On Monday the NFL sent a letter to all 32 teams about coaches, warning them about bullying and berating replacements officials into making calls.
After the debacle on Monday night where John Fox and Jack Del Rio were visibly upset by a number of calls and the refs clearly lost control of the game, the NFL sent another second letter reminding everyone of the first warning. The Thursday league wide memo went out to owners, general managers and coaches.
“We contacted them to remind them that everyone has a responsibility to respect the game,” NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson said Thursday night, ESPN.com reported. “We expect it to be adhered to this weekend and forevermore.”
Pardon my language, but what a bunch of bull you-know-what!
“Respect the game,” really? How can the NFL say those words with a straight face when they haven’t respected it themselves? By continuing to use replacement officials the NFL is sacrificing the integrity of the league, period. If the league wanted everyone to respect the game, then they should get the regular referees back to work as soon as possible.
If you’ve been watching you know the replacement officials have been an absolute failure, yet the league keeps insisting they’ll get better with experience. Just by saying those words proves the NFL knows these refs are not up to the standard needed and the product is suffering.
How long do teams, players, and fans, have to wait until they get it right? And by the time they do, will some teams season be affected? Will they come to their senses if a player is seriously hurt? We came extremely close to that when they failed to call a clear unnecessary roughness penalty on Golden Tate’s hit on Sean Lee.
I’m not blaming the replacement officials for any of this, they are doing the best they can but anyone can see they’re in over their heads. With this memo the NFL is confirming that. If the league wants its teams and coaches to respect the game, perhaps they should give them a reason to. Otherwise this warning wreaks of desperation; the kind you get when you know you’re wrong.
I love the NFL as much as anyone but the officials are becoming more of a story than the games, that needs to end. The NFL rarely swings and misses but this is a big whiff.
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