NFL season should continue…with an asterisk attached to the standings.

September 25, 2012 | Drew Forrester

The 2012 NFL season* is no longer just the 2012 NFL season.

It’s now the 2012 NFL season*, complete with an asterisk to denote the fact that a reasonable percentage of the games (three weeks worth up to now) can’t possibly be considered “legitimate” by anyone who has watched it all unfold since September 9.

Three weeks into the season, the Ravens are 2-1*.

Their record isn’t on the up and up.  They could be 3-0*.  Or 1-2*.

The same goes with virtually every other team in the NFL, but I’m citing the Ravens, here, because they’re the only team I care about.  But the other 31 teams are in the same boat as the Ravens.  They’ve been victimized by the replacement referees.  Or helped by the replacement referees.  Teams in their division have WON games because of shoddy officiating or LOST games because of it.

Last night’s debacle in Seattle (2-1*) cost the now 1-2* Packers a football game.  It might cost them the playoffs.  Or the Super Bowl.  It might make a playoff team out of the Seahawks, for example, who could somehow wind up with the same record as Green Bay at season’s end.

Nothing about the first three weeks of the season can possibly be considered “legitimate”.

Look no further than what happened to the Redskins at the end of their loss to the Bengals on Sunday.  A gross mis-application of the rules by the replacements might have cost Washington a chance to tie the game.

If it happened in Washington, it happened in San Diego, Dallas, Miami and Baltimore on Sunday.

It has happened just about everywhere over the last three weeks.

And that’s why the standings and all results in 2012 should be denoted with an *.  Dream with me for a minute on this one…let’s say the Steelers are found guilty of wire-tapping the visitor’s locker room at Heinz Field.  We’ll pretend that happens in week #13 of the 2012 season.  What would your response to that be, I wonder?  I know what I would say.  “Either just make them forfeit all home games they won or put some sort of asterisk next to their record and make sure history notes they were caught cheating in mid-season.”

We’d all expect something like that, right?

I would.

Well, history should note that none of the games in the first three weeks (and four, five, six, etc. if these replacement officials continue on past this weekend) of 2012 were “legit”.

It’s not professional wrestling, but it’s awfully close.

I basically predicted the entire final two minutes about five minutes before it happened on Sunday night from the confines of the press box at M&T Bank Stadium.  “The refs will throw a late flag or two to put the Ravens in field goal position and they’ll kick the game-winner at the buzzer,” I told both Nestor and Luke.


Now, let’s be fair and acknowledge that the late pass interference call on New England — the one that basically set up the Tucker 27-yarder to win it — was a good call.  It was.  But others on the drive before, where the Ravens scored a TD to make it 30-28, were absolutely horrible.

I couldn’t have come up with coup de grace, the game-ending field goal that just snuck (maybe) inside the right upright to give Baltimore the improbable home win.

Even with my wildest creative juices flowing, I wouldn’t have added the final stab of insult to the whole night by making the final kick so close that it actually might be questionable as to whether or not it was good.

I’ve watched it 15 times now and I’m not 100% sure it was good.  In fact, if the refs called it “good”, that tells me there’s a solid chance it wasn’t.  But I don’t care about that, really, because win or lose on Sunday against the Patriots, the Ravens are officially part of a 2012 season* that should be noted with an asterisk.

None of the games should count.

The season shouldn’t count.

The NFL has done the unthinkable.

They’ve f**ked up the best league in America.



8 Comments For This Post

  1. dave hittinger Says:

    Put an asterisk next to the entire NFL. 60 minute game with only 13:30 minutes of actual time that the ball is in play (S.I. study). Meaning starting players only plays on 6 minutes. We’re in love with video review and commercials. Very rare to have more than 6 plays run consecutively without some sort of stoppage. Going to a game in person is awful , unless you enjoy watching players stand around.

  2. unitastoberry Says:

    As a season ticket holder I would like to request a refund as should all ticket holders. At this point we are being ripped off and if this continues no one should buy tickets for next season.

  3. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    Attending games in person is actually very boring. Too much down time between commercials, time-outs, players standing around talking, waiting for the clock to restart. Tail gating is great before the game but I would much rather watch a game on a big screen. I agree with Dave, in person is awful, even more down time with the replacement Ref’s.

  4. justafan Says:

    Could you imagine Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Frank Gifford, or Keith Jackson calling these games? As Charlie Eckman would say, “It’s better than the movies.”

  5. Frank Says:

    Geeeeezzz Drew! You are so dramatic, now the entire season has an asterisk??? What about the “Immacualte Reception”? Does that season count? How about the “Tuck Rule” game? Does that championship count? Pittsburgh vs Seattle when the real refs robbed the Seahawks?

    People make mistakes, so do refs, and in the end I just about guarentee you that it will all “come out in the wash”, good teams will prevail – and a worthy champion will be crowned.

    You guys at WNST need to take some “happy” pills!!

    (DF: No…a worthy champion will NOT be crowned in 2012*…sorry. This season doesn’t count.)

  6. justafan Says:

    To further illustrate what Frank says, and your answer that a worthy champion will not be crowned in 2012, what about the time replacement players were used during one of the NFL’s labor disputes, was a worthy champion crowned then?

  7. tsnamm Says:

    The asterisk is absolutely correct…will it take a player getting grievously injured or worse before anything is done? Will it require the fans hitting the owners in the pocketbook? (unlikely as we are all such lemmings). The idea the “everyone makes mistakes” is irrelevant. Unskilled people make a lot more of them, and they are far more devastating.The NFL has been so successful they feel that they can get away with anything and the $$ will keep flowing in. Unless they are proved wrong I don’t imagine them doing anything about this.

  8. BudIce05 Says:

    (DF: No…a worthy champion will NOT be crowned in 2012*…sorry. This season doesn’t count.)

    What if (and that is a big “IF”) the Ravens win the Super Bowl will you still have the same opinion say about 11 PM on 2/3/13??

    (DF: To me, the whole season* has an asterisk because of the first three weeks. I’m not sure how much more clear I can be on that. The first 3 weeks were not “legitimate” results. Therefore, no matter who wins the Super Bowl, it’s tainted. I can’t be any more clear than that.)

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