Chris Saxman: Cold Fusion-Replacement Referees Edition
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And we’re back…
Strange isn’t it? No one is complaining about any, and I mean ANY, decisions made by the referees in the National Football League. (If you don’t watch the NFL, you will need to stick around for this one…bear with me…) Naturally, some people might not like a call being made because it went against their team costing them yardage or even some points. No real complaints though.
Part of the game, right? Sure…we don’t like it to admit when our team makes a mistake and rarely, if ever, do people offer up – Yeah, we got away with one there, how about I buy you a beer and we’ll call it a draw. No way does that ever happen, right?
How many Seattle Seahawks fans bought a round of beers for Green Bay Packers fans after the game ending call on the Hail Mary pass that clearly was in the possession of the Packers’ defender? How many? Zero!
Heck, some retired referees defended the call! The problem was that one referee called the pass incomplete and one called it a touchdown for Seattle while the Green Bay player had the ball!
Those were the replacement referees, not the REAL NFL referees who have been back for several weeks now with, to my knowledge, zero complaints registered.
The reality is that the NFL referees, like Major League Baseball umpires, and most professional sports leagues have well trained, competent, and hard working enforcers of the rules. Without them, the games would deteriorate into mayhem since rules could not be enforced with any objectivity.
That would devolve into an unpleasant mess which would turn fans away from realizing the negative entertainment value resulting in a business without revenue. Right? After all, we have other things to do than watch bad refs blow calls and make games arbitrary and unfair.
In our house, we have four kids that play sports. Two girls and two boys. The sports have been baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, and football. I have coached in all but volleyball and lacrosse. We are well seasoned parents that root more for the quick conclusion of a practice, game, or season rather than dwelling on EACH and EVERY call made during EACH and EVERY game.
With four kids playing on, at one point, six sports teams, we’re pretty much there to watch the game, cheer for our kids, and NOT get caught up in Crazy Parent Reliving Their Childhood Syndrome.
We scoot our chairs or bleacher seats down from them. Don’t get me wrong, we follow the games closely and I can get pretty loud at times at bad calls or great plays. Okay…okay…I can get VERY loud especially when I’m off my meds….
Like this past weekend. Briefly – our youngest son – John, 10 years old. Little league football. Game 9. Long season. K? We’re 6-2 going into this game. Playing for playoff position. Worst referee in the history of little league football. Ever. Never stops clock. Tells you there are four plays left in the half. Huh? Four plays? We asked how much time was left. Four plays. Pulling. Hair. Out.
After the game, I told the disappointed Spartans that both teams had the same referee and we were outscored 12-9. Them’s the breaks…
On the way home I thought to myself – no, that’s not right. At all. We have coached these kids to play the game a certain way. The right way. According to the rules. How to block, tackle, run the ball, pass the ball, catch the ball, and what is against the rules. Get knocked down, get back up. Work hard. Team ball.
When the referees determine for themselves how they are going to call the game, who can provide sufficient, effective input to achieve a fair game?
Did Saturday’s game count? Sure. In the standings. But not to me. Losing a game like that is easy to shrug off because the relative importance was so small.
When the stakes are much higher and far more important, one would suspect that the referees need to be that much better trained and free from outside influence, right? Remember the replacement referee who said he was a New Orleans Saints fan on his Facebook page? Yeah, he was not allowed to referee a Saints game.
With me so far? Good. Go to your favorite local bookstore or go to Amazon.com and order the book – The Payoff – Why Wall Street Always Wins by Jeff Connaughton. h/t Jonathan Martin from Politico.com.
Great read. Not disturbing as much as it is confirming. Maybe more like indicting – irony noted since there haven’t been any from the economic collapse.
I just finished my copy and am happily, blissfully returning to Crazy Parent Trying to Save My Children’s Future Syndrome.
We need simpler, tougher rules and referees with instant video replay – in our financial system.
No matter who your team is, you’re going to need to have a chit chat with them to remind them that the game had better get cleaned up or you’ll be finding replacement players.
“YEAH DAD…Like I’m Totally Not Even Kidding” – Nora, the Amazon (age 13). Save her future.