FoxSports- On PFT Live Tuesday, Payton called out the league for having part-time officials. He thinks it’s “madness,” and he’s probably right. The NFL is the only major pro sports league without full-time officials, and Payton wants that to change.
“The system currently hasn’t improved. We say it has, but it hasn’t. We’re the only league with officials who have primary other jobs, which is really madness,” Payton said. “We can pay these guys. They should be full-time NFL officials, and they should be working throughout the week, communicating. Every other sports league employs full-time officials. And ours, these guys all have other significant jobs. I just think it’s very difficult to do.”
Wait, what is happening? Will someone get Sean Payton away from the goddamn microphone?!? Does he need to be reminded of BountyGate and what it feels like to fall on the sword on behalf of the rest of the league? Sure, this seems like a rational suggestion that could aide in fixing a seemingly never-ending problem, but Roger Goodell has disciplined people for much less than implying that he should spend MORE to ensure the quality of his product. Of course it would make perfect sense to pay officials a full time salary when every other sports league that's not nearly as profitable as the NFL already does so. However, that money would have to come from somewhere and that "somewhere" has already been afforded a certain lifestyle they'd rather not jeopardize in the slightest.
I guess the argument could be made that having referees that dedicated their entire work week to familiarizing themselves with rules would cut down on the amount of confusion that has made games excessively hard to watch and - in turn - increase the "dwindling" ratings that have NFL execs scrambling for answers. However, there simply has to be a less costly solution when the league has thrived with half-assed officiating for this long.
Have to believe there is some other cause they could take up that could draw people back to the football. Lets see, they've already pretended to care about concussions, domestic abuse, and breast cancer. They've already maintained the sanctity of the league by penalizing every single celebration that could infect the minds of our youth. What else could they do to convince people they should watch the NFL because it's good, clean fun that's being run by moral upstanding people? I don't know the answer, but it certainly won't be something as pricey as giving the people that maintain the integrity of the sport enough free time to know the ever-expanding list of rules like the back of their hand. Come on Sean, you know better....