Football Contraversy

 What’s wrong with this picture?  One ref signaling a touch-back and one signaling TD.  Sadly this was just one of the many bad calls during last nights game. 

As a Steelers fan I realize that any opinion I have regarding the Hawks is automatically null and void, so I won’t even offer my opinion as to if they actually won the game or NOT.  (I will give them credit for an impressive display of defense the first 1/2 though.)  

This moment has been building since the very first pre-season game.  There have been missed calls, calls made that never happened, players called for penalties that were not even in the game at the time, extra challenges given to coaches, penalty yards marked off from the wrong spot and on and on.

I don’t blame the refs though.  I would actually like to thank the replacement refs for being willing to cross union lines (not an easy choice to make) and knowingly take on one of the most hated jobs in sports (that of a ref/official) while learning a whole new rule book and procedures.  I believe they are doing the best they can given the circumstances, and if they had not been willing to fill in then we may not even be watching football right now.

I’m afraid it is going to get worse before it gets better.  It’s pretty obvious that the players have very little respect for the replacement refs, and the fact that coaches are being fined for mistreating the refs shows they have zero respect for them.  It’s a perfect storm of ego and frustration building and I’m afraid it’s going to get really ugly.

The bigger issue is the NFL, or whoever it is that is responsible for deciding to bring in replacement refs and not give the “real” refs what they are asking for, thinks it’s ok to give the fans a sub-par product.  I mean no disrespect to the replacement refs in saying that.  Again I think they are doing the best they can given the situation.  Fans pay a lot of money to go to games and purchase jerseys etc.  We should not be subjected to consistently controversial miss-handled games. 

I may be a Steelers fan, but I’m a football fan first.  I love the game of football and will watch HS, College, NFL it doesn’t matter…I love the game.  I feel like the powers that be have made a joke out of it.  The NFL refs are not asking for much…they want to be treated like “real” employees and have benefits and retirement and be paid for the off-field time they are expected to put in.  Let’s give them what they deserve, get them up to speed and back out on the field, and stop making a mockery of the game.   

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