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The “Official” Story

NFL Replacement Referees 2012

The NFL Replacement Referees 2012

“Justice is indivisible.  Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, I would like to talk about the debacle that is… The Replacement Officials of 2012.  Now, if you follow Free Your Mind Online, then you probably are used to me speaking on much more relevant topics than sports.  But by the end, you will see that this may be the most relevant topic ever elucidated on since this blogs inception.

Before I even begin, please don’t take anything I say in this article personal.  I’m just speaking in general to all of us (including myself).  This piece will be extremely controversial and I’m sure that I will fall out of favor with a lot of people.  But… that’s okay.  The truth must be told.

Now… You may be wondering why I started off an NFL blog post with a quote from Martin Luther King.  Stay tuned.

Before we get to the story of the refs, let’s travel back in time.  In 2006, the NFL and the NFLPA signed a 301 page document entitled, “NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, 2006-2012.”  Even though this deal was to last up until the 2012 season, Article LVIII, Section 3 dictated that either the NFL or the NFLPA could opt out of the deal (making the 2010 season the last) as long as they gave a written notice by 11/08/2008.  The NFL owners did just that.

The NFL opted out because it didn’t like its share of the current revenue.  The owners were claiming that they were having financial struggles. From 2008-2010 no new agreement was reached. The NFL players were fine with the deal and wanted to continue to play.  They asked the NFL to extend the deal in order to reach a new deal without interrupting operations.  No cigar.  The NFLPA decertified, negotiations broke down, and the NFL Owners locked out the players and the war began.

This lockout shut down all NFL operations, including free agency, training camp, active players healthcare etc.  It also halted the NFL officials union from reopening their negotiations with the league for their CBA which would expire in 2012.  The NFL had claimed that it was having financial struggles, and therefore needed to reduce the player’s revenue share by 18 percent ($1 Billion dollars).  They even proposed an 18 game schedule to increase their revenues (even though they claimed that player safety was their priority).

But, the NFL refused to open their books and show any evidence that they were operating at a loss. And on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011,  U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled that the NFL owners had violated its agreement with the union and stockpiled 4 Billion dollars to prepare for the lockout.  He wrote, “The record shows that the NFL undertook contract renegotiations to advance its own interests and harm the interests of the players,”

The war of words between the players and the NFL got heated.  Many players spoke out, calling the commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL hypocrites and crooks.  Adrian Peterson even went as far as to use the term Modern day slavery!  Wow!  The question was often asked, “Who will win this battle?”  And everyone agreed.  It was the owners, because they were making the REAL money.

As time passed, people began more nervous about losing games and even worse… Fantasy Football was in jeopardy!  A few weighed in on both sides on who was right or wrong, but most people had the same sentiment.  WE DON’T CARE WHO IS RIGHT OR WRONG… WE JUST WANT TO WATCH FOOTBALL!

More time passed, and the two sides came closer together.  Then… The owners announced a deal that they had approved.  The players didn’t like it, and resisted.  And for the most part, the fans and the media jumped them saying, “This is a fair deal.  Why won’t they take it?  Stop being prideful and let us have our game back!”  The back and forth continued a little longer, and the last of the kinks got worked out.  In due time, the fans got what they wanted, the lockout ended (on July 21, 2011), and all was soon forgotten.

Fast forward to June of 2012.  In 2005, the NFL had agreed to a contract with the NFL Referees Association that would last through the 2011 season. The current referees had been guaranteed a retirement pension plan in the 2005 deal, but the NFL wanted to get rid of that and replace it with a 401K (reducing the leagues funding obligation). The refs wanted to keep that pension plan, and that was the major dispute between them and the league.

The NFL season was coming up soon and neither side was going to back down.  So the NFL locked out the referees and on June 4th, 2012 they announced that they would hire replacement refs.

The fans were immediately uneasy.  How would this affect the games?  Who are these people who will be hired?  These replacement officials consisted of high school and lower college officials, Arena League officials, and of course… officials that had been FIRED from the Lingerie League.

