Green Bay Packers guard TJ Lang may not have just started a re-tweet revolution on twitter. It turns out his willingness to take a fine and express his opinion openly about the referees’ collective decision to award the Seattle Seahawks a touchdown on the last play of this past Monday’s game may have single-handedly brought the league and the real referees back to the bargaining table and they may have a deal in place in time for Week 4’s games.
The 4th year guard out of Brother Rice high school in Michigan tweeted this after his team lost to the Seahawks:
"F*** It NFL. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs."
OK so it may not be Lang’s now record 96,000+ re-tweets that single handedly got the league and its officials back to the bargaining table, but it sure did state the obvious and let the league know how embarrassed they should be about the product they have been putting on the field when it comes to officiating.
As if this tweet wasn’t enough, after the game Roger Goodell and league officials backpedaled faster than Seahawks’ cornerback Marcus Trufant out running a sports car on the Discovery Channel (in case you’re wondering, Trufant won that race). There is really no surprise there of course you would expect league officials were locking out referees to back up their own decision and downplay the severity of the bad call, But when you consider the fact that the real referees should be back and working as of this Sunday at the earliest and the fact that Mr. Lang will not be fined for his comments regarding Monday nights debacle, it’s obvious they agree that the wrong call was made.
To go along with that a small casino in Las Vegas is offering fans a refund if they chose the Green Bay Packers on Monday which I think is really cool, and it turns out that sports book.com is also offering the same deal to betters. In all seriousness millions of dollars exchanged hands based on that one play, the exact number is unknown but it said to be around $200 million or upwards of that, and it will be great to see the referees back in uniform and working full time as they should be. Especially when you consider the fact that the difference between the two sides that The referee is locked out was about $3.2 million, amounting to $100,000 per team, which is peanuts to an NFL owner.
The only question now is how long will the honeymoon last when the old referees come back and start officiating games this coming Sunday? Of course the players and coaches and even the fans respect the real officials and can’t wait to have them back, but this is pro sports and you just know that the officials are going to make their mistakes as well, they probably just won’t be scrutinized as much.
**Update: The referees have a deal in place and will be ready for Sunday's games.
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