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The one thing that no one seems to discuss when about the NFL referee lockout is that they are part-timers. When people talk about this, they can’t believe that the referees aren’t willing to take whatever deal the NFL gives out. After all, it is a part-time job, right?

But that is the underrated portion of what’s going on here. Most of the regular NFL officials are actually pretty successful people in their day-to-day endeavors.

Clearly, not enough of them are hurting for that NFL paycheck to the point where they are going to take any deal, like the players. If any labor union can take a principled stand, (if this really is about preserving the pension program), it’s this one! The money at their second job is, for most of them, nice, but not totally necessary.

This has to be affecting the negotiations more than is being discussed. The owners may have underestimated the resolve of the regular officials if they did not foresee this as a factor, or maybe it’s part of their impetus to break the union and possibly re-organize the officials in some sort of more dependent structure.

Either way, I hadn’t seen any analysis that mentioned this, so I was just putting that out there for consideration.

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