Sometimes, it’s funny how life works out. I originally wrote this column on Monday afternoon, before the Monday Night Football debacle between the Packers and Seahawks. Before I get ahead of myself, let me make one thing clear.
Football fans, we have a problem.
Unless you’ve been living in JaMarcus Russell’s basement as of late, you’ve probably heard the complaining about the NFL’s replacement referees. And unless you’ve been talking to clueless troglodytes, you know that one thing is true: the replacement refs need to be replaced.
The current replacement refs are destroying the very fiber and integrity of the most profitable business in America, the NFL. For years, the NFL was viewed as the mecca of American sports because of the fair, balanced and competitive environment that the league had built. Sadly, in the matter of just a few weeks with replacement officials, the NFL has become the laughingstock of professional sports in America.
I know, I know: You’ve heard this all before. But this is a serious situation that needs to be fixed. And until it is, the NFL’s overall product will continue to suffer.
I’ve watched a lot of football in my lifetime and I can honestly tell you that the incorrect, game-winning touchdown call made in Monday night’s game between the Packers and Seahawks was the worst call I’ve ever seen in my life, hands down.
Green Bay offensive lineman TJ Lang tweeted after the game, “[Expletive] it NFL.. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.”
Sports Illustrated senior NFL writer Peter King referred to the call as “one of the great disgraces in NFL history.”
Believe me, that’s only a taste of the tweets that came out following Monday’s blown call. This latest gaf by the replacement referees wasn’t just a one-time incident, either. Instead, this incident is just the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.
If the players really were committed to getting the real officials back, they could have them by this Sunday. The players could simply take a stand against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league by refusing to play, citing safety concerns as the main issue. At that point, Goodell would have no other choice but to blink and reach an agreement with the real officials.
Until that happens, the players, coaches, fans and the NFL as a whole will continue to suffer, and the NFL will continue to resemble a circus moreso than a professional sports league.