The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Column: Is it finally time to replace the replacement referees?

Casey (The Empathizer) says:

Referees call a touchdown after Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate pulled in a last-second pass by Russell Wilson to defeat the Green Bay Packers Monday. Photo courtesy John Lok/MCT
By now football fans across the country have cried out for the return of their regular NFL referees, blamed the new referees for their teams’ losses, and cursed them up and down.Don’t blame the new refs, take your anger out on the NFL who has held up contract negotiations with the referee’s union, deciding to start the season with many refs who had never officiated a game above the college level.

Fans need to understand that the element of human error, and we all error because that is human, is magnified more this season because broadcasters highlight their lack of experience in professional sports.  According to CBS Sports, replacement refs have the same amount of flag issues as official refs from last season.

Reaching its boiling point on Sunday, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, put his hands on a ref at the end of the game trying to halt him from leaving the field.  Yes they should have reviewed the play, but again this is where the human element comes in.

For years fans have complained and bemoaned the fact that refs screw up calls and cost teams games, but no one is perfect.  Are these refs perfect?  No.

Week in and week out they have blown calls, delayed games, and become indecisive in their decisions, reversing them multiple times, but nothing can prepare them for a national spotlight like this.  Handing out multiple extra time outs have become common feature for them, including Sunday’s 49ers game, but just like regular refs, all they can do is apologize and admit they were wrong.

Monday night’s Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks game may have finally pushed many casual fans over the edge about the replacement refs, but again, don’t blame them when the NFL is the one holding the regular refs back.

If not for last years labor strike with the players, the NFL may have been able to give in to the refs demands, but they are out for their revenues. Any delay in the season because of the refs would hurt their checkbook, so to make money they gave us the undertrained refs.

Roger Goodell has finally realized the problem and has stepped in to mediate the situation between the parties. The damage is done the fans and the players are up in arms about the officiating, with multiple tweets after Mondays game being shown on Sportscenter.

The NFL knew this coming into the season that they were going to be on a learning curve throughout the season, and national broadcasts have magnified the problem for them.

The game will never be perfect until a robot is calling it. Until that day, remember that sometimes human element swings in your team’s favor. Consider that when you are cursing them out for a bad call.

Nathan (The Critic) says:


Stomp, stomp.


If there was ever a rallying cry the NFL should listen to, it’s the overwhelming chant that echoed across the entire stadium on Sunday night in Baltimore during the Ravens and Patriots game.The frustration of the crowd, players, coaches and even the NBC commentators was evident. Much of the second half was awash with Chris Collinsworth and Al Michaels lamenting the horrible state of the game they were broadcasting. It was a mess and though the refs were doing their best, it wasn’t enough.

Now that the we’ve endured the Monday night debacle in the Seahawks and Packers game, where the refs gave an undeserved win to the Seahawks, we’ve now reached a tipping point.

With the regular referees on strike, the league has had to adapt and hire officials that have no NFL experience.

It’s been an utter catastrophe.

The stats are surprisingly similar to last years referees with the amount of penalties called in the first three weeks. While this seems normal the stats behind the stats are where the issues lie.

According to sports commentator Bob Ryan, 80 percent of the coaches challenges were overturned on Sunday when reviewed by the booth officials. That is an astounding percentage of mistakes. The refs are not seeing things correctly and this is a fundamental problem.

When normally subdued coaches, like the Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, aggressively grab an official at the end of a game, something is wrong with the entire state of professional football itself.

That does not excuse Belichick’s awful behavior and he deserves whatever repercussions are headed his way, but the situation with the new officials has gotten out of hand.

While the referees are a problem, so is the behavior of the players and coaches. The general rule regarding the officiating of a game is that participants of the game keep their mouths shut when it comes to their opinions about the refs. Players and coaches are openly flaunting their disregard for the legitimacy of the new officials.

All of this leads to the main problem. There is a perceived lack of legitimacy to the game itself. While refs are often blamed by fans and commentators for being a deciding factor in games, their legitimacy was never challenged. They are now under the microscope and the entire culture of football has aggressively yelled back that they’ve had enough.

Football exists in a very particular bubble. It is a sanctioned, monopolized product that has achieved a level of cultural awareness unrivaled by any sport. The NFL is allowed to dominate their particular product. This often results in a balancing act of money and prestige. While lucrative, the game has to remain as pure as possible.

The NFL needs to get the professional referees back. Step up to the negotiating table and give them what they want. As the last few weeks have shown, they are an integral part of the football experience and their skills are worth the price of admission.

If this problem isn’t fixed soon, the NFL could be in a heap of trouble.
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