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How NOT to Referee a Professional Football Game

NFL Referee charade has gone on long enough
(Justin Edmonds-Getty Images)

Regardless of who you were rooting for, the Green Bay v. Seattle game Monday night was a stunning example of why the referees strike HAS to be settled!

Yes, I am a Green Bay fan. However, the game was decided by the men in stripes, not the players on the field. While I am not a television expert, I did play football for many years, including college. I coach and have studied the game for countless years. Here’s where the refs screwed up, especially in the 2nd half:

  • When Green Bay was driving in the 3rd quarter for their go-ahead touchdown, the phantom pass interference call on Seattle was unbelievable! The defender reached in just as the ball got there and knocked it out. Yes, even as a Green Bay fan, it was a bad call. Very bad.
  • The roughing call on Green Bay’s Bobby Wagner. He was clearly in the act of charging towards Russel Wilson, did not make contact with his head or helmet, and momentum carried him into his legs. Wilson fell to the ground, uninjured. The bogus call took away an interception.
  • The 4th quarter 32 yard defensive pass interference call on Green Bay. The receiver clearly came over the back of the defender, and even grabbed his face mask. He had the inside position on the ball, and both defender and receiver are entitled to go for the ball. Missed that one.
  • Then the clincher in the end zone. Even if the Seahawks had possession in the end zone, which they did not, Sidney Rice pushed off against Sam Sheilds #37 for Green Bay. The replay clearly showed he pushed him in the back, to where Sheilds stumbled and fell, before attempting to grab the ball. Clearly offensive pass interference.
  • Then when Green Bay defender had the ball in both arms against his chest, that takes precedence over Tate having his arms on the ball. One official called touchback while the one who was behind the players signaled touchdown.

Even ESPN subtitled it’s breakdown of the game “Replacement Refs Decide Game as Seahawks Top Packers On Hail Mary.”

  • Seattle was flagged 13 times during the game, and probably half were not penalties, including two suspect holding calls during one of their third quarter drives.

The situation has grown to the point where NFL Commissioner Goodell needs to step in and settle the referees dispute. ESPN Commentator Charles P. Pierce wrote a scathing column blasting Goodell and the replacement referees, and hilariously pointed out the “scabs,” as he called the substitute refs, appeared to have been chosen because they all had the lucky number on page 42 of their program.

The referees nearly destroyed a classic finish Sunday night between Baltimore and New England, and their shockingly ridiculous mistakes ruined what had been a tense, defensive struggle and chess match between Green Bay and Seattle.

It’s as if now, we fans almost expect something stupid or screwy to happen with the officials during every play, in every game. Ridiculous. Goodell needs to act NOW.

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