NFL season off to a bumpy start
This doesn’t help, of course, but there is a lot more to it.
The strike by NFL officials continues, which means we’ve all been saddled with interim referees, none of whom seem to have a clear understanding of the game. Referee conferences and reviews that normally take only a few minutes are now taking forever. The delays are making it very difficult to maintain game continuity. And forget about a team going on a hot streak. Nothing kills momentum faster than waiting half an hour for “replacement” referees to make decisions that should be much easier and much faster.
Perhaps the worst thing about replacement officials is that they often miss calls or allow penalties to run rampant. Unfortunately, some of these penalties can be quite dangerous. Take the case of Matt Schaub in the article linked here.
During yesterday’s game between the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos, Schaub took a monster hit from defender Joe Mays that not only knocked his helmet loose, but also took a piece of his earlobe with it. Granted, a roughing the passer penalty was called this time, but that is certainly not the norm. It almost takes a bloody injury to warrant such a call these days.
I guess my point is this: we need the real officials back, so please give them what they want. The game just isn’t the same without them and I am afraid things will get much worse if replacement referees are allowed to continue. Bad or missed calls will give players more reason to shirk the rules. And by the time the smoke clears, there’s no telling how many injuries will be sustained as a result.
UPDATE (Sept. 25th): Last night’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks should be the final nail in the coffin for replacement referees. In a last-ditch effort to win what turned out to be a very close game, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary pass into the Green Bay end zone. Anyone who follows football knows that Hail Marys very rarely work. More often than not, these passes simply fall to the ground or are batted down by defenders. Not so in last night’s game. As players crowded the end zone and struggled for position, Golden Tate of Seattle shoved Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields to the ground just before the ball arrived. Of course, there was no call for pass interference despite the fact this was a textbook example of it. When the ball finally arrived, Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings clearly intercepted it and fell to the ground. However, Golden Tate started tugging at the ball and when the referees arrived, they ruled it a touchdown, handing Seattle the game.
Of all the terrible officiating I have witnessed during this short NFL season, last night was by far the worst. If something doesn’t change soon, then I fear viewers will simply switch over to CBS’ fall sitcoms instead. And at this point, who could blame them?
Posted on September 24, 2012, in Perspectives and tagged commentary, current-events, Denver Bronco, Football, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, injury, Matt Schaub, National Football League, news, NFL, nfl officials, perspectives, Roger Goodell, sports. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.