The draft is in the books for this year but there are still employment opportunities awaiting you in the National Football League. Will you get to play backup quarterback to Big Ben? No. How about calling the plays for a dominating defense? Umm…Well…No again. Who wouldn’t want a job as Bill Belichick’s personal sleeve cutter off-er? As fun as that sounds, that position is already taken. The dream job the NFL currently has under their “CAREERS” tab is a special one: Referee for professional tackle football. It’s true! It’s a worthy vocation that begins with all the promise and prestige of being “Miley Cyrus’s Personal Side Boob Photographer” but probably ends up with all of the stress and frustration of being “Courtney Love’s Psycho Analyst”.
What we have here is failure to communicate. Seems Roger Goodell ain’t just about locking out players. Nope. He done locked out the refs too. I guess the referee’s union (they have a union!?!?) got all demand-y with their demands (I heard Ed Hochuli wanted paid in whey protein and curling bars) and Rog wasn’t having it. Goodell hadn’t used his divine power to mess with anyone’s livelihood in like, 36 hours so, he was all “lock these losers out and bring me some new losers” and the referee’s union (I hear they have a union now) was all like, “Oh, no you didn’t” and Goodell was all like “Oh HELL yes I did” and then someone threw a metal folding chair and Steve had to settle things down while the audience chanted “JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!” And then, after the commercial break, the NFL was accepting resumes for officials.
The most likely places to find football type officials is: A)The NCAA where you only have to have one foot in bounds to call a reception a reception and putting your knee down when you weren’t touched means you’re down. Oh, boy! NFL throngs are usually so understanding of blown calls by fellas that ONLY work the professional game. I’m sure they will cut college officials tremendous miles of slack! Believe it or not, the NFL thinks that there may be other list options aside from the colligate ranks (great ideas following better ideas here, kids). Roger is going to accept applications from Arena League AND Indoor Football League (there’s a difference???) officials. Note to Goodell: Just because the game is played with a football, and said football is pointy at each end, doesn’t mean the rules are the same. Why stop there? Go all in and accept officials from the Lingerie Football League, Folded Paper Triangle Table Top League, The Frogtown Slow Motion Football League (where you’re not considered down until your shirt is ripped off), The Strat O Matic Football League, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen League, and Techmo Bowl League. What are a few dozen more blown calls as long as the NFL is popular and profitable?
Now don’t get me wrong; the hours are amazing. One hour a week of actual work and a few hours of standing around having people hurl every manner of insult at you (kind of like working on the Howard Stern Show, I would imagine). The salary is not terrible for 16 hours of actual work a year (lucky applicants may get to work 20 hours if they don’t totally screw the pooch). $25,000 – $70,000 annually is nothing to sneeze at unless you are sensitive about half of a stadium full of people having an opinion about your mother every time you pull out the flag.
Good luck, boys and girls, but be careful in Cleveland; those fans have exceptional aim….
I’ll be here pursuing my dream job; Wardrobe Consultant to Todd Haley.
Follow my silly ass on Twitter @davebuzard1