NFL Replacement Refs: The Good, The Bad & The . . . What? And Would the FBI (Or Any Other Agency) Make Better Officials? (Part 2)
The integrity of officials shouldn’t be questioned, but . . . what’s that 100%% integrity?
A cheap-shot reminder during the Seattle/Dallas game not flagged? And “what’s that?” – a field goal call blown during The Patriots game? (In one game this past weekend, Cardinals/Eagles, the referees made dubious calls, lost total track of what down it was, and forgot where the football should be placed.)
But let’s not forget the ridiculous, the bizarre ultimate “high” of low point officiating: Monday Night Football, Green Bay vs. Seattle, and a touchdown call – maybe now the most famous. It may turn a season on its ear. It certainly turned the city of Green Bay on its ear.
The 12th man, “Objectivity,” has left the stadium. What’s the reason? Questionable calls, speed of the game, personal bias and fan-dom? A federal court may be in order. The NFL has narrowed its control of the game. And it needs to wake up.
There are many questions. The NFL is wondering about its own PR. And well . . . is welcoming a fan base of “turn off.” Message to the NFL: Clean up your mess.
(This continues a love-of-the-sport concern – and please note the previous NFL article.)
It’s week three in the NFL – and replacement referees are still more like guests at a mad hatter’s tea party than objective judges. The question to these replacemnt refs might be: “How did you get here?”
No doubt being objective – ask any prosecuting or criminal defense lawyer in any local or federal court – is difficult. Arguing a case in court, for example, is a combination of bare emotion, a good criminal defense or prosecution, and clear unopposed fact. But “com’on man,” on the field of play where emotions run high-high, objectivity is absolutely required (and to use a line from the movie “The Untouchables” is “Lesson Number 1”).
The concern still is the off-hand association – replacement official and professional player – which raises the important question: What influence, intended or by mistake, do these replacements bring to the field of play? (And what possible influence is there from illegal gambling – from game fixing, from point shaving, or from questionable, now awful calls?)
This is serious. This is confusion – the casual “camaraderie” of ref and player. It may be an open door to game scheming, to illegal criminal activity, and and to influences of a “smoking back room.” Something must be revealed. And this action may reach to a federal invstigation if some oversight is not established.
However, maybe the replacements are not to blame. They, unfortunately, were thrust into this position. Maybe they, and the fans, are victims. But . . . the sugar of work may be too much for these replacements. Their crimes? Not clear. Not defined. The NFL will not comment – unless by its stonewalling.
And a best thought? Get back the objective professionals. Get rid of the NFL owners’ stodgy, rigid posture against the referee union. And prevent the possibility of criminal activity.
Maybe Monday Night Football’s incredulous end will be a wake up call. Otherwise, the NFL will be sporting a black eye for a l-o-n-g time. A billion dollar industry, the NFL is still struggling with head hunting and performance enhancing drugs usage . . . and it doesn’t need more controversy.
Product suffers, fans suffer – and the integrity the NFL has worked so hard to develop suffers . . . and maybe just now this legendary game is being reduced to the reality of a wrestling arena.