Over-matched officials a recipe for disaster
The use of replacement officials to start this season is wrong, it’s bad and it’s fraught with peril.
Look, there are all kinds of issues I have with the NFL and while I used to watch it somewhat religiously, I have no abiding interest in it now at all.
It’s too violent, it’s too militaristic, the league seems to pay lip service to player safety while promoting the violence that makes it so scary and, frankly, from the few times I paid scant attention last year, the games are basically boring snoozefests.
That said, putting rank amateurs in charge officiating seems to me to be asking for disaster. The game is too fast for them, they are not used to the skill level of the players, the abilities they have and, from what I’ve seen and read, they are far too often over-matched.
And when you have human missiles running around at 100 miles an hour wearing armour with the sole intent of knocking the other guy senseless, I think you want true professionals in charge of policing the game.
I can’t get into the minutia of holding penalties or pass interference calls – both of which seem to be called on the whims of even the most experienced officials and could probably be called on every single play – but I do think experienced officials have a way of controlling game that rookies don’t have.
And you want people in charge to be in charge in all sports, there is a nuance to officiating any professional sport that can only be gained through experience, knowing how to read the tone of a game and the players, how to calmly diffuse difficult situations, when to “let them play” and when to crack down.
The trouble with questionable officials in all sports – and to get off track a bit this is particularly a problem in baseball – is when officials or referees or umpires try to “be” the game rather than just be a quiet “part” of it.
Replacement officials, by the sheer dint of their lack of experience, cannot do that and it will diminish the product.
And, just wait, the first time some inexperience football official blows a call that directly impacts the point spread.
That’s when you’ll see a settlement within hours because once the NFL starts screwing over the gamblers who have made the game what it is, serious trouble looms.
Okay, big day.
Kidlets on the streets, schools filled, please drive carefully and watch out for the little urchins and parents should not be too overtly gleeful when the children are first sent on their merry way.
But a little rejoicing once they’re in class is fully appropriate.
Oh, and if they go off to the halls of higher learning mimicking the Ramones, it’s all cool with me.
So Coach Steve (biggest Argo fan I know) and I are sitting in the joint yesterday afternoon (hello, Jack Astor’s Square One) watching the Labour Day classic and the waitress comes over.
“You might know what’s going on, Doug.”
“Or I might not.”
“Cory Boyd used to come in here all the time and now they tell me he plays in Edmonton. What happened?”
“Well, they gave him away. Cut him flat out. Stories after suggested he might not have been the nicest teammate in the world.”
“What? No way. He was a great guy. Tipped well, always friendly, brought good people in with him. Used to bring us coffee every now and then. Great guy.”
Now, you can tell an awful lot about people by the way they treat staff in restaurant and bars and even though I don’t know that I’ve ever spoken to Cory Boyd, he’s all right in my books.
Someone please explain to me how a little tiny rabbit ends up sitting statue-like on the sidewalk in the middle of residential Hazelville at 6 a.m. on a Tuesday morning?
Made Super Dog crazy and it didn’t seem to faze the little bunny one bit.
A fearless rabbit, it seems.
Not sure how many of you knew of the late Michael Clarke Duncan – he was the big guy in The Green Mile so I imagine a lot of you did – but you might not have known that he was a big NBA fan.
Never quite got the publicity of the likes of Jack Nicholson but he was around a fair amount; had one conversation with him and he seemed like quite a normal fellow. Big, but normal.
And The Green Mile was an outstanding movie, wasn’t it? One of the best of last few years.
And Duncan was married to that zany Omarosa woman from the one season of The Apprentice I watched with any regularity.
But a 54-year-old succumbing to a heart attack does make one sit up and take notice, doesn’t it?
Hey, Quebec Irregulars?
Go vote today, okay?