So, it turns out hiring replacement refs so that the NFL season can continue uninterrupted was not the best idea. Sure, it's led to tons of free publicity and has put the league in the spotlight. But with betting websites actually refunding wagers as a result of botched calls, it's not the positive light NFL officials were hoping for.
But we're here to help those beleaguered refs who are just trying to do their best while relieving the pros from their sideline duties. So here's everything the NFL's replacement refs might need to do their jobs properly for a change, and maybe even make it home safely at the end of the night.
Just because it's designed for kids doesn't mean Nerf's glowing football system couldn't work in the big leagues. And only the refs will need to wear the special LED glasses which makes the smooshy football extra visible so it's impossible to mistake who actually caught it. $20
They're actually designed to give spectators with nose bleed seats a decent view of the action on field. But the evidence seems to indicate the refs are having just as much trouble following what's going on. So making Bushnell's Spectator binoculars with their extra-wide field-of-view standard issue couldn't hurt. $130
It's upsetting to think that those who now don the striped shirts don't actually know the rules of the game. And while taking a remedial course is embarrassing, perhaps brushing up on how football is played isn't a bad idea. And the Dummies books have been America's go-to source of easy knowledge for years now. $10
Instant replay has never been as important as it is in this NFL season. But why stop at just the cameras around the field? With every ref and player sporting one of these compact camcorders there's bound to be an angle that reveals what really happened in a play. And immediate replays means minimal delays on these debacles. $280
It's not going to make them better at their temporary jobs, but the next time a ref's voice booms across the stadium with a bad call, this mobile voice changer will at least give them some level of deniability. "Oh no, I didn't call a double dribble on the quarterback, that guy sounded nothing like me. Must've been one of the other refs." $40
Given the backlash that seems to follow every game, NFL Replacement Referee has to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. But to ensure every ref gets safely to their car after a game, they should all keep a set of this martial arts training armor in their lockers to protect them from concerned fans on the way home. $1,400
One day the replacement refs are going to have to return to their regular lives. But most likely as the enemy of every NFL fan in the country. So, since the witness protection program doesn't apply here, this hyper-realistic old woman mask is a great way to safely live out the rest of their lives completely incognito. $1,200
Image by Stephen Brashear/Associated Press