Law of Cards: We Need NFL Referee Cards in 2012

Law of Cards: We Need NFL Referee Cards in 2012

Normally in Law of Cards, I analyze legal issues affecting the trading card or sports memorabilia world. Or I publish publicly available court documents that involve drinking, fraud, drug use, or other salacious acts by members of the trading card and sports memorabilia community. For this article, I'm going to stay away from true "law," and rather focus on the law of the playing field:

Hey NFL card makers, we need 2012 referee cards!

Not just for the replacement referees, but the regular refs, too, complete with autographs and swatches. Because I imagine a few of the replacement referees may have extra uniforms or flags that can be cut up into little pieces.

Why ref cards you might ask?

As I mentioned in a few columns, I view trading cards as little excerpts of history. This year, the referees affected the season and should be remembered as part of 2012's history.

I mean, keep your eye on Green Bay. Commentator after commentator have lamented that the blown touchdown call in the Seattle game may be the difference between Green Bay making the playoffs and sitting idle in January. If that happens, who really is the Most Valuable Player of that game? No, it's not someone from Seattle. It's the referees.

Especially if you're a Bears fan.

If you think about it that way, the replacement refs impacted the 2012 standings more than some actual uniformed players will.

Also, that following Tuesday, did any sports show talk about anything other than the Seattle-Green Bay game? There were baseball playoff races that got nocoverage the next day. The zebras got more air time following that game than most NFL players will get the entire year.

And just think, how many standing ovations did the regular referees get on their triumphant return after taking on and beating the NFL? Hundreds of NFL players will not get a standing O, this year or at any time in their career.

These refs did, however.

So why not give them some cards this year?

Now, even if NFL ref cards aren't "in the cards," there is still a great market for referee memorabilia, right? Weren't each of the replacement refs issued a black and white striped Magic 8-Ball that they carried around with them? And after each play, they shook them up to get advice like, "Call holding -- that happens an awful lot" or "False start or off sides? Really, it doesn't matter. They're two sides of the same coin," or "Try again later."

Wait, they didn’t use those? Maybe there won't be a great memorabilia market, after all.

That's why we need a 2012 referee card market.

So, come on manufacturers, give the law of the playing field their own cards this year!

Will it happen? Let me check my own, un-striped Magic 8-ball.

The information provided in Paul Lesko's "Law of Cards" column is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered in the sports industry. This information is not intended to create any legal relationship between Paul Lesko, the Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC or any attorney and the user. Neither the transmission nor receipt of these website materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the readers.

The views expressed in the "Law of Cards" column are solely those of the author and are not affiliated with the Simmons Law Firm. You should not act or rely on any information in the "Law of Cards" column without seeking the advice of an attorney. The determination of whether you need legal services and your choice of a lawyer are very important matters that should not be based on websites or advertisements.

"All signs point to yes!"

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Paul Lesko is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy and the chair of its Intellectual Property Department (http://www.simmonsfirm.com). Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid baseball card collector. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

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