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SBD/September 26, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Deal Close Between NFL And Referees, With A Return For Week 4 Games Possible
Published September 26, 2012
MORE IDEOLOGICAL THAN FINANCIAL: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Futterman & Clark cite an NFL owner as indicating that the disagreement with the referees “is more ideological than it is financial.” The owner indicated that the league's owners “would be much more willing to compromise if the referees were willing to become full-time employees” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/26). In N.Y., Bart Hubbuch notes the difference in money -- estimated “by some to be roughly $3 million, or about $100,000 per team -- remains a relative pittance in light of the NFL’s skyrocketing annual revenues, which were $9 billion last year and are predicted to double to $18 billion per year by 2017” (N.Y. POST, 9/26). In Milwaukee, Jim Stingl notes the NFLRA’s bargaining position “should get a boost from the fiasco that's been the first three weeks of the football season.” The job of an NFL official is “apparently every bit as hard as it looks” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/26).
PLAYING HARDBALL: ESPN.com’s Andrew Brandt wrote as much as owners "like to win on the field, they enjoy winning off it just as much.” As with the negotiations last year with the players, owners "don't ‘need’ a different kind of deal; they simply ‘want’ a better deal." Brandt: "They believe they can extract concessions because they have the leverage to do so” (ESPN.com, 9/25). In K.C., Randy Covitz wrote, “As long as stadiums are filled and television ratings are high, don't expect Goodell and the owners to budge very much” (K.C. STAR, 9/25).
OBSTACLES IN THE WAY OF A RETURN? Locked-out NFL referee Scott Helverson yesterday said that a “series of obstacles stand in the way of a speedy return for regular game-callers.” Helverson said, “Technically, we have to go to a clinic. We have to be given the new rules, we have to be given new rule books -- and new uniforms. Can we do that in two days, before Thursday? I don’t think so -- unless they change all those guidelines.” He added that union bylines “require all 121 members of his association to vote on a potential deal in person” (DESMOINESREGISTER.com, 9/25).