I honestly can’t imagine what it must be like to be a fan of the Detroit Lions today. Even after two full days to let it go, I’m guessing there are many in the Great Lake State who still feel sick about the pass interference call that wasn’t.
They know as do I that one play does not make a whole game but the again how do we really know this? I don’t know what the Lions would have done on the next play had that been properly called defensive holding as Vice-President of League Officials Dean Blandino explained.
At worst, the Lions would have been inside Dallas territory with a first and ten had the defensive holding call been made. But this call and those egregious ones like it aren’t really my point today.
As fans, we are the ones guilty of allowing this type of thing to continue happening to professional football. We are the ones who tolerate our teams being cheated out of opportunities and we are the ones who have allowed NFL Commissioner to ruin the game in the name of ‘player safety’ in an effort to save money.
Every time we tune in and every time we buy the newest NFL apparel we just give our approval of what is happening on the field of play.
If you read my stuff often then you already know I think instant replay challenges are the worst things to happen to sports in a long time. My basic principle as to why starts with the fact that often, they still can’t get the calls correct.
There’s much more to it than that, but that’s the gist of my displeasure as far as instant replay goes. All officials make mistakes and all officials make poor calls and my contention is that if players can screw up then so to can officials.
Players make errors on every single play in the NFL yet they are not held to the standards of the officiating crews. Maybe in the film room they are but not in the court of public opinion where Pete Morelli has been torched at the stake in effigy.
That’s a far as I can go with defending NFL Officials.
Now that I’m ready to lay the lumber let’s start with the aforementioned Mr. Blandino. By now, you already know the story of him partying with the Dallas Cowboys’ top brass earlier this summer. You want to talk about a poor choice? Bingo.
I’m not saying Blandino can’t have a drink with officials from any team but it doesn’t look good at all when you’re out late boozing it up. That was a very poor decision by Blandino.
His on-filed issues are just as bad and they reared their ugly heads this past weekend. Morelli’s poor officiating over-shadowed the fact that officials in all games suddenly forgot about all those ‘illegal contact calls’ they made at a record pace this past regular season.
Go back and watch any of the Wild-Card games and you’ll see more grabbing than a teenage boy in a high school dance. Why emphasize it so much if you are going to let it go in the postseason?
Let’s also not forget the sudden subjectivity of a rule that penalizes players from coming onto the field without a helmet. Dez Bryant came onto the field to protest a call while his defense was on the field. Bryant was not flagged and Blandino explained that this call was subjective based on each particular official’s decision.
You know and I know, the official was intimated and wasn’t going to flag Bryant because he’s Bryant and because he’s a Cowboy.
As fans, we have only ourselves to blame for the current product because no matter how bad things are we just keep coming back for more.