September 16, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz (left) argues with referee Richard Nicks (70) during the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The Replacements

 

If you haven’t noticed yet, there has not been any progress in the lockout between the NFL and its Referees. This may not appear to be a HUGE deal to most, but it is definitely impacting the game in a negative way. In an attempt to flex their strength, the NFL League office is doing more damage to the game than good.

5 Reasons the NFL needs to strike a compromise with the league officials:

1)      Missed/Phantom Calls

During Week 1 and Week 2 games, the officials seem to have been missing a lot of obvious calls.  Most of these calls are pass interference, unnecessary roughness, and down by contact related calls.  All of these calls can be game changing due to the immense yardage they net.  The referees have also been making calls that are inaccurate costing teams yardage when there was no foul committed, (not to mention accusing players of committing a penalty when that player isn’t even on the field.)

2)      Calls are Taking Too Long

Not only are the calls inaccurate, but they are taking a VERY long time to make these bad calls.  This shows that the officials are uncertain and have to spend extra time discussing the legitimacy of a call.  This can slow the momentum of the game and create player frustration since it always seems as though there is confusion around EVERY call.

3)      Leads to Unnecessary Challenges

Every coach is allowed 2 challenges per game, and these challenges can be very important.  Challenges can also cause a team to lose a timeout which can prove to be devastating down the stretch.  Every missed call, or incorrect call, whether it’s a fumble, or even a bad ball spot, can lead to a coach using their challenge to get the correct call.  This is unnecessary since the call should have been correct in the first place.  This has to be very frustrating for coaches all over the league.

4)      No Respect by the Players

The players know what that can get away with so they will continue to push those limits.  A lot of the dirty plays we’ve seen are a direct result of players thinking: “The refs are letting us be physical today, let’s see if they flag me for this.”  The very next play someone is held trying to catch a pass, or a defenseless player is drilled, or a QB is drilled to the ground… and no flag is thrown thus continuing the cycle of dirty plays.  Until the players respect the officiating, dirty plays will continue to happen.

5)      Overall Integrity of the Game

As Joe Flacco said in his post-game interview on Sunday, the lack of reliable officiating has led to everyone questioning the integrity of every penalty, placement of the football, the time left on the clock, or anything that the referees are in control of.  Since the referees can directly impact the results of a game, it is imperative that the BEST officials are available to make certain that the integrity of the NFL can remain intact during these games.  The integrity of football was questioned during the era of performance enhancing drugs and the NFL resolved that very severely.  This debacle should be resolved with similar enthusiasm by the league office.

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