I decided to give myself a day to try and digest the cluster fluff that was last night’s officiating but the more I think about it, the more confused I get. Did that honestly happen or was I just growing delirious as Monday Night Football dragged into Tuesday Morning Football?
Honestly, I do not even know where to begin. Maybe with the fact that the replacement officials huddled together after almost every whistle as if each call were a team effort and they were too nervous to be authoritative on the field and needed the support and confirmation of their fellow replacements.
Then there was both teams’ first touchdowns coming after video review reversed the initial call on the field. Michael Turner’s first touchdown was ruled good, to minutes later be overthrown after video review showed him just shy of the end zone. He would go on to score on the next play.
I also don’t know if on the first, second, third, or tenth replay, you noticed how intensely the official appeared to be staring at the line as he called Demaryius Thomas’ touchdown for the Broncos out of bounds. Apparently his intense staring got in the way of his ability to see Thomas did in fact land with both feet in bounds. Again …(in my most faux chipper voice) …video review to the rescue to overturn the replacements call on the field. Touchdown granted.
Then there was the post fumble scuffle in the first quarter where players and coaches came off the benches to get involved and *insert gasp and hands over mouth motion* one of the replacements hats got flicked up into the air. The replacements were confused who had recovered the fumble; a Bronco player emerged with the ball but Falcons were awarded possession. Thanks for the possession replacements, but with all the turnovers in this game, we probably could have recovered the ball quicker than the 6 minutes it took yall to restore the peace on the field and administer the call.
In this scrum, players were shoving, hands were on the officials, coaches were on the field, and punches were being thrown. It is undeniable that the players tested the officials limits in week one and its almost as if they now know what they can get away with. If the referee lockout is not solved, I fear that the game is going to get increasingly dangerous each week as the rough play worsens and players continue to get away with it. More and more players are going to be injured with this ‘anything goes’ mentality.
The NFL argues that the amount of calls for roughness and dangerous play are on par with what they were two weeks into last season and that the replacements are doing a decent job. They feel that as with any season, and any officiating, there’s room for improvement. They also try and argue that with the fines in place for dangerous play and the opportunity to suspend players for such play, players are aware of the possible repercussions and therefore will not test the waters. Ok NFL…whatever you say.
The replacements are just not qualified for this level of play. These are collegiate level, free agent officials and it shows. In Monday night’s game, they mistakenly imposed collegiate rules to the NFL league. The penalties assessed for NCAA play are not interchangeable at the professional level. That’s like a high school math teacher not knowing how to separate the formulas of geometry from those of algebra. Come. On. You’d think the league would have at the very least given them a crash course in the difference between NCAA rules and NFL rules. Is that too much to expect?
With the amount of time I spent screaming at the TV “What are you doing?!” last night as if the replacements could hear me and would answer back, I could sit here all night and list examples of error after mistake after blunder…just from Monday’s game alone The one that was really the icing on the cake for me? The replacements giving the Broncos an extra 6 yards as they spot the ball way off of where the official line of scrimmage should have been. An extra 6 yards isn’t a mistake, it is an indisputable fact that the replacements need to be replaced.