Monday, November 22, 2010

NFL needs to address officiating

By Jeff

If you watched the Pittsburgh Steelers-Oakland Raiders game yesterday, you know what I'm talking about. The Steelers were penalized 14 times for 163 yards and the Raiders were tagged for 55 yards on seven penalties.

"Who missed that last play?"
The number of penalties weren't the problem. The calls themselves were the problem. Several Steelers players were given 15-yard personal foul penalties for what looked like regular football plays. James Harrison tackled Jason Campbell. He didn't drive him to the ground maliciously or hit him in the head or knee. He just tackled him and was flagged for bringing all of his weight down on the quarterback. Would it had been legal if he only came down with 72 percent of his weight? The penalty cost the Steelers 7 points as Ike Taylor intercepted the ball and returned it for a touchdown.

There were too many questionable calls to point them all out. There just isn't enough time or space, and it will just make me angry.

The blame falls on the league as well as the officials. Players believe they have a legitimate argument when appealing the ridiculous fines they receive when they weren't penalized on the play. I think the NFL is countering this by telling the officials to throw more flags, even if there is some doubt as to whether the play was illegal. The result is the plethora of flags you saw in Pittsburgh yesterday.

Fortunately for the Steelers, the game was only close in the first quarter. Despite all the penalties, the Steelers dominated every aspect of the game and came away with a much-needed victory after last week's performance. But what if this game went the other way, or Pittsburgh lost a close game? The refs would probably would need to enter Witness Protection had that been the result. Angry yinzers are dangerous yinzers. They act and speak way before thinking even crosses their minds.

I expect the league will review the game and send another apology to the Steelers, like they did after two bad calls almost cost the team a win against the Cincinnati Bengals. But that doesn't cut it. It's OK for now, because the Steelers won both games. But if multiple poor calls lead to a Steelers loss, who cares if the league comes out and says, "Oops"? They can't go back and replay the game.

The NFL needs to fix this problem that's developing. I'm all for protecting players from helmet-to-helmet hits, but at some point they need to let these men play football without the fear of being penalized for clean hits.

Kings of Leon - King of the Rodeo

1 comment:

  1. NFL is such a joke. Slightly off topic, but with Seymour's recent $25,000 fine I really think they just throw at a dartboard to determine how to discipline players.