NFL officiating is a farce and the lads are back on the court
If you saw the end of the NFL game on Monday night you saw the greatest ripoff perpetrated by pretend referees in the history of all professional sport and it wasn’t such a travesty on such a grand scale, you’d have to sit back and howl in laughter.
Two refs – more used to doing NCAA DIII and high school games – come over, check out the end of the play, look directly at each other and one signals interception and the other signals touchdown.
They got to the replay booth, of course, and the verdict is the call on the field stands and a zillion people go:
“Which call, you idiots?!?!?!?!?”
Seattle gets the touchdown, wins the game, and the NFL suffers a blackmark that may never go away.
You all know that I think refereeing professional sports – in particular basketball – is one of the hardest jobs in the world and if we’ve learned anything over the first three weeks of the NFL season, it’s that you need professionals to do it.
Now, I’m not saying regular refs don’t blow calls but there is no way they blow that call that way; the two guys LOOKED AT EACH OTHER before making contradictory calls.
It is entirely conceivable that the Packers, now 1-2, could miss the playoffs by a game, or at least be involved in a dicey tiebreaker, and this blackmark isn’t going away any time soon.
The replacement situation has decline so rapidly it’s not even funny. The game is too fast for them, a lot of the calls are peculiar if not phantom and it underscores for all fans that good referees run games well. Pure and simple, they are the best at their jobs and the product suffers when they aren’t working.
The dispute between the league and its officials is simply about money and for a league with as much money as the NFL has, it’s utterly ridiculous that it’s come to this. It strikes at the very heart of sport – honest competition decided by players – and it’s becoming a joke.
The NFL, frankly, is in a sorry state and this is just exacerbating it. You’ve got a huge problem with concussions and players as missiles and bounties and I’ve warned before that incompetent officials are going to make the game more dangerous than it already is because they are so over-matched.
This whole mess is in the lap of the commissioner and if Roger Goodell doesn’t do something quickly, his legacy will be lost.
End of rant.
(Words I thought I might not write until spring)
We don’t get in to see them, but I have a sneaking suspicion that these five-on-five scrimmages the lads are going through at the “informal workouts” would be just undisciplined enough to drive a coach batty.
Sure, there’ll be some intensity – some, not a lot – but because it’s mostly fun and quite apart from a regular practice scrimmage when there’s always a coach around to blow a whistle and restore some order when things get a tad ragged, I would bet coaches bite their tongues while watching.
Dwane Casey kind of confirmed that yesterday when someone (E.Koreen, I believe) asked if he could envision an “identity” for this team.
“I’m going to withhold comment until we get started for real because some of it is good, and some of it is not so good. I like the pieces that we have so far, I was watching the individual workouts and them going up and down scrimmaging, playing pick up games.
“There are a lot of things we’re not going to allow to happen once we go five-on-five but I like the spirit, I like the camaraderie and the guys voluntarily coming back and getting together and playing this way.”
Kind of damning with faint praise but a coach is always a coach.
You know how we mentioned briefly the list of top sitcoms yesterday?
I’m thisclose to pitching one about the pugnacious buffoon Mayor and his equally bullying but less accomplished loudmouth councilor brother and how all they do is rant and rave and threaten and make an absolute joke of themselves while purporting to run the most significant city in a country.
Trouble is, there isn’t a producer in the world that would buy it; it’s too outlandish and incomprehensibly impossible that no one would believe it could happen.
All we truly need is Barry Bostwick and Michael J. Fox to show up in Toronto; they'd look like the greatest leadership team of all political time.
So, you want to know what Raptors training camp is going to be like?
Intense, with a few big decisions made quickly, or so Dwane told us yesterday about figuring out who plays where and with whom.
“Probably, before Halifax is over with, we’ll have a good feel of where we are and who we want to have. It’s not going to be to the point where a guy is clearly going to beat out another guy, we’re just going to have to have balance between our first unit and our second unit, both offensively and defensively … We did not have last year.”
Looks like we may have some work to do down there; hope it doesn’t get too much in the way of seeing what Halifax has to offer.