It’s not odd that while NBA, NHL and MLB officials/umpires/referees are full-time league employees, NFL officials have regular day jobs. Most are teachers or lawyers or cops.
It’s not odd, because the NFL season is only 27 weeks long, including the playoffs, the Super Bowl, the off week prior to the Super Bowl and the Hall of Fame Game. Realistically, most NFL zebras don’t officiate more than 22 days per year.
Why pay them full-time salaries for such a small amount of work?
But when you consider that the league is likely to bring in over $10 billion in revenues in 2012, why not just fork over an extra, I dunno, $5 million for salaries and benefits in order to ensure that the attention of your officials is in no way divided?
That’s what commissioner Roger Goodell is apparently considering.
”Consistency is exactly what every club wants, and I think every fan wants. You want consistency in the way rules are applied,” Goodell said while speaking to a group of about 75 fans in Baltimore yesterday. ”We are contemplating this offseason taking some of those officials from the field who are now part time – they have other jobs – and making a certain number of them, let’s say 10, full time.”
Ten is a strange number, because at least 13 head referees are required each week, with well over 100 officials in total. But employing 10 would at least be a step in the right direction.
If it means that these full-time officials can commit a significant amount of extra time studying rules, regulations and scenarios, and the rest of that extra time to teaching those rules, regulations and scenarios to prospective pro officials currently at the high school or college level, than it likely means more efficiency from officials on game days, both now and in the future.
If only one call that would’ve been missed is made right as a result of this strategy, then it will have been a worthwhile expenditure.
At the very least, it’ll please Jay Cutler.