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Thursday (The most thankless job in sports is over) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional football Updated: September 27, 2012 - 9:21 AM

There are few jobs in sports that are more thankless than being a referee, but these last few weeks have proven emphatically there is at least one title that certainly qualifies: replacement referee. Fans spent plenty of time displaying indignation that the NFL would put these guys (and woman) out on the field to influence a gazillion dollar industry, but in the heat of the moment the blame shifted quickly to the poor saps actually making the calls.

They lost control of games. They made horrendous calls. They tried, and they failed. And we noticed.

They brought this on themselves by raising their hands. But really, who among us wouldn't?

If you were a Division III baseball player suddenly given a Major League at bat, wouldn't you head to the show and take your cuts?

Now that the real refs are back, the replacements can head back to small colleges and high schools -- and to the normal jobs for which they are surely qualified. They will take with them a surely bizarre, surreal experience that probably started out like a dream (week 1: can you believe this!?) and turned into something much darker (week 3: This wasn't supposed to last so long).

They took on a thankless task, and they were not thanked.

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