Usually when you start a new job, they train you. Someone sits with you at your desk and watches you enter invoices or data in a spreadsheet. A week or so later, they leave you alone, but probably do a quick double check on the work after you leave. By the 8th week, you’re pretty much on your own. Why? Because in most professions, and with most individuals, you get better the more you work at a job.
The replacement refs are this, in reverse.
This weekend, even before last night’s highway robbery, was a disaster.
Take Darrius Heyward-Bey, who after spending 10 minutes motionless on the turf, spent a night in the hospital recovering from a concussion and a strained neck. He was sandwiched on a vicious hit that was a textbook definition of a hitting a defenseless receiver. There was no flag on the play.
Take the end of the New England and Baltimore game.
Now, even with the regular officials, that field goal is still a judgment call. But considering in games earlier that day, the refs marked off penalties from the wrong spot and gave San Francisco extra time outs and challenges; the replacement refs don’t have a good track record when it comes to their judgment.
And then there’s the "Touception" heard ‘round the world.
It was an interception. Despite what the NFL may tell me, there is no question about it. Unless they re-wrote the rules on what constitutes a catch before the game started and didn’t tell anyone. It was an interception.
But there was so much more wrong than that. Have two members of an officiating crew ever called a different outcome of a play and not discussed who was right? Ever? Has a post-game television interview ever happen before the game was over? Have the refs ever forgotten to end a game and then have to scramble to figure out how?
The end of last night’s game was a disaster. The play was called incorrectly, the refs completely lost control of the game and the NFL has now released a statement stating that Golden Tate caught the ball.
Last night’s Fail Mary is a piece of the puzzle, a big piece, but just a piece. These officiating crews are getting worse and are directly affecting the safety of the players, like Heyward-Bey, and affecting the outcomes of games. It is time to bring the regular refs back. It. Is. Time.
Jayme Joers is a writer at CheeseheadTV’s Eat More Cheese and co-host of CheeseheadRadio. She also contributes to Pocketdoppler.com and brentfavre.com. You can contact her via twitter at @jaymelee1 or email at [email protected].
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