The National Football League announced today that it was seeking to end its labor dispute with its striking referees by asking NFL fans to donate to a special fund designed to help pay their salaries and pensions.
The referees have been on strike since the beginning of the NFL season three weeks ago, and since that time America’s most prestigious sporting league has used replacement officials brought in from the XFL, a long defunct rival, and the Lingerie Football League.
Players, coaches, and fans all agree that the replacement refs are not trained well enough to be handling NFL games. A number of missed and improper calls in the past few weeks have infuriated the world of football.
The saga culminated in an epic debacle Monday where during a game between Seattle and Green Bay an end-zone interception was incorrectly ruled as a game-winning touchdown.
…Full of Grace
With the public, the media, and the players themselves demanding action, the NFL has finally responded with a low-cost plan to get qualified referees back into the league.
At a press conference at its headquarters in New York, top league officials unveiled the Bring Back the Refs Fund (BBRF) – a 100% for-profit entity that fans can donate to if they want to see well-trained referees officiate NFL games this season.
Swelled with the pride at his revolutionary idea, NFL Comissioner Roger Goddell broke down the math behind the new donation push:
“If every NFL fan only donated 2 dollars, we could afford to bring back our referees with full salary. If every fan only donanted 3 dollars, we could afford to bring them back with full salary and pension.”
Goddell then explained that if fans wanted to contribute even more money to BBRF, the league had plenty of important uses for it:
“If every fan only donated 5 dollars, we could afford to hire a team of personal masusses for the NFL executive team. For only 6 dollars, we could afford to buy an additional private jet to supplement the two we already have.”
“And for only seven dollars each folks – just seven dollars – we could afford to do all that, and have enough left over to hire a personal chef for every NFL headquarters employee.”
Show Us The Money
Consumer groups and sports pundits are baffled at why a highly profitable league that already asks fans to pay steep ticket prices should expect them to pay even more just to see decent refereeing.
“The owners and league make so much money,” says Justine Dubois, sports columnist for the Washington Courant, “Hiring these refs back wouldn’t put a dent in their profits. I don’t understand it.”
Asked by reporters at the press conference why the league can’t pay the referees by reducing the salary cost of NFL executives, Goddell responded with a moving personal story:
“Look folks I got a 7 houses to pay property taxes on, 4 Ferraris that don’t get great gas millage, and a set of twins who need to be bribed into the Ivy League one day. I can’t afford to take a pay cut for the sake of the NFL’s integrity or whatever.”