Please reset the game clock to…
This is the unofficial motto of the replacement refs so far this season and nothing is on the horizon that will likely change that. Week 1 was an okay week for the replacement refs, but this past week marked the first of what will likely be many grumblings from the locker room about the way games are called.
On the one hand, fans will be quick to side with their favorite players when it comes to blasting replacement refs. Like making fun of the different kids in high school, you don’t go against what the cool kids say. So when Joe Flacco blames his sub-par game on one call by the refs, obviously you’re going to have a rally behind that quote.
But what Flacco should have highlighted more so than the one offensive pass interference call in the end zone, was the way the game was called physically speaking. Like Forbes points out in a recent article, it was “more like a WWE match” than a football game. I understand football is a physical game, and that big hits will be had, but not on the level that was allowed on Sunday in Philly.
That game immediately calls into question the hypocrisy of the NFL and their stance on player safety. You can’t blast the Saints pay-for-play system and then not pay refs who are trained in doing the very thing you blasted the Saints for ramming against: keeping players safe.
In all honesty, it’s disgusting. I stood behind Goodell when the players blasted him for fines and suspensions over hits. I figured they’d be thanking him later in life like the teenager who thanks his parents for grounding him when he came home drunk. But the parents grounding their kid for drinking, but then turning around and leaving the the car keys next to a fully stocked liquor cabinet erases the message.
Goodell’s continued use of the replacement refs is sending the wrong message and he’s sabotaging his credibility.
This isn’t about bad calls: this isn’t about the refs forgetting timeouts or allowing the ball to be snapped long after the clock has expired. You wouldn’t allow a six year old to fly your jet across the Atlantic, and you wouldn’t allow referees who are oblivious to player safety officiate games — or at least you wouldn’t think so considering that’s your major campaign.
As long as these replacement refs are officiating games, the NFL is a joke that isn’t funny. If you’re the kind of fan that flexes your machoism and says Well they get paid millions of dollars to get hit, boo hoo for them, then let’s bring this argument down to your level. Your team is losing because players are manipulating these spineless refs.
They consistently miss holds, push-offs and late hits. And when they get the call right, the other team convinces them that they got the call wrong so the next time a should-be penalty happens, it isn’t called. These refs are under so much scurtinty and they know that they are missing calls that they are so easily convinced of things that it’s sickening.
And the NFL is doing nothing about this. I’m not suggesting they should outlaw arguing with the ref, but it’s one thing to allow arguing and another to turn a blind eye to the manipulation of refs as to so disgust the locked out refs that they cave in and take a low ball offer on a labor agreement. Something needs to be done and I’ll give you a hint: it has nothing at all to do with these replacement refs.
Six year old flying a jet plane into the ground. That’s the only image you need to describe glorified high school refs calling NFL games; it needs to stop before someone gets seriously hurt.