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Did the Replacement Refs Really Do That Bad a Job? — Sports Survey of the Day

Ed Hochuli
Otto Greule Jr., Getty Images

Our (three-week-) long national nightmare is over: the real referees are back. Late Wednesday night, the league and the union reached an agreement, and it looks like NFL fans can go back to yelling at an entirely different group of men in striped shirts for making decisions they disagree with. Yay!

The last three weeks have been a strange, at-times infuriating saga of bad calls, worse calls and this, but really, isn’t that pretty much what football is always like? Sure, we may have gotten a rather harsh lesson in just how difficult it actually is to ref a professional football game, but it’s not like anyone ever used have a favorite ref or anything (except for Ed Hochuli, pictured above).

Fans only ever notice the refs when they make a bad call, and bad calls aren’t going to just disappear now that the real refs are back. Bad as they were, the replacement refs weren’t trained for this and they did the best they could in an incredibly high-speed, high-pressure environment in front of millions of people. Maybe we can cut them a bit of slack? Well, maybe not Packers fans.

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