I’m sure many of you expect this post to be about the Monday Night Football game between the Packers and Seahawks. But it’s not. And in truth I think that has been overblown by everybody dramatically.
We’re all growing weary of poor calls by replacement officials, but in truth the real officials have blown calls too, officiated poor games, and even cost teams results as a direct result of blown calls before. Remember Ed Hochuli’s inadvertent whistle?
Monday Night Football was definitely the biggest stage for it to happen, and coming on the final play the way it did really gives people something to latch onto, but in truth this hyperbole and vitriol stems from a build up of blown calls and crappy officiating and a general frustration from fans and media alike that no deal has been done yet.
Far worse calls have been made before under the watch of the guys we’re all clamoring to get back out there.
Instead I want to focus on another of the long line of calls resulting from the NFL’s endless obsession with removing any and all common sense from the officials.
Much like the catch from A.J. Green that was ruled incomplete, check this video of one from Mike Williams.
Again, if you showed that video to a room full of random people and asked them if he caught the ball, what would they say? Mike Williams clearly catches the ball, takes a couple of steps and is then hit, which dislodges the ball out of bounds.
It is an obvious catch and then a fumble, but instead, the NFL’s relentless pursuit of removing any judgment from things now means that to be given a reception you need to possess the ball for roughly a fortnight, and have a signed affidavit that it has been in your family for that same length of time.
The decisions are bad enough, and my broad complaint is that the NFL has broken its own rulebook with this silly pursuit of black and white rules in a game colored by shades of gray, but this has had other knock-on effects as well.
Defenders now know that they still aren’t beaten even if a guy makes the catch, they can spend the next few seconds clawing at a clearly caught football knowing that if they manage to prise it loose, there’s every chance that the officials will call it incomplete.
The NFL needs to get the handle back on when a caught ball is caught, and exercise a little common sense, so we can all get back to admiring a great play from the receiver, not screaming at the TV at what a terrible call it was.