The Immaculate Deception

If you are a fan of the NFL, you are undoubtedly upset with the labor dispute between the NFL and the game officials. Last night in Seattle, a badly blown call decided the outcome of a game, and it will have playoff implications in two divisions, the NFC North and the NFC West.

The replacement officials are not getting the job done. I’ve heard from players, from coaches, from play-by-play announcers, and from former NFL officials. Nobody thinks that play to end the game in Seattle was a Seahawks touchdown–nobody but the replacement officials.

This has made a mockery of the game. Long time NFL fans are deciding to stop watching. People stop watching and advertisers get upset. There are other options for football fans. Post-season baseball is coming up, and there is football played all day on Saturday–College football.

Right now, the Packer Nation is angry Green Bay has one of the three largest fan bases in the NFL. If this doesn’t end soon, the season will become a sham. Players are taking liberties with illegal play because they figure it won’t be called.

In one play during Sunday’s Cardinals victory, the ball carrier was stopped with a horse-collar tackle. That’s a 15-yard penalty if it’s called because it’s an injury-causing tackle. While it didn’t impact the outcome of that game, it could very easily put the player on injured reserve. Eventually, somebody is going to suffer a career-ending injury because these calls aren’t being made, and that will be a tragedy.

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3 Responses to The Immaculate Deception

  1. Brian Dolton says:

    Yeah, while I can understand how they made the call on the field in the heat of the moment, the review should have overturned it – there was no way that Golden Tate ever had any kind of control of the ball, so the only possible calls were an interception or an incomplete pass, depending on your interpretation of who was down and when the play technically ended.

    There are three possibilities:
    1). The replay official bottled it and made a home-town call (the crowd could have got prety ugly if it had been overturned… but that’s football, crowds can get ugly: it happens)
    2). The replay official was utterly incompetent
    3). The replay official – and the replacement guys in general – actually sympathise with the locked-out officials to such a degree that they are deliberately making bad calls in order to put pressure on the NFL to settle.

    I’m not given to conspiracy theories, but the number of reviewed-and-still-wrong calls is stacking up to such a degree that option 3 is become more and more plausible. As you say, this one could have a major effect – you know that if, for example, the Packers miss a play-off berth, or even home advantage, by one win then there are going to be lawyers looking very hard at lines and lines of fine print. In a 16-game season, every match, every result, really does matter to those standings.

    The NFL guys need to think about what this is doing to their game. They really can’t afford any more calls like last night’s.

  2. Rick Novy says:

    A fourth possibility, which I think is the case last night, is that these replacement officials do not fully understand the NFL rules.

  3. Brian Dolton says:

    I’d class that under possibility 2. If they are reffing the NFL (not high school or whatever they nomrally cover) then it’s their responsibility to understand those rules. If they don’t, then that’s incompetence.

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