Last year, during the NFL Lockout, the players and the league couldn’t agree on a deal. This year, the referees and the league can’t. Because of this, the league has been forced to used replacement officials until both sides can work out a deal. At first, it was just supposed to be for the preseason, but now it’s guaranteed that we’ll be having replacements officiating at least for the start of the regular season.
The 2012 NFL preseason has been full of mistakes and miscues made by these replacement officials. It’s frustrated coaches, players, and fans to the point where many are nervous about their teams being put into jeopardy come the regular season.
This isn’t just bad judgment calls, but it’s more of an inability to properly dissect and evaluate situations to make the game continue in an orderly fashion. A great example of this happened during the fourth preseason game between the Giants and Patriots where the refs were unable to quickly come to a consensus on the penalties that occurred on the play. This resulted in a rather humorous dictation by the ref, who was unable to make sense of what had just happened. For the average NFL fan to turn on a game and watch someone babble on nonsense and make incorrect calls – that really takes away from the league’s integrity and paints a bad picture.
The inexperience of the referees doesn’t just affect the efficiency and time spent dissecting plays, but also can change the outcome of the games. This has already happened numerous times in during the preseason. In the week one preseason game featuring the Bills and Redskins, the officials placed the ball at the twenty yard line, indicating a touchback, after the Bills’ punting unit downed the ball inside the five.
Also in the week four game between the Rams and Ravens, the referees allowed returner Asa Jackson to tip a short field goal attempt back in bounds to himself and attempt return the ball for a large gain. However, Jackson stepped out of bounds before picking the ball up, which would therefore be a touchback. The officials, however, handed the Ravens the ball at the spot that the kick had been
attempted from. The miscue by the officials cost the Rams over 30 yards in field position, the kind of mistake that could have changed the entire momentum of the game.
Just one play could take a game away from a team, and in the NFL, one game is the difference between winning and losing a division, and making or missing the playoffs. Something like this is putting the games in jeopardy and this cannot be tolerated in the National Football League.
Get the deal done.