The NFL referees union are today's American heroes.
Now you ask, how can sports referees who are now guaranteed six figure salaries, full pensions, and full time employment be heroes to the rest of a nation, especially those who don't give a damn about sports and think they are useless to society?
The simple answer is, because they are Americans just like you and me who are Americans, and human beings just like you and me globally who are fighting against the super wealthy, the super powerful, the super arrogant and the selfish collective "elite."
But unlike you and me, some diligent and intrepid teacher's unions, financial public/government regulators, cops and firefighters to name a few, the real professional football referees not only just beat the powerful, but they humiliated the powerful.
Unlike the NFL players last year, who most are not making Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Michael Vick, Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers money and need a paycheck to feed and provide healthcare for their families and themselves or else, the NFL refs have other jobs, like being knowledgeable and respected lawyers as their other profession in order to stay afloat on the mortgage.
The NFL refs did not feel the pressure of rushing back to their football lives because of that pivotal element, making them financially and spiritually able to fight the Jerry Jones and Woody Johnsons of the world who love George W. Bush and Mitt Romney like long time friends.
As our American broadcast and cable news centrist media focus on how "both sides felt pressure" to lock down the deal, only one side felt the pressure to be grown ups: the billionaire owners.
Because they refused to just give a diminutive million dollars (to them anyway) to these refs in secure pensions because of their hate of unions and the overall well informed & versatile working man, their arrogance got larger and larger helped by their puppet Roger Goodell, who makes $20 million a year reportedly.
No matter how much disorderly behavior was let go and wrong official calls of penalties on the microphone by the replacement scab referees were made, the NFL owners and Goodell were so petty and deep in their arrogance that they thought somehow, someway, the fans would bail them out, stay quiet with the players and coaches they threatened to remain quiet, and survive with these unqualified new refs under their anti-union, anti-full job rules.
"Have a good performance with their selected, experienced replacement refs on the Season Opener with the Cowboys and Giants, have America believe the real officials aren't needed and that anyone could do this job right off their couch, have willing personalities like Colin Cowherd and Skip Bayless not do their homework on union issues and just spit our their strong but sometimes horribly misguided views, and all will be well, the billionaire owners' will win again like always."
And then, the NFL owners' Waterloo broke this past Monday Night, in the primetime traditional spot of all primetime traditional spots. The whole world, on blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, saw it all. The NFL owners and Goodell through their stupidity and arrogance somehow managed to have Chicago Bears fans like Markos become fans of the Green Bay Packers for one night.
Steve Young wanted to cry in the postgame coverage about the league losing its integrity, Trent Difter called the league hypocritical. Golden Tate's ridiculous amnesia in the post game interview was so forgotten because of being allowed to get away with his actions because of ridiculous referees. Just how funny it can be when you do ridiculous things thanks to your ridiculous arrogance.
The lack of any sagacity by the NFL owners and Roger Goodell may or may not be the warning salvo to the likes of Scott Walker, John Kasich, Nikki Haley, Bob McDonald, the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, Murdoch, and all the arrogant wealthy powerful conservatives in this nation who hate knowledgeable working people. But it has all put them on full notice with those independents and people who are apathetic to politics and let their corrupt and selfish behavior get away.
It truly is amazing how it could be sports that turns around the negative and hateful narrative on American's unions, the heart and soul of America's heart and soul which is the middle class.
Without a functioning, strong, stable, and anti-corrupt unions, America will fall into a sea analogous as Spain & Greece's horrible situation (the structure of the dollar ever becoming as unstable as the noble but failed structure of the Euro aside). Modern day anti-3rd world societies, where most of its citizens are living in the 2nd world while the elite run the first world is prevalent in the modern nations, is utterly egregious and unacceptable for a society to function at its best.
The population simply needs the proletariat to function at its best or it fails. There is no grey area there.
And the NFL could not properly function at its best (at least in terms of level of play) without unionized protected referees.
The same can be said of unionized, protected teachers against the powerful charter school loving industry of Michelle Rhee, Adrian Fenty, Cory Brooker, and yes, even Arne Duncan and President Barack Obama (although there are centrism Dems vs outright Republicans liars there on how best to punish or treat inadequately teacher's unions).
The same can be said of America's middle class people who need a public option and an affordable public system for 21 to 65-yr-olds vs the powerful Wellpoints, BlueCrossBlueShield, Aetna, and rest of Joe Lieberman private insurance system that President Obama thought was a good idea because of not caring to raise taxes on the wealthy higher than even Clinton levels. The same can be said again of all American citizens, especially in the middle to lower class who need glorious Social Security saved or their powerful wealthy will take it away from them, thank you sellout centrist Dems like Kent Conrad, Mary Landrieu, and Blanche Lincoln to name just a few.
Maybe sports is still irrelevant to you out there, and it's quite understandable. But sports is also life, and hopefully life isn't irrelevant to you. And sports teaches us the best of any entertainment genre in the entertainment industry what's adversity, what's glory, what is the indisputable best, and what is actual reality instead of fake fantasies. Hollywood movies on true sports events at least can't screw up the actual details of the game's most defining events.
And the real professional, high middle class referees against the most powerful people in the most powerful sports league in the world (even more so than the Barclays Premier League and the NBA despite their global appeal compared to the NFL's domestic appeal) showed how the battle between collective public and powerful private affects us all, no matter the color, the gender, the height, the size, the personality, the status, and the person.
And they showed us, the ordinary in the middle, that it is possible to win against the powerful.