This is not a sports blog primarily because of my lack of interests in sports. Yet, in some rare instances, sports crossover into my entertainment media radar.
Discussions of the NFL referee strike are becoming ubiquitous on news programs. The broad strokes version is this: the NFL is not using union refs for its professional games because they don't want to agree to a contract increasing pay for union refs at NFL games. The problem is that the non-union refs are not as practiced as the union refs, leading to controversial calls and accidents that better eyes might have prevented.
Google.com is now sponsored by the NFL.
Let me take you through the site in action.
Let's say you want to search for "Sketchy Details: Media Views, News, and Reviews." You'd type it into the search bar. Nothing strange yet.
Click search and what do you get?
New copies of Office space on VHS? That's not what you searched for. Try again and you might get results for "how much caffeine is enough?" or "Ken Griffey video game appearances."
The genius of Erik Johnson's satirical take on the NFL referee lockout is the replacement engine. Without the trained professional referees, the calls in the game are as random as getting results for an outdated home movie format when you wanted information on a particular website. The arbitrary nature of the results is aggravating, possibly infuriating. They reflect poorly on the search engine and don't help anyone.
Johnson is forcing you to experience the frustration of the players and coaches in the NFL. Strange new rulings are dictating the sport of football. Everything the teams have trained for is rendered pointless without consistent rules.
I applaud Erik Johnson for coming up with this quick work of satire. It's the kind of thing that can open up this discussion to people who don't follow football.
So what do you think? Will you be sharing Replacement Google with your friends and family? Sound off below. Love to hear from you.