I am a long-time Seahawks fan. You know, the team that got screwed out of the playoffs one year because the referees mistook Vinny Testaverde’s green helmet for a football or where the umpire couldn’t get the game-time right or in a Super Bowl were penalized for an illegal block which is ref speak for “being a Seahawk and tackling a Steeler with the ball”. But of course we all forget that and instead remember how the Seahawks are THE team who benefited from the replacement refs on one play.
So now that coaches are allowed to interfere with a punt runback (even though the rulebook says the coach shouldn’t have been on the white area so “ooopsies” fails as an excuse) and that it is unfair to a team to take 30 seconds to clarify which of the two downs represented is the reality, can someone please remind me how awesome these refs are?
NFL refs have always been more questionable. They are part-timers – which makes sense, since they only work one day a week – while other leagues have full-time refs. But the one game a week leads to rustiness due to lack of practice.
The sport has developed into something far too complex to be officiated any better. Before long, we’ll be going to the videotape after every play and having a 7-man conference before any decision can been reached. That may be high drama and entertaining for the fanatics but I’ve gotten to the point where I just say “C’mon, let’s move it along” about 10 times in every game.
First of all, it’s untrue that they only work one day a week during the season. They only officiate a game one day a week, but they spend much more time than that, during the rest of the week, on being an NFL official. It’s not like they walk onto the field at noon on Sunday, having not done any preparation, or spent any time on their officiating job, since leaving the field after the previous game.
Didn’t the NBA add in a ref at some time? Used to be 2, now is 3?
Maybe the NFL needs to do something like that. Although, I guess we could argue that the replay ref is an extra ref added in since many of us first started watching NFL.
Even the Replay Ref gets it wrong sometimes, tho. In the last two seasons, incl playoffs, I’ve seen bad calls upheld or good calls overturned, imho. Even the TV commentators (and they are hiring some pretty good extra experts now) were surprised at some of the decisions. I don’t think number of cameras (or position) is a factor anymore (correct if I’m mistaken).
More refs? More specialized refs? Clearer rules? More coach’s challenges? It may just be the best we can get as it is.
The decisions on replay reviews are actually made by the referee (on the field), after viewing the videos. There is a replay official (in the press box) who assists with supplying the videos, and is responsible for calling for a review on a questionable call during the final two minutes of each half (and in overtime), but it’s still the referee who reviews the videos and makes the final decision.
Other than the replay official, the last time the NFL added in a new official was 1978, when they added the side judge. There was some experimentation with an eighth on-field official during preseason games a few years ago, but it apparently wasn’t seen as adding enough value.
A doper shared that with me offline and I just came in to post that. An interesting read, for sure.
I marvel at how good of a job these guys do most times. They usually get it right the first time with out the benefit of slow motion and multiple angle review and when that’s required they employ that correctly as well. Yeah, it’s not perfect and occasionally a mistake is made but all in all they add infinitesimally more than they take away from the game.
The NBA has been using 3 officials for at least 10 years, probably closer to 15. (late 80s or early 90s?)
The football refs are specialized They each have specific areas of responsibility with little overlap. I honestly believe that if you had anymore, they’d step on each others calls. If you think it’s bad now, wait until one official sees something that the other one didn’t. As a former umpire, I can tell you when an ump blows his assignment and makes a call that’s not his, and then your partner makes the opposite call… it’s pandemonium no matter how obvious the play looked. The one position that could probably use some help is the umpire position; but that would be troublesome because the umpire sets up on the defensive side of the ball. At some point referees just get in the way. The line judges and back judges are out of the way but the umpire is usually in the thick of it. The only thing that would make it better is to just re watch every play in slo mo; but how fun would that be? The officials do a pretty remarkable job all in all.
Because only the Seahawks, and no other team in history, has ever been the victim of bad calls in the post season.
I’ll echo the others, go try it. Whatever the local sports officials group is where you is, I’m certain they’re hurting for warm bodies. With so many high schools getting field lights, all the games are on Friday nights, and each one needs a crew of five.
Experience the asshole with absolute authority yell in your ear for two hours. Learn how your focus on the ball carrier for an accurate spot obscures the blatant hold three feet away. Count to eleven, then realize you messed up counting to eleven. See armored high school boys careen uncontrollably toward your feeble legs.
In a sense, they didn’t benefit at all. As it was, the Seahawks finished 11-5 and got the first wildcard. Had they lost against the Packers, they’d have finished 10-6, and still gotten the first wildcard.
Of course, change that call and there’s no guarantee that the rest of the season doesn’t change, as well.
One winter when I was stationed in NYC there was an official who was retiring after that season. The word was he was working on his retirement fund. I don’t know if that’s true, but I just bet the underdogs would beat the spread on any game he was working. I made a grand that season.