Week #3 in the NFL saw the most mishaps to date which is why the further along the season goes, the more it seems inevitable that sports historians will find it necessary to put an *asterisk on this season’s games. Every game, no matter who is reffing, will have its share of questionable calls but it seems more and more this year that some of them have been ‘game changing’. Which leads us to our first reason why the replacement refs need to be replaced:
1. Game changing calls can, in some instances, put a team into the playoffs that shouldn’t be there and put others that should on the charter flight back home.
2. The Monday Night Football game between the Packers and the Seahawks. Two refs in the end zone and each with a different take on the game-ending play. The call that stood was, of course, incorrect, making Russell Wilson the first QB in NFL history to win a game by throwing an interception!
The picture of ineptitude has one replacement ref signalling for a Touchdown while the other is calling for a Touchback. Roger Goodell, unforunately, is the only one who can change this situation. Photo: AP
3. On the Redskins final drive vs the Bengals in their week #3 loss 38-31 , an unsportsmanlike conduct call by the refs resulted in a 20 yard penalty instead of 15. What’s worse is that the refs never explained who the call was against nor what the penalty was for.
4. Two ‘extra’ time outs were awarded; one to the Ravens in their game vs the Eagles in week #1 and the other to the Seahawks in the game vs the Cardinals also in the same week.
5. Oakland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey was sent to the hospital with a neck injury after Steeler safety Ryan Mundy’s helmet-to-helmet hit in the Raiders week 3 loss. No flag was thrown on the play!
6. An ESPN warning to the NFL eliminated Brian Stropolo from reffing the week #2 Saints-Panthers game when it was discovered that the ref was an ardent Saints fan on his Facebook page.
7. Completely out of timeouts, a replacement ref awards two replay challenges to the 49ers in the last several minutes of their loss to the Vikings in week #3.
8. Tennessee got an extra 12 yards marked off on a penalty by a replacement ref in overtime in the week #3 game vs the Lions. The ball was placed on the Detroit 29 yard line instead of the Detroit 41, thus slowing the drive towards the Titan’s winning field goal.
9. All five challenges in the Week #3 Chiefs-Saints game were overturned ‘upon further review’.
10. Excessive penalties/Flow of the game- With some replacement crews calling as many as 20-25 penalties a game, and then deliberating with each other for several minutes on most of them, it has affected the flow of the action and impeded teams in hurry-up offenses by completely eliminating the element of surprise.
Scenes like this where longer than normal discussions following penalties have become commonplace are disruptive to the flow of NFL games. Photo: zimbio.com
The product that the NFL puts on the field every week is beginning to lose some of its credibility. The rumblings from the fans and the media after each game are getting louder and more frequent. It is time for Roger Goodell to step up to the plate and do the right thing before the replacement refs make a mockery of the most popular sport in this country.
Goodell needs to come off of his white horse and fix the mess he has created; and quickly! The fans as well as the players shouldn’t have to suffer because of the commissioner’s ineptitude…