Had to sound off about this matter. In last night’s game, Lions/Packers, the one ref in the backfield cost the Lions the game, out and out cost them the game. Now, I know that in a game there are a handful of plays that have little to nothing to do with refs that cost teams games, I get it, but I rather it be a drop pass in the end zone, a fumble, a pic 6, than a ref’s call, especially bumbling, stumbling, incompetent call(s) like last nights. And I say this and I’m a Packers fan, happy as heck when I got up this morning and saw they came back to win, although at the time had no idea how they won until I watched the DVR recording.
But this feeling of helpless frustration in me, and I’m sure most fans, has been building up for quite a while now, and this year its reached ridiculous levels, thus my need to come here, and get this off my chest. It’s costing teams’ games! And it can cost whole coaching staffs their jobs! I know baseball umpiring can be similarly questioned but given the length of the season I don’t see the final impact on a level playing field this NFL thing can. I also know that NBA refereeing isn’t of the highest quality either, but again they have 82 games, so other than in the post season incompetent refs don’t have the same impact as the NFL. I don’t watch NHL or soccer, so I don’t know about those leagues, but either way, this is the NFL, America’s game, and the incompetence there carries a lot more weight and it is now reached blatant levels.
For me it comes down to this. NFL football is the highest level without question of America’s version of football. A zillion colleges play it, Canada plays it, for all I know other countries may have leagues, no idea, but in a league with the highest level of player talent, highest level of required coaching preparation, highest level of player performance, I mean some of the things these players today can do exceed unbelievability some times, the league should have the absolute best refereeing possible but they fall way short of the rest of the league standard. For this kind of league, the epitome of American football, to have the sorriest refereeing is .....is....abominable? Is there a stronger word for the disgusting nature of it?
I’m sure today and tomorrow and on and on, there will be a lot of talk about it but it is all a waste of time and it never improves, it actually gets worse the more they legislate it to remove incompetence. It just does not work that way. I mean, does anybody understand the PI challenge? What about roughing the passer? After the defender fights through 350 lbs blockers, chipping TEs, backs cutting you at the knees, you are supposed to all of a sudden, in a split second, tone your aggressiveness down and approach the QB with care and concern and just ask him to pretty please fall down? Even former QBs in the booth, Aikaman, Fouts, they are disgusted by these calls.
In this case last night, even the network ref in the booth danced around the issue when trying to explain what was the ref seeing who called the two hands to the face by a Lions DE, two calls that gave the Packers first downs on the critical winning drive. In the end, he could have saved us a lot of time and just out and out admitted the ref blew both calls as it was his only conclusion.
It won’t get any better, and it’s a shame. Outside of the Devil Team and of course our own tanking specialists, there’s real competition in the rest of the league. Every week, there are a bunch of close, exciting games, exciting on their own merits but in almost every game there are multiple calls by the refs that show blatantly poor judgement. Changing the rules won’t fix this, the league has to do a better job at hiring and training refs, putting in stringent evaluation criteria and get rid of the garbage they have, which is plenty.
There! I think I feel better.....but Thursday is just around the corner. Oh well.