WILKES-BARRE, PA – There’s a problem in the NFL, folks.
Well, there’s a lot of problems, but I’m tackling one specific blunder this week: Officiating. It’s starting to get really bad, guys. The refs are costing teams games, and it’s happening all too frequently.
Here’s the latest edition of Ebs’ One Big Thing!
The NFL needs full-time officials. For the most part I had let what happened last Monday night go. But then I watched the Denver Broncos-New Orleans Saints game this Sunday and got upset all over again.
First off, I think we can agree that Richard Sherman should have been flagged for unnecessary roughness, along with being offsides, and Buffalo would have gotten a 15-yard boost instead of the five yards. Whether its dirty or not is not the point. It was an illegal play. Also, Dan Carpenter wouldn’t have had to have been removed from the field for a play if the unnecessary roughness penalty was correctly called.
But that’s neither here nor there.
Anyways, the Buffalo Bills get the 5-yard penalty and Carpenter leaves for a play. The spike transpires. Now, Carpenter’s back on the field and drills the ensuing field goal. Oh, but there’s a flag. The refs never reset the play clock and didn’t get off of the ball until there were four seconds left on the play clock. Delay of game.
— YardsPerPass (@YardsPerPass) November 8, 2016
You know the rest. Buffalo loses by six points. The game could have been different, but whatever.
Fast forward to Sunday.
The New Orleans Saints have their would-be game-winning extra point blocked and Denver picks up the loose ball and returns it for two points. However, it looked like Denver return man Will Parks steps out of bounds while running the kick. But during the review, the refs can’t overturn the call because he’s wearing white cleats. They can’t clearly tell if he’s out of bounds or not.
Now, who knows what would have happened in overtime, but we’ll never know because a man was wearing the same color cleats as the sideline. Seriously? Is this what the NFL has come to?
The NFL needs full-time refs, and desperately.
Not only are players physical lives in jeopardy due to poor officiating (Cam Newton), but some people’s livelihoods and well-being are on the line with these officiating blunders.
I know a lot of you don’t like Rex Ryan, but hypothetically, the Bills end up one game short of making the playoffs this year and then Ryan gets fired. I don’t think that’ll happen (I mean the fired part because Buffalo can certainly fall one game short) but it’s a possibility. And Buffalo can easily look back at that Monday night loss and think, ‘Boy, what if we got to go to overtime?’ Buffalo did have the momentum after all.
With New Orleans, the Saints could have been a half of a game behind the Atlanta Falcons for the division lead heading into Week 11. You don’t think that could come back to haunt them?
Hey, I know why these refs aren’t full-time. They like to have that second income. Who doesn’t want an extra $173,000 (the average referee salary in 2013) a year, plus their salary from their gig as a lawyer or a doctor, or whatever they do during the week.
Former head of officials Mike Pereira isn’t sure having full-time officials would improve anything, and uses NBA and MLB officials as his defense. He points out, in a conversation with MMQB’s Peter King, that basketball and baseball officials officiate games much more frequently and mistakes still occur.
Sure, but how often does a call get messed up in basketball or baseball to such the magnitude of the MNF debacle, Broncos return or Fail Mary? There have already been as many NBA games as there have been NFL games and I can’t think of even one example in the NBA of when the end result is fudged because of an officiating mistake. We’ve had one. and possibly two, in the NFL in less than a week.
I know some refs probably want to go full-time, and that might mean an influx of new officials in the future. Sure that’s a risk, but it might be worth it.
Certainly can’t get any worse.
EXTRA TAKE: I want to get real for a second with my video this week. And I understand that this really isn’t about sports, but look, I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but I’m going to give him a chance. We all should. These are tough times in our country and the last thing we need is to see this nation to split in two. Give the man a chance. I am. I understand Trump upset a lot of you on the campaign trail. He upset and disgusted me too.
But Ernie Johnson hit the nail on the head. Hopefully, President Donald Trump is different than the Trump we saw on the campaign trail.