Replacement Refs Redfaced

As the NFL season kicks off today, there is one wager not being accepted in Las Vegas – but maybe should be:

How long until poor officiating by replacement refs costs some team a win?

We’ve seen enough already to know two things: First, the real NFL officials are way better than we real-ized. Second, the replacements are a long, long way from being ready for prime time.

You could work up some interesting proposition bets as well. Such as: Which coach will be first to be suspended or fined because of his reaction to horrible calls?

Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano (center left) talks with referee Jerry Hughes (right) Aug. 25 during an NFL preseason game against the Washington Redskins. AP Photo.

Keep in mind that the NFL takes itself very seriously. League officials and owners will not take kindly to being the butt of monologue jokes on Leno or Letterman, or the subject of skits on Saturday Night Live.

They’re used to getting their way in the league offices, but not this time. The NFL will seek an agreement long before some Hollywood type submits the script for Goodell-fellas.

The opening of the 2012 Rainbow Wahine Volleyball season has been reassuring to those UH fans who are still mourning the end of Kanani Danielson’s career.

As great as she played for UH, this year’s edition is not without star power. The continuing developments of Jane Croson and Emily Hartong have both players looking like potential superstars. Croson appears to be much more consistent with a year under her belt, and Hartong is dramatically improved physically and much stronger than before. Either can take over a match when they’re in the zone. And Penn State transfer Ali Long has an electrical spark on game days. The comeback win over Stanford in the first tournament after being demolished in game one was very impressive, and makes you think that there will be some exciting nights at the Stan Sherriff Center.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the new free spenders in major league baseball. The move two weeks ago that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett from the Red Sox proved that L.A. is not shy about breaking out the wallet. Keep in mind that only Gonzalez makes any kind of baseball sense. Crawford is hurt and may or may not return to health and a high level of play. And Beckett has been a bust on the field and a cancer off.

Which puts Shane Victorino in an interesting spot. With $120 million remaining on Crawford’s contract, he’s not going anywhere. And while you can make a case that Victorino is a better fit at the top of the order, even the spendthrift Dodgers seem unlikely to sign the Maui native. He’ll get good money, but it’ll be with somebody else. There are some pretty good outfielders available in free agency (think Josh Hamilton), so it could be a buyer’s market.

Of course, a Dodger run through the postseason could change everything.