Fake NFL officials in real games? A real embarrassment

The NFL and its officials aren’t talking this week. That means we’re talking fake officials in real games.

So, let’s talk fixing real NFL games.

Think about it. The league is forcing a complete platoon of notably incompetent fake officials on at least the first week of the regular-season game. The fake officials seem to be on a game-to-game schedule. The fake officials won’t get back to the NFL when the real officials get a new collective bargaining agreement and probably will never return to the big time.

The fake officials will be out of the spotlight. The fake officials will go back to whatever low-paying, low-level games they were working. The fake officials present a solid profile for gamblers looking to fix games.

I’m not saying the fake officials would go along with the plan. I’m not saying gamblers would approach them.

But there’s a greater likelihood of that with the chumps in stripes than with the real officials that the NFL has locked out.

The fake officials are bad. They make a ton of mistakes. Even Bears coach Lovie Smith showed emotion over it on the sideline.

The league is covering up for the fake officials’ ineptitude, and by extension, the league’s own ineptitude.

So, when you think about it, it wouldn’t be hard for the fake officials to fix a game because it would just be another mistake, another blown call, another bad flag.

And even if gamblers didn’t buy off selected fake officials, the fake officials still are incompetent when it comes to the highest level of football, which means they will make mistakes, likely egregious and highly publicized, and so, once again we learn that you can be rich and stupid at the same time.

I mean, who risks a multibillion business like this?

Publicly, Vegas oddsmakers aren’t terribly concerned about the game-fixing aspect of the NFL’s mind-boggling embarrassment. John Avello, the director of sports and race operations at the Wynn Resort, said they have enough to worry about just factoring the simple inadequacy of the fake officials into point spreads and the over-under.

“I can’t set a line based on what a ref might do,’’ Avello said. “There’s holding on every play, so it takes experienced refs to know when to call it. I don’t know if that will affect the offense, but it could affect what I do on the totals.’’

But still, why would the wealthiest sports cartel in the world roll dice this way?

And over how much money?

That, see, might be the biggest joke in this standoff.

I’ve heard reports that the league and NFL Referees Association are about $150,000 apart per team. The refs union released a statement over the weekend saying it was asking for 1/3 of 1 percent of the league’s $9 billion in revenues.

I thought there would be no math involved in this writing job, but someone else did it for me, and it’s $30 million over the life of the contract, although the NFLRA failed to state the length of the deal it was requesting.

Sounds like a lot of money, but remember, that’s less than $1 million per team for the best officials in a $9 billion dollar monopoly that will continue to grow by billions.

By contrast, how many billions would the NFL cartel lose with fake officials and a fixing scandal?

I’ll hang up and listen to Roger Goodell’s hummena-hummena-hummena.

If I’m an NFL owner, I’m pretty angry with Goodell. The Saints shamed the league with a bounty scandal aimed at injuring opponents at a time when the game has come under intense scrutiny for violence, and now a league with apparently inadequate institutional control is putting remarkably inadequate scabs in control of games that matter.

What. A. Joke.

But let me put the financial wrangling into a different, more embarrassing light. Specifically, the spotlight.

The cost of a Super Bowl ad last February was $3.5 million for a 30-second spot. That’s $7 million a minute. And so, even though I hate math, the gap between the NFL and its officials is less than five minutes of Super Bowl commercials.

How many commercials run during the Super Bowl?

How stupid is the NFL?

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
    Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge

    An argument over a woman led to one man being killed and another wounded during a shooting inside a South Loop music lounge early Saturday, police said.

  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.