COLUMN: NFL replacement officials need to quickly be replaced themselves
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 03:09
Recently, there has been a large amount of controversy involving the officiating of the NFL.
I think many of us can agree that the calls made by the majority of the replacement officials have been less-than-adequate and have been causing an incredible disruption in what I would believe to be America’s favorite sport.
Normally, I do not feel strongly about this sort of an issue, especially since I never played football and took up lacrosse for the majority of my adolescence, but I know what it is like to have incompetent referees cause major problems in a game.
Most of the problems the NFL is dealing with when concerning its replacement referees involve misjudged calls.
An example of this is an issue that arose in the Broncos’ Monday Night Football game against Atlanta when Denver clearly came up with the ball after a fumble, but the Falcons were awarded the ball instead.
That game even lasted more than three-and-a-half hours because after what seemed like each call, the referees would gather on the field to have a debate with one another and decide on the correct (usually incorrect) call.
Some of the referees who have been officiating the games have been fans of certain teams playing in the games they are officiating and have even spoken to players about fantasy leagues. To me, this is appalling.
There should be no bias when it comes to officiating a sport. The issue of a fair game is already disputed enough when replacement refs, who are not making accurate calls nor seem to have a full grasp of the NFL rules, are not on the field. I’m not a fan of feeling it necessary to ‘bash’ these referees, but the fact of the matter is that they are not performing in a manner that is suitable to the NFL’s level of play.
Also, and this is one of the more sickening facts I have found about this issue, the fact that coaches and players are not allowed to speak out against these referees without getting heavily fined is deplorable. One of the most important things anybody can do in regard to their occupation is be able to take criticism.
Criticism, especially when applied constructively, can be extremely helpful. Instead, Commissioner Roger Goodell seems to be hiding from what he knows is a tenuous situation rather than facing it.
Facing this situation begins and ends with paying the regular officials and getting them back where they belong: On the field.
— Cody Wright is a junior English major and a columnist for The Mirror.