For the ADHD crowd, y'all may wanna stay away. Gonna be lengthy. Sorry about that. Moving over the jump due to that fact.
Yep, without a doubt the refs blew the game tonight. There are a great deal of "however"'s in there. Other than no kidding playoff implications for W's and L's, this really has no forbearance on our Texans.
I will ask this question to all the armchair "pros" among us. Have you ever tried to officiate any game at all? It's very tough. I'm incapable of comprehending what those guys are going through. I officiated a soccer game one time and was told I "should go be fisherman and not referee" Guy from eastern Europe was absolutely correct. I called a crappy game. To spite knowing the rules inside and out, I did a bad job. That's all there is to it. It's a pressure situation nobody knows how to handle until placed there. So to quote Ditka "Stop it!".
Do they belong in the National Football League? Nope, as evidenced by the game tonight. But it's not an easy job, and there is a reason they ref for high school and low division college games. They just aren't that good. I find no fault in this. The National Football League told them (paraphrased) we'll pay you a lot of money if you take this job. DUH!!!!!!!
Argument 1). I've got an issue with players, not owners or share holders, jumping up and saying the integrity of the game is compromised. (Even though to an extent it is, I will concede this). But the rules of the game are the rules of the game. Each and every player knows what they can and cannot do. This is by default the definite meaning of the word integrity. For those of us that served in the military, Integrity was generally summarized to say "do the right thing when nobody is looking". Unless you are Cortland Finnigan who stated that he wanted to be the dirtiest player in our game. As much as I hate to admit this, at least he was honest and made zero qualms of it. PRIME EXAMPLE: I'm willing to bet the majority played a little football in some shape or fashion. Whether it be in school or a friendly pick up game. We generally respect the fact that the QB has to stay behind the LOS prior to passing the ball. We as players, for the most part, are more than happy to concede the fact that if a QB in a pick-up game throws beyond the LOS, it's a null play and depending on what rules are set up in advance may or may not be penalized. Just an example. But more to the point, we officiated ourselves as you did as well. I didn't need a guy in a black and white shirt to tell me I was down. It was just accepted I was down.
Arguement 2). Ref rebuttal. I can completely see where the "real" NFL officials are coming from a pension stand point. The NFL made an error in paying these guys a pension to begin with. At the same time, I can completely understand that the officials are angry over the cut. For as much as we root for Foster, Johnson, and the like, the officials are part of the game. Like it, don't like it, it's all up to you. They are supposed to be unbiased. I'll say however, that's just about impossible. I for one, find it very tough to go into a profession such as officiating a game and not liking the sport in and of itself. Especially when it's a team oriented sport such as football. The love for the game most likely leads to a love for a team. If any doubt this (aside from being a professional gambler) why are you reading this blog?
Argument 3). We are just as much to fault. I'm not gonna sit here and blow sunshine up skirts. So long as the owners are making money, they could care less about what we as fans think. It's an irrelevant subject. When I say we are just as much at fault, I mean that we will continue to watch and go to games. Not gonna lie, I watch every darn game I can because I love the sport. I don't care that some guy is getting rich off of me. It's a piece of my childhood I would really like to re-participate in. Thus I make an effort to live vicariously and make the same statement most of you do at any point and time in a game. "I wouldn't do that" or "Coach would have had my ass for that one".
Plain and simply stated in closing. The current officials have no place being on our sacred turf. Regardless of the fact that they are inept to handle to position granted to them. I feel as if they are making a true effort. Do I myself get angry? Yes. Fact of the matter is though, they suck, but they do try. Not so different from an NFL team I root for each Sunday.