Replacement referees: can MLS fans help?

Who wants to be a referee? I don't. - Lyndsay Radnedge | Center Line Soccer

Often pilloried for their decision making, regular MLS refs will be sipping lattes in sidewalk cafés while a hastily assembled collection of replacement referees will be fielded as the 2014 MLS season kicks off in Seattle. Nerdy Gales considers how MLS fans might help them out.

San Jose Earthquakes fans are still preparing for their upcoming CONCACAF Champions League game against Toluca next Tuesday.  This gives us some extra time to ponder the effects of the MLS referee lock-out before our regular season kicks of next Saturday against Real Salt Lake.

Perhaps the fans can help out the replacements in the interim?  Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are devising a new mobile app, into which Google Glass data is directly downloaded from the replacement referee.  Fans with a subscription to the Help-A-Ref mobile app will contribute a collective decision on infractions with a simple click on the elegant user interface.  There are also exciting, but unsubstantiated, rumors from those close to the project that the new beta version will clarify the referee's vision.

Another free app that might become useful is Yellow Card Red Card app, stunningly simple in its execution, the fan can hold up a simple yellow or red card screen image on their cell phone from the stands.  The app comes complete with referee whistles.  Of course, if the day job of replacement referee is an optometrist, then any criticisms of his visual acuity such as "put your glasses on ref" and "what game are you watching" are moot.  It's a lost cause, so the classic standby chant of "You don't know what you're doing" will suffice, and make them feel right at home on the MLS pitch.

Maybe the real referees will be back by April 1st - yes, okay, I couldn't wait for April Fools for that Google glass app, but that second one is real.  In the meantime, maybe we can cut the replacement refs some slack?  Probably not, eh?

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