The preseason started, and ridiculousness quickly ensued.  The officials were bad, and the fans were mad.  Blown calls occurred left and right!  But it wasn’t so much just the blown calls (that always happened), it was the fact that the officials were losing control of the games and they were terrible to watch.

It was also a player safety issue.  With all of the new focus on concussions and illegal hits, how could the replacement refs (who could barely master the application of the rules) focus on safety aspect of the game?  There was a lot of grumbling amongst the fans, calling the NFL hypocritical.  The season came, and a deal between the refs and the league was never made.  So the terrible officiating continued into the season.

Even though the officiating was horrible, the general consensus was that if it didn’t end up directly costing a team a game that the NFL wouldn’t be compelled to cave in to the refs and make a deal. But on Monday night September 24th 2012, it happened.

The Inaccurate Reception


This was a tragic event.  This was the NFL’s “fall from grace.”  The refs had directly decided a game.  The fans (not just Green Bay, but worldwide) were outraged.  Over 70,000 people called in to the league office and left messages!  Even President Obama weighed in on the action.  The commissioner, Roger Goodell had the power to overturn this call, but chose not to.  The NFL released a statement on the Tuesday after standing behind the results of the game.

And that was the last straw.  The NFL had insulted the fans intelligence.  And this time, the fans weren’t going to stand for it.  The grumblings got more and more intense.  Thousands of people began to sign petitions to support the refs and tell the NFL to stop “nickel and diming” them.  After all, the NFL was pulling in 9 Billion Dollars, but were fighting the refs over about 3.2 million dollars.  People wanted a deal done, and done quickly to give us our game back!

Then, people began to call in and write to the sports networks saying, “That’s it!  I’m not watching the NFL anymore!  All of the sportscasters responded by saying, “No, we don’t believe you.  You are going to continue watching.  We are helpless to stop watching this game.  You may be angry… but you will continue to tune in.”

And while the aforementioned statement may have been true for most people, the NFL knew that it wasn’t true for all.  Eventually the ratings would go down (if even just a little), which would end up costing the league more than the 3.2 million dollars that they were fighting the refs over.

So… Miraculously, in less than 3 days ( even BEFORE the upcoming Thursday game), the NFL was able compromise and to come to a deal with the referees. The details of that deal began to come out, but most fans weren’t even concerned with it.  They were just happy that they had their football back.

In that next game, the real referees took the field to a standing ovation (imagine that)!  The league claimed that it hadn’t been “punked” into signing a deal, but we all know the truth.  The people had spoken, and changes had been made.

But… all wasn’t well.  People were still upset.  The Packers had lost a game that could (and still may) come back and haunt them.  The league had shown its true colors.  And even though we would continue to watch the games, a bad taste was left in our mouths.

And I have to admit that I too was left with a bad taste in my mouth.  But you see I was never angry with the NFL.  I was never angry with the replacement officials and any of the blown calls (including the one that cost the Packers).  My problem was WITH THE FANS!  Because this was THEIR fault!  Yes, you heard me correctly.  The fans were and are responsible for this outrage.

You see, people say things like… “Oh look, the NFL Owners are greedy.  They make billions and are nickel and diming the refs.  “Oh look, the league is being hypocritical. They say they want safety, but they put replacements on the field!”

Well ladies and gentleman… GUESS WHAT! We should have known that the league was hypocritical when it said they wanted safety, but yet pushed for an 18 game season and now has a game on every Thursday! We KNEW that the owners where greedy when they locked out the players to get more revenue share when they already made billions. We knew that owners were greedy when Drew Brees, Matt Forte, Chris Johnson and DeSean Jackson could hardly get fair market value contracts.

And when players spoke out against the commissioner and the league about how hypocritical they were, the media and the fans chastised THEM for “disrespecting” authority and undermining the integrity of the league!  How ironic.

Why didn’t 70,000 people call in to the league office when the NFL was pushing for more games?  Why aren’t 70,000 people calling the league about games on Thursday?

You know why?  Because we don’t give a D**N about player safety.  We just want to watch our football.  We love Thursday games.  We didn’t care about the NFL being hypocrites, because their hypocrisy didn’t affect US!

