Before the start of the 2012 NFL season, fans knew that replacement officials would oversee NFL regular season games. The efforts of these officials to officiate NFL games have been comical at best. Mistakes range from awarding teams extra time outs to assessing twenty yard penalties instead of fifteen yard penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct.
However frustrating these mistakes are at times, these officials have never cost a team a game. Until now.
The replacement officials directly affected the outcome of the Week Three game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks were awarded a game winning touchdown despite visual evidence that Packers’ defensive back M.D. Jennings intercepted the end zone pass. The two officials closest to the play had different rulings. The back judge signaled to stop the clock, and ruled that Jennings intercepted the pass .The field judge ruled that Seahawks’ wide receiver Golden Tate caught the pass for a touchdown. The referee confirmed the touchdown after reviewing the play on instant replay.
To angry fans (especially Packer fans) that want the regular officials back, you better get used to NFL coaches constantly screaming at these replacement officials. The fact is the regular officials are not coming back anytime soon. Do we really think the NFL cares about how bad their product currently looks to fans? The NFL is a multi-billion dollar organization. They have a monopoly on professional football. Roger Goodell could put my three dogs on the officiating crew to work a game between the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints. And guess what? We’re still going to watch that game.
The fact that the Packers, one of the league’s most famous franchises, had a win stolen from them by bad officiating is of little concern to the NFL. This isn’t to slight the replacement officials, but they are simply over their heads. No matter how much we complain, the NFL will continue to allow these replacement officials to be part of our NFL Sundays.
It has come to the point where I’m waiting for these officials to cost another team a game like they cost the Packers. It will happen again under these replacement officials. And after I get over my initial anger, I will continue to watch the NFL. And so will you.