For the first three weeks, the NFL season has been magnified by poor officiating from the replacement officials. Most of them referee some college and high school games. They are not meant for the NFL. Fines are being handed out left and right for even asking one of them a simple question during the game. Some calls on the field are absolutely terrible. Don’t believe me, ask any Green Bay Packers player. Late Wednesday night, the NFL and the NFLRA reached an agreement to end the lock out and let the real officials take the field again.
Thursday’s game on NFL Network, the Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens will have the actual NFL referees officiating for the first time this season. I wonder if the old saying, “Stick to your day job” still applies to the replacement refs?
What does this mean for Cleveland and Baltimore? The Browns are desperate for their first win of 2012 and the Ravens are good enough that it doesn’t matter who is officiating. Any Browns fan will tell you that calls on the field never bounce their way any way.
Still, it has to be refreshing to know that true zebras will be out there. The Browns cannot afford to have a ruling like the now forever famous Monday night game in Seattle four days ago. Can you imagine if that happened to the Browns on the final play of the game where an intercepted Hail Mary sealed their first win of the year? There would be a lot more than 70,000 voice mails to Commissioner Roger Goodell‘s cell phone. Each Browns fan alone would leave 10 voice mails guaranteed!
In a crucial divisional game like this evening’s, the Browns need every call on the field to be spot on. With Cleveland’s luck though, the 56 yard game winning field goal attempt by Phil Dawson will be ruled “No good”, when we all clearly saw it go through the up rights. Welcome back official NFL referees.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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