By Mark Pierce
I have yet to see any statistic concerning the topic specifically, and realistically speaking, the current sample size is much too small to draw reliable conclusions, but sheer observation might lead one to believe there is a direct correlation between an astounding increase in player injury this season and poor officiating by replacement officials. If that is the case, then what? Is the NFl responsible?
In light of the pending litigation by players against the league, wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) it be in the NFL’s best interest to bring back more competent officials? Especially were it to be proven that poor game calling specifically led to unnecessary injury? What is this chest beating by the league about? They are losing credibility in my mind every single second professional referees and umpires are not on the field. Could this really all just be some testosterone- fueled dick shaking contest? What is it that officials are asking for that’s so hard to swallow by the league? Is this really all about insurance coverage?
The players and the fans deserve better. Last week’s Giant’s game was the poster child for what’s wrong with this situation. The first quarter of the game took almost an hour. It wasn’t all action, believe me.
I saw Bob Costas on Bill Maher’s HBO show the other evening, and this was more or less the topic. Costas stated bluntly that he believed that when it came right down to it America wanted it’s football and injuries be damned. So there really would be no real significant outcry to change the game. But Roger Goodell and the league are so aware of the legal implications here.
Something is going to have to give. We are going to have to make changes or the game will not survive. Opinion will rise that too many people are getting wasted, physically. So let’s protect the players better. Give them more high tech equipment. Surely what’s out there can be improved satisfactorily. Let’s keep the game we love, but keep the players safer. That can’t be so hard, can it?
Oh yeah, and bring back the real refs.