Replacement refs ruining NFL? Think again
The Kansas City Star
Sure, the NFL’s replacement referees blew Monday night’s final play, ruling the Green Bay interception a Seattle touchdown, giving the game (literally) to the Seahawks, 14-12.
(UPDATE: NFL officially says its refs didn’t make mistake on TD call. For a good laugh, read Tuesday’s press release here.)
But with all the national outrage today over the refs - putting pressure on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to settle with the “real” refs - don’t lose sight of a few facts.
People are watching the NFL in near-record numbers. So the replacement refs haven’t hurt TV ratings, which is Priority No. 1 (and 2, 3 , 4 and 5) with the league.
Never forget that the “real” refs also have made mistakes in the past. Agreed, the number of egregious mistakes made in 2012 is way up over past years, but let’s not act as if the regular refs were even close to perfect.
While some NFL players claim the replacement refs are costing them games, don’t take that argument too far. More often than not, the teams that deserve to lose a game, lose a game.
Green Bay is a perfect example. The Packers looked horrible in Monday night’s game, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked multiple times in the first half. Indeed, the high-powered Packers offense scored only 12 points the entire game.
While the Seahawks were even more impotent on offense for much of the game, look at how they were in position to win the game: Green Bay couldn’t make a first down when pinned near its end zone at the end of the game and had to punt with little time left to Seattle.
The Seahawks got the ball near midfield and, on the final play, quarterback Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary pass. Receiver Golden Tate committed pass interference by shoving a Packer out of the way, and the rest is history.
With all that said, the NFL today is feeling more pressure to protect the “integrity of the game” by settling with the real refs. It may happen soon. But if it doesn’t, life will go on.
NFL games will continue to be played.
And fans will keep watching.