The argument could be made that NFL officials are the best amongst the major professional sports. Sure, there will be some that will beg to differ, but with the NFL being so popular it’s tough to debate. One thing is certain for all officials, the demand and expectations are extremely high.
For NFL officials, like the rest of officials, it’s basically a full time job, without the title of being full time employees by the leagues. During the week leading up to the weekend’s games the officials have other jobs like being lawyers or financial advisors, but still have duties with the NFL. During the season this can be somewhat of a stressful time working five days a week, flying out Saturday to the city where you are calling a game, then after Sunday’s game on a flight back to your hometown where you begin the process all over again.
“I think the only two differences from being full time and part time is number one, in the eyes of the fan, I don’t think they realize what we do during the season,” John Parry, veteran NFL referee, told the Victor and Matt Show on 110SportsPodcast.com. “The second thing is the league doesn’t provide health care. If we could change those two things then the average fan would see that we most certainly are full time.”
“For seven or eight months a year, I probably invest 20 to 30 hours of football Monday through Friday and then the weekends are 36 to 40 hour week,” Parry added. “We work every game that’s out there. The only difference is our game is played one game a week.”
Being an official can be very demanding and thankless, but their job is essential in the games we love to watch. NFL officials seem more subdue and don’t really allow their egos to get in the way like we’ve seen in the past with some NBA and MLB officials. That alone is another reason why the NFL is a notch above both the NBA and MLB. With the NFL being a billion industry, why not grant officials the right to be considered full time employees with benefits?
It’s not like the officials show up at game time without any preparation. As Parry described his typical week, it shows the time and the investment he put in. He, like many others, takes his profession very seriously. Plenty of changes have been made to the league, maybe making officials full time employees with health care is on the horizon.
– For the full interview with John Parry listen to Episode 143 on 110SportsPodcast.com.
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110SportsPodcast.com features a weekly sports podcast and daily blogging. Episodes include interviews, entertainment, comedy, insight and analysis.