All the frustration with the NFL’s replacement officials came to a crescendo Monday night during the Falcons and Broncos game in Atlanta. A plethora of complaints including no calls, missed calls, errors spotting the ball were heard and even a brawl almost broke out on the field.
“I’ve seen monkey-shit fights at the zoo that are more organized than this.” –Movie “The Replacements”
That quote comes from the move “The Replacements” which was about the 1987 NFL players strike when professional players were replaced by NFL “wannabes” temporarily. Now that was something to moan and groan about NFL fans. The quote was a description of the product on the field and perhaps could describe what happened Monday night in Atlanta.
My question for NFL fans is, would we have been willing to delay the start of the 2012 NFL season to allow the NFL and the officials to hammer out their labor differences? After what happened with the players lock out last year? No, I didn’t think so. So perhaps it could be worse.
Understand that I’m not interested in defending the replacement refs at all but I do think they are doing a decent job considering the difficult situation they were thrown in. I suppose my expectations have never been very high for them which leads to less disappointment.
Unfortunately the term “replacement” insinuates that we are settling for a mere substitute which I think leads to an abundance of scrutiny and second guessing that may not have been so prevalent with the regular officials.
And Monday night it didn’t help matters that rules analyst Mike Pereira, a former official, is second guessing every call and just basically aggravating the crap out of everyone and only getting us all worked up. I think his role to second guess and interpret calls is a horrible idea. It makes me crazy listening to him say that the refs should have put the ball on the 25 yard line instead. blah blah blah. Do we really need a rules analyst? It’s about as enjoyable as listening to a back seat driver.
It’s a safe guess that Pereira (former VP of officiating) is not on the side of the scabs. Mike tweets (while drinking a cocktail BTW) and serves as a back seat driver to the referees at the game. HERE
So anyway I think Pereira’s mission is to make us all think we can’t survive in life without the regular unionized officials that are evidently genetically engineered to call NFL games. No one else can possibly learn to do it unless they have the right DNA recipe or something. Replacements are just mortals right?
Now indulge me as I get a little philosophical. NFL fans, like our society in general, have developed over the top expectations for all occupations. For example, just let some teen mess up our order at the drive thru and it is on! Which is an attitude that has got us to the point now, of reviewing every stinkin’ play by video and dragging a game out for 5 hours like our very existence is dependent on the outcome of the game.
A lot was made this week of replacement refs that have favorite NFL teams on Facebook and fantasy players etc. So are we to believe that the regular officials (who are evidently genetically engineered to call NFL games) don’t indulge in any NFL games away from officiating? Really? Well that’s difficult to believe. Can robotic officials be very far in the future?
Why do I like the replacements?:
So here is why I think I like the replacements. They do occasionally make mistakes which I can actually relate to, they are real NFL fans too, and they remind me that even if my favorite teams loses, life goes on.
Replacement refs also remind us that no one has guaranteed us fairness in life or a level playing field and no one can guarantee a perfectly officiated mistake free football game either. Like the coaches and players, officials will make mistakes.
So NFL fans lighten up, laugh, and just roll with it when the mortal replacement refs screw things up for your team. Afterall, no one likes a know it all anyway.
And for Pete’s sake, keep Mike Pereira off my TV!