Fans are quick to blame the officials when their favorite teams lose. No way was it the players fault! If those referees would get the calls right, they would have won. This is heard around the nation, from pee wee football to the National Football League, and everything in between, after a loss. A three-month lockout is keeping the official NFL officials out of the game. The first week the replacement officials seemed to handle their jobs just fine. The second week; however, is a completely different story. Fans, players, and even coaches are getting antsy about the calls, or lack thereof, and asking for resolution.
Several weeks ago, I wrote an article about the first woman NFL referee, Shannon Eastin. Seems she’s the least of the league’s headaches right now. She became the first woman to officiate a regular season game between the St. Louis Rams and the Detroit Lions. So far, she has not ruffled any feathers like her male counterparts. In week two it became more evident that some of these replacement refs are in over their heads. But are they really out of their league?
Many calls are subjective. Even the regular officials get calls wrong or flat out miss one from time-to-time. In the Dallas Cowboys game against the Seattle Seahawks last weekend, though, a flag was thrown on what looked like a vicious hit by wide receiver Golden Tate on linebacker Sean Lee. But that was not the call. Turns out Bruce Carter, Cowboy linebacker, was penalized for pushing rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson, on a late hit out-of-bounds. Which one was the defenseless player here? Did the referee get it right or wrong?
Dallas Cowboy headcoach, Jason Garrett said that it didn’t change the outcome of the game; the Cowboys had everything to do with the loss. Despite not getting a flag on the field, Tate was fined this week by the NFL. The refs missed the call, but the NFL issued a fine. Interesting how the NFL ended up with money in their pockets.
As I have stated, many times at the water cooler. The NFL is making the sport of football less fun, and in fact, it’s becoming a bit too predictable. Add to that these incompetent replacement refs and you have a potential disaster in the making, for the players and the fans both.
The NFL needs to settle their differences with the NFLRA, the officials union, yesterday. These replacement refs are just not experienced enough to handle the fast-paced game of the NFL. In the professional game, players salaries are on the line if someone goes down with an injury due to a no-call, as in the case of Lee. Starry-eyed refs, like the man who admitted he was a fan of the New Orleans Saints, the very team he was scheduled to officiate, could reek havoc on real-life.
So listen up National Football League, quit stalling, negotiate a decent contract with the union, and end this before something horrible happens on the field.