The NFL. One minute you have to love it and the next you have to be tearing your hair out. The replacement refs are once again at the center of attention today. A weekend of missed calls, controversial calls, and even when the calls ended up being right, just sloppy officiating, the NFL came out today and ordered all coaches to stop berating officials during the game after plenty of coaches had something to complain about. My question is, that directive is never given with the regular officials, so why now? Plenty of coaches berate the real referees. This is just the bully NFL saying we will have the last say when it comes to officials.
In the first couple of weeks, replacements refs in the Arizona Cardinals games have been part of the final conversation and well after the final gun. In week one, the Cards – Seattle Seahawks game there was the extra timeout debacle after the two-minute warning. Then this past weekend came word that one of the officials in that game had ties to the Hawks.
This past Sunday against the New England Patriots, the refs seemed to get most calls right, but they were questioned about the holding call on Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski that voided a Danny Woodhead touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The call was correct, but one that many said the regular refs would rarely call. Then there was the catch that was rule not a catch by Larry Fitzgerald.
In other games though, especially on Monday night in Atlanta, it got downright sloppy. People will say don’t blame the refs. Well, when it gets sloppy and the refs aren’t taking control, that is the refs fault. They have total control. I won’t get all over them for missed calls most of the time unless they are so obviously wrong – like the extra timeout – but what I can’t stand is a guy just not doing the job he is being paid to do. The NFL will protect them all season long though. The don’t care. Again – the NFL DOES NOT CARE. If they cared, the regular refs would already be back. I would never say give in, cause it is a negotiation. Don’t just “give” the refs what they want, but the NFL has total control over whether this thing gets done of not.
For the NFL to come out and tell coaches to leave the refs alone is both unrealistic and ridiculous. I’m wiling to bet some coaches are willing to pay whatever fine they get for having a voice. Some of the berating is over the top, but for the most part, the coaches and players have a beef. C’mon NFL – let’s get to the table and get this deal done.