NFL Referees & Calls & Penalties

About Referees -Players – Penalties – Consequences

I want to believe that the rules of the NFL are there to protect our players. After all, how safe can you be when a 300 pound man machine is running at you to plow you over, flip you up and land on you in hopes you will drop the ball. But, don’t make all of these ridiculous rules – I used to be able to tell you if a players hair was safe to pull…it was at one time. You know if women were playing the game we would pull hair – “just sayin”. The next purpose of the rules is to ensure that the game is played fairly and the winner is indeed the winner. There have been some huge mistakes and one team has a nickname because of an obvious wrong call by the referee resulting in that team winning the 2002 Super Bowl.

I know it is very hard to put yourself in the “cheaters position” but let’s try for a moment. Let’s say that you are playing Little League baseball, you are ten years old. The umpire calls you out at first base but you know you were safe…your coach yells that you were safe…your parents yell that you were safe…your dad gets kicked out of the game because of his constant screaming in the umpire’s face. In the end of the day, simply said, “The Umpire is ALWAYS Right!” even when the call loses the game for your team. We don’t like it but really, if you were the other team would you walk right up to the umpire and say, “Sir, or Maam, that little boy was safe on first so please bring him back into the game so he can play?”

NO WAY!!! When the bad call goes your way resulting in your winning the SuperBowl = you are simply thankful that it went in your favor. You take the trophy and the new car and the extra money and you walk away knowing that it was your turn for the referees to shine down upon you. Next game you may not be so lucky.

I will not mention each particular team or player by name because the purpose of this article is to explain how the NFL does business, not to humiliate anybody.

If you (or your loved ones) played any sports you know that the “referee is always right” and if you argue with the calls loud enough and long enough you can be removed from the game – whether a player or fan. The coach and team owner can discipline players financially or even sitting them on the bench for a specified time. If the players (or coaches) behavior is public and grievous the Commissioner of the NFL can discipline the team, coach and/or player, even throwing them out of the game for the rest of their lives.

In the beginning of the 2013 NFL season the Referees Union went on strike. The referees wanted more money, well, don’t we all want more money! The first few games were called by replacement referees (one was a girl!). These referees were experienced as referees in other leagues so they only needed to brush up on a few of the rules…OH, wait a minute…the rules are so convoluted and twisted that nobody could really understand them. But, as I read more and more about the current NFL referees – Almost every article asks for the replacement referees to replace the actual NFL referees forever.

Does anybody really know how to get one of these referees fired? Shouldn’t the ref responsible for the wrong team to win the 2002 SuperBowl get fired? Maybe they can go back to referee school or maybe their bank accounts need a very thorough going over. The NFL itself has made statements following a game where a game changing call was made. The complaint by the NFL Referee Union is that the head office is telling the referee that they did the right thing but telling the media the opposite. This ambiguity leaves most of the fans feeling like Football is becoming too bogged down with rules. Sort of like trying to figure out if ObamaCare really is helping anybody.

The biggest focus in the past few years is on head butting each other- there are too many retired players who have injuries to their brains so severe that it has a name have a shortened life expectancy. Most players are in there early twenties when the frontal lobe of the brain is still developing. New research suggests that this portion of the brain is focused on the emotional center which in turn helps us all make better decisions as we grow older. “We” publish articles which in turn encourage responsible adults to do their best to protect the brains of the younger generation. Think about your own life…when did you start to “grow up” and appreciate your life and when did you decide to start smoking, doing drugs and getting married?

I am all in for the rule that protects brains. But, most of us watching games can spot the penalties that the referees do not call – some are right in front of their eyes almost so close they could touch the person. I see a lot of holding calls against one team but none against the other team. Do the ref’s have favorite teams or people? They are prohibited from any public display of any particular team as to keep the public from feeling the game is rigged.

Sometimes I think the game is rigged. The ref’s need to clean up their act. Just last weekend I watched a game where seven flags were thrown and then picked up later as a mistake…better than making a bad call in the first place.

Look at the scores of most games and you will see that it is unusual for a team to score more than four touchdowns (on a good day) so each touchdown is so awesome that it is celebrated – Big Deal!

Did you know that there are very strict rules about dancing around after making a touchdown? You can put your knee down and put your hands together in a show of prayer, thanking our Lord. But, you better not slide on your knees to get to that position – because sliding on your knees is a “no, no” and will give a penalty to the team – added to the position of the play at the kick off. Now, as a coach wouldn’t you be a bit mad about your player causing a penalty for such ridiculous behavior. Hey, I hate the rule – but if it is a rule and will affect your team – get off your knees until you “walk” to a position to praise your Lord.

If all this talk is confusing you – did you know that the Green Bay Packers have a special exception to the end zone rules – allowing them to do the Lambeau Leap – after the touchdown the players have special permission to leap into the stands because that was how they always celebrated a touchdown. How fair is this and who the Heck cares??? I think that some of the dancing around and all that is silly but to the players it is a huge accomplishment that they celebrate.

The NFL has made some calls that were so obviously wrong that they have branded teams as cheaters. Have you noticed that the coach covers his mouth with a clipboard or paper while he talks to the team…that is because one team was caught hiring a person who can read lips (obviously cheating). The teams are allowed to review the footage from previous games as they prepare to win their next game. They are not allowed to sit on a hill near the practice field and video the practices.

Lately, in the news you have seen players in trouble with the law for domestic abuse, theft and driving under the influence of illegal substances just to mention a few.  One very famous situation landed a player in prison for dog fighting. What possesses these highly paid role models to behave badly in pubic? The days are over when a player could beat up his wife and “get away with it”. Don’t they know that we are “being watched” with cameras in every elevator and on every street corner not to mention in the hands of every person with a cell phone. Maybe these players have had one too many concussions.

Simply said, we expect more from everyone involved with the NFL and other professional sports figures.

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