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updated: 9/24/2012 9:34 PM

Does NFL not care anymore about dignity?

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  • New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin isn't the only one who has had issues with the replacement officials this season.

    New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin isn't the only one who has had issues with the replacement officials this season.
    Associated Press


How perverse it is of me to enjoy the NFL's lockout of game officials.

Sorry, but it's always fun to watch the self-righteously self-interested squirm.

NFL owners can't be so callous to not be squirming, can they be? They can't be oblivious to the mockery they're making of the sport, can they be?

This league is like the prettiest girl in school who knows how pretty she is. She and the NFL feel they can do anything they want and still have people spreading roses at their feet.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell demonstrates his and his league's power as if they're bulletproof. The 32 owners he represents are so comfortable that they allow him to exercise his arrogance.

Much has been said about the NFL jeopardizing player safety and football integrity.

What about dignity?

This quality must not matter anymore to the NFL because the establishment has perpetuated one of the most undignified work stoppages in the history of labor-management relations.

It's bad enough that myriad former players are suing the league over the issue of concussions. Add current players being officiated by pretend referees and the league resides at the intersection of laughingstock and crying shame.

So the nasty down deep in me would like to see one of two developments occur before the lockout ends.

First, it would be cool to see replacement officials -- scabs apparently is too politically incorrect a word these days -- issue this statement:

"As a group we have determined that we were wrong to insert ourselves into the dispute between NFL owners and NFL players. They have their disagreement and we are stepping away to allow them to settle it between themselves.

"It would be selfish of replacement officials to keep accepting paychecks for doing a humiliatingly inadequate job and insane of Mr. Goodell to keep issuing those checks.

"First let us clarify that we aren't taking this action out of fear that that mean ol' Mr. Belichick will dismember one of our members. We simply came to understand this week that we are not qualified to officiate football on this lofty level. Even if the NFL doesn't, we appreciate the game too much to continue soiling it as we have been.

"Replacement officials would like to thank Mr. Goodell and all NFL owners for the opportunity to perform on the world's biggest football stage, albeit exposing ourselves as clownishly unqualified.

"Best wishes to the NFL, NFL commissioner, NFL owners, NFL players and NFL fans as the lockout proceeds.

"Our hope is that no players were irreparably concussed while we were failing to control the action. We also hope that fans will resist forsaking the NFL forever, though they probably should.

"We're going back to our previous assignments officiating Lingerie League games, Division X college games, fantasy games, virtual games and street-ball games.

"Thank you and have a nice day as we retreat into the witness protection program."

Since there is no indication that the scabs, uh, replacement officials will come to their senses and disappear, how about this consequence: The lockout continues all the way through the season and postseason, right into the Super Bowl?

Then with the championship hanging in the balance, the fake officials blow a call so badly that anybody who places a dollar down in an office pool loses trust in the NFL forever.

Shame on me for suggesting that, even though doing so feels really good.

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