While many eyes were on the Packers and the Seahawks and the blown call in the final seconds of play which should have resulted in an interception for the Packers…one Packers’ fan is actually moving to bite off our collective noses to spite our collective face.

I’m speaking of Senate President Steve Sweeney, who, as an avowed Packers’ fan, was so enraged at the outcome of last night’s game, that’s he’s crafting a bill that would ban replacement refs from working games here in New Jersey, namely Giants’ and Jets’ games.

Smart move there Steve-o.



I don’t know what he intends to prove by this other than to blow off steam, but according to this:

In a statement issue this morning, Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said he plans to introduce legislation prohibiting the playing of professional sporting events with replacement officials, citing the potential for increased injury by inexperienced referees who cannot control a game.

“This past weekend in the NFL has not only made a mockery of a great sport, but shined a very bright light on how important fully trained and professional officiating is to player safety,” Sweeney said in a statement. “We wouldn’t allow a factory or construction site to operate without fully trained supervisors on hand to ensure the safety of employees. Why should we do anything differently when the job site is a playing field?”

Sweeney said that the litany of missed calls or blatantly miscalled penalties over the first three weeks of the NFL season has proven the replacement officials do not have the ability to control a game in a highly physical sport where players get injured on routine plays even under the most well-trained of referees.

Sweeney said that replacement officials also lower the quality of play, devaluing the often large investments fans have made in tickets.

“Whether the sport is football, soccer or baseball, when referees don’t know how to properly enforce the rules, there is a real chance for unnecessary and serious injury,” said Sweeney. “If the NFL insists on putting replacement officials on the field, putting players at risk, then the state shouldn’t be playing a part in that.”

Sounds to me like he’s channeling his inner Lautenberg.

I'll agree. The games have pretty much become unwatchable at worst; and at best, comical.

And I'll agree too that in the words of Eli Manning at the end of last Sunday's Bucs-Giants game, " someone could get hurt!"

But as ridiculous as it all it, I have a newsflash for the State Senate President:

No dude, that’s not your call. Go fight the Governor over the minimum wage. That’s a little more deserving of your time. Leave the problem of the replacement refs to the owners of the teams and Roger Goodell.

The fans will ultimately decide the issue when fans ultimately stop watching the games, if they have any sense!

Do you support Steve Sweeney’s effort to ban replacement NFL refs from working games in New Jersey?