Everyone and their mother are losing their minds over the travesty that happened last night in Seattle. Obviously, the replacement refs once again stunk up the joint and have officially decided an outcome of a game. While the replacement officials are awful and seem to be the major pressing issue in the NFL today, I want to throw out a couple of thoughts on why not only these officials have tarnished this entire NFL season, but why the NFL rules have done the same.
Credibility: Last night’s game showed that these guys (and woman) don’t know what they are doing.
Is it just me or are these officials getting progressively worse each week?
Several games this weekend featured over 20 total penalties. Are the teams playing this sloppy or are the officials just blowing most of the calls?
I will take the latter.
Most of the flags coming out of the officials’ pockets seem as if they are impulsive now because they were missing a plethora of holding, pass interference, and illegal contact penalties. The problem is, they don’t know what the penalties are.
Did anyone witness the “pass interference” call on Sam Shields against Sidney Rice last night? Last time I checked, the receiver cannot grab the defender’s shoulder and turn him away in order to try and catch the ball, yet Shields is called for PI.
In the Ravens’ contest against the Patriots, Lardarius Webb was called for illegal contact when the call should have been defensive holding. Then, as John Harbaugh tries to call timeout, he talked out of turn apparently and there was and I quote, “Unsportsmanlike conduct, on the defense, on the bench,” prompting the “Loudest manure chant I’ve ever heard.” – The great Al Michaels ladies and gentleman.
In the same game, Devin McCourty was called for a phantom pass interference call on Torrey Smith when he barely grazed him within the first five yards off the ball. McCourty never rerouted Smith, and played good coverage on him, leveraging him to the outside making it virtually impossible to make any play on the ball… because of good defense, not pass interference.
In last night’s game, we all know what happened, except for maybe Golden Tate who doesn’t know what we’re talking about in regards to him pushing Sam Shields about three yards away from the ball (That’s offensive pass interference by the way). The NFL has a rule that shows that N.D. Jennings did in fact win the tussle for the ball because he never lost the ball i the first place. While Jennings has the ball clinging to his chest, Golden Tate happens to throw an arm in the pile and all of a sudden, the officials have to make a decision. The image of the one official calling the play an interception and a touch-back, therefore giving the Packers the win, and the other side judge signaling touchdown will resonate for the rest of this NFL season. Here is the rule in case anyone needs a reminder:
Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 5 states:
“Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball.”
Golden Tate never had control of the ball at any point during that interception, he had control of M.D. Jennings who had the ball from the start. The NFL upheld the decision by the officials, therefore going against their own rules to give Seattle a victory they never earned. I wonder if they would have made the same call in Green Bay? Where has the credibility gone? Who is there to say Golden Tate wasn’t on the high school ref’s fantasy team?
If Roger Goodell sits in his office and let’s this situation go away without any significant progress in the referee lockout, he should step back and see what his league has become and do some serious reevaluations.
Side Note: Ravens fans, this is our crew for Thursday Night’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Have fun!
WWE- We Want Ed (Hochuli)