refs.

It has affected the game– there hasn’t been this much whining by the players, coaches, and fans since the ’87 strike. What a bunch of ninnies.

But again, there’s nothing greedy about thinking you can afford to pay no more than you have to for anything. If you use a coupon at the store, are you being greedy? If you shop around for a good price, are you being greedy?

I don’t think the refs were asking for too much… but that’s because the owners obviously ended up willing to pay them more, if I understood the terms of the cease-fire correctly. You’re not asking for too much money if somebody’s (eventually) willing to pay you. If nobody’s willing to pay you, then you asked for too much.

Here’s what really matters: the Bears were 2-1 with the replacement refs. If they do worse now that the real refs are back, then the real refs are overpaid.

By the way, stop using so many question marks, they don’t grow on trees.