The Official Problem in Sports
Hey everyone, hope all is well in your world. I recently watched the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks game and I am disgusted. After watching hows the refs handled that game I was actually looking here http://www.canada.for-sale.com for some used referee clothes as I'm pretty sure my 4 years of experience would do me better than most of the officials I have seen on T.V. lately. It seems that every single week, the NFL is coming out and saying how the officials from at least one game the week prior had made a big mistake and didn’t call a blatant penalty, or called one that didn’t need to be called. And every week, it seems that it was a bigger mistake that ended up costing one team and as we get closer to the playoffs these close wins are worth more and more.
Hit Where it Hurts
The most scrutinized play in sports from the past week was Richard Sherman barrelling into Dan Carpenter at full speed 3 seconds after the ball was away. The officials called another penalty on the play, offside on Sherman to give Buffalo another attempt at the kick but with less than a minute left in the game Buffalo had to take an injury timeout as Carpenter was writhing in pain on the field. Had the foul been called correctly, the Bills would have had a penalty timeout and possibly get Carpenter back on the field for another attempt but were ultimately unable to due to the missed call. The Bills spiked the ball on the ensuing play to allow Carpenter another try, but a delay of game penalty called right as the ball went through the uprights. Seeing as the reason for this penalty was the officials taking to long to set the ball and the clock you would expect it to be forgiven but of course it wasn't.
Owning up to Mistakes
The NFL did publicly admit to the official making a mistake, but that doesn't help now. The Bills lost, narrowly I might add. Tyrod Taylor tried his absolute best to lead the Bills to a comeback against the re-emerging Legion of Boom but faltered at the end. This isn't the first time this season that the NFL has admired to a mistake on a penalty. In September, the NFL posted about a 66 yard penalty-a 15 year high- was incorrect. Nevin Lawson was called for pass interference which resulted in the ball being placed at the Lions two yard line where Green Bay quickly scored. The Lions lost the game by 7. The reality of the play was that Lawson got his feet tangled up with Green Bay receiver Corey Davis, something that happens every game and is undoubtedly a no-call. But the NFL has to stop just apologizing and fix the problem.
A Problem Needing Addressing
There needs to be some sort of solution to all these issues, there has to be. With their being so many issues we don't even need to fix all of them, just some. Both the Canadian Football League and the National Collegiate Athletics Association have implemented challenging pass interference calls in the past few season and they have been remarkably successful. Fans cried out that the games would be way too long with these new rules, but the length of games have not changed. Coaches still have their three coaches challenges but they would be allowed to use said challenges on a pass interference call, or the lack of one. It has come in handy a lot over the past two seasons in the CFL, were game that would have been decided by a ticky tacky pass interference call are decided by the better teams, at least for the most part. This system needs to be added to the NF, and need to be brought to other penalties. If you can watch the same replay feed that shows whether a fumble was a fumble and use that to dictate whether a penalty is a penalty then I think a lot of people-fans, players, coaches and owners-would be very happy.
Arrogant Refs Make a Boring Football Game
The last issue that the officials seem to have lately is arrogance. I have seen some officials kick a player out of a game for something as silly as accidental touching the officials shoulder. I know the rules state no touching an official, but come on. When the official essentially touches you there should not be a penalty. This isn't school sports day, we can all be friends here and not get power heavy and upset at everyone. I officiated for over four years, and the sheer amount of people in that position with attitude problems is remarkable. I think maybe the NFL needs to do a fairly large sweep of its officials, maybe then we will have some fairly called games.