Why didn’t 70,000 people call into the league office when the NFL claimed they were struggling financially, yet refused to open its books and show where it was losing money before getting caught stockpiling 4 billion dollars?

You know why?  Because we didn’t care that the NFL was greedy.  Their greed wasn’t affecting US!  As long as everyone ELSE was getting screwed, we were fine.  We didn’t have a problem until WE got screwed!  We didn’t care about who was right or wrong until WE got wronged.

So, how can you be mad at the league for disregarding player safety when YOU don’t care about player safety?  How can you be mad at the league for being selfish and greedy when YOU are selfish and greedy?  How can you be mad at the league for being hypocritical when YOU are a hypocrite?

So I don’t want to hear all of this whining and moaning (saying the same things we condemned the players for saying) about the league being selfish, greedy and hypocritical.  The league HAS ALWAYS been selfish, greedy and hypocritical.  And if “We The Fans” had held the NFL accountable for their selfishness, greediness, and hypocrisy while they were screwing others, then none of this would have ever happened.

If the Law of Attraction teaches us anything, it’s that people get what people deserve.  What goes around comes around.  Like attracts like.  So while you sit around and watch The Mann screw everyone else.  Just keep sitting there, because eventually The Mann will screw YOU.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had it right.  “Justice is indivisible.  Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

And that’s why this post is just as relevant as anything that I have written upon.  It’s not just about sports, it about life.  Most people don’t care about what’s right or wrong, unless it applies to them.  People don’t see tyranny until it comes knocking on their door.  And that’s why the world is in the shape that it’s in right now.

Martin Niemöller wrote a poem called First They Came about the rise of the Nazi’s rise to power and the Jewish Holocaust.  It went as follows.

First they came for the communists,

and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,

and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,

and there was no one left to speak for me.

True indeed.  This piece applies to everyone from the sports fan to the conspiracy theorists to the conscious population.  I have written many articles on injustices here on the planet (and I will continue to do so).  I’ve talked about secret societies, health conspiracies, Federal income tax, the Federal Reserve Bank and anything else you want to think about.

But the truth is that we can sit here all day and talk about the Illuminati, The Vatican, Skull and Bones and all of the diabolical elite.  But we can’t really be mad and them because they are nothing more than a reflection of the Population In General.

A few years back a documentary was done that was call from Freedom to Fascism.  This is a great documentary (that I recommend) to watch, but the only problem that I had with it was the premise that America was free until a group stole our freedom in 1913. I’m here to say that this is an incorrect premise.

Tyranny didn’t begin here in the year 1913.  Tyranny did not begin here even as a result of anything that happened on May 1st 1776.  Tyranny began on this soil in the year 1492… by  a man who we celebrated earlier this month.  This tyranny was continued by those “Founding Fathers” in 1776 who are said to have founded this country on “Christian” values.

The same secret societies that we complain about today are the same ones that the Founding Fathers were in.  But the tyranny of 1492 and 1776 didn’t affect everyone; it only affected certain people, while benefiting others.  But now that those same elite groups of people have now streamlined and are directing their tyrannical efforts towards everyone, people are beginning to have a real problem.

I realize that the past can’t be changed, but our perspective can be.  You can’t fight against tyranny while simultaneously celebrating tyrants.  You can’t move towards freedom while simultaneously paying homage to those who stole and restricted freedom. We don’t need to return this country back to the so called glory days of July 4, 1776.  What we need here is freedom and justice for all.

Mike Adams of Natural News wrote a great article (Philosophy of Freedom) on those who are opposed to the U.S. government restricting OUR freedom, while at the same time supporting their right to restrict other people’s freedom.  His perspective is right on the money.

In conclusion, there has been much said about what we can do to stop those wicked rulers who run the planet.  But the true solution is not without, it is within.  Your wish is your command.  Once people begin to desire true justice, instead of “Just Us,” then that is ultimately what we will get.

But until then… the struggle continues.

So until next time.

Free Your Mind… Online.


Matt Mason.

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Name: Free Your Mind

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