After three weeks of regular action in the NFL, the biggest story is without doubt the replacement refs—whether it’s from questionable calls, their inexperience, or the lack of respect they receive from players and coaches. There’s no denying that replacement refs are holding the 2012-2013 NFL Season hostage, but are they really that detrimental to the game?
For the first two weeks, their calls were frustrating, annoying, and just a talking point for sports writers and analysts. Then, there was the Monday Night Football game in Seattle. As the Packers and Seahawks played an incredible four quarters of football, the game was decided in the final seconds—a blown call by the officials that cost Green Bay the game.
Everyone is talking about this debacle as they should. While we understand that these are just men trying their best in filling in like a substitute teacher, the fact of the matter is that they are destroying the NFL, and here are the five reasons why:
5. Player Safety
Are there moments when we think that the league goes a bit too far in player safety? Sure. However, the NFL has made sure that as of late player safety was a top priority, hence the fines and suspensions that we’ve seen as of late.
So, how can you preach player safety when you have refs that are unqualified to throw out penalties during a game, or lack of, like the illegal hit on Darrius Heyward-Bey during the Pittsburgh/Oakland game? That’s not even mentioning all of the skirmishes between players between plays.
4. Bringing Out the Nasty
Fans, coaches, and players realize that officials make mistakes, but these replacement refs are bringing out the worst in people. Would Bill Belichick ever grab an official like he did after Sunday night’s loss to the Ravens? Would players be so vocal and angry during and after the game with regular officials?
Let’s get back to Monday Night’s fiasco—the way Pete Carroll and the Seahawks gloated in their sneaky win. The way they lied and played dumb about the botched call. They knew they caught a break. Instead of admitting it like professionals, they acted like a bunch of weasels getting away with taking candy from a baby.
3. Turning the League Into a Joke
The NFL has infamously been called the No Fun League, but that sounds better than turning the league into an absolute joke. Having replacement refs shows that the league doesn’t care about it’s players, coaches, or fan-base. Because if they did, they wouldn’t have let unqualified officials deciding the fate of games. In short, this whole thing has become one big and unfunny joke. And if everyone thinks you’re joke, then how can you ever be taken seriously as a professional sport?
2. Costing Games
This was the biggest fear for everyone: the replacement refs have cost a team a win. While there is plenty of football left to play, that loss could be the deciding factor in a division title or playoff birth. On the other end of the spectrum, it could award a team a playoff spot all because of a blown call. Look, you can’t blame the replacements. They’re just not qualified enough to officiate a NFL game, and that lack of qualifications could cost more teams an entire season.
1. Shows the True Colors of Roger Goodell and NFL
We’re not exactly sure why the league and the refs can’t settle their dispute. Isn’t just about pensions? The NFL makes more than enough cash to meet the demands of the officials, but they won’t budge, which shows the true colors of Goodell and the NFL.
They made sure that there weren’t any missed games last season during the lockout. Why? Because they knew it would cost them. But, what does replacement refs cost them? Nothing. We’re still going on like nothing’s wrong. We tune in every Sunday, buy tickets to the games, and purchase merchandise. Goodell and the league don’t care about it’s integrity. Or player safety. Or how much outraged fans, the media, players, or coaches are getting. Money is being made, and that’s all the NFL really cares about.
Image Source: Business Insider
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