Monday, February 13, 2006

On NFL and officiating...

First off.... In the name of honesty, I am a Steelers fan. If the Steelers had lost the superbowl, I would not be as quick to complain, for fear of being called a whiner.

I have been watching football for over 30 years. Without exaggeration, I think this year was the year that takes the prize for the worst officiating ever. Not just the Superbowl, but all year long. There are clearly a lot of issues that need to be dealt with. I think full-time refs may be the answer.The fact is that none of us have a crystal ball. None of us know for sure how the game would have turned out even if the officiating was perfect. Oh sure, we can do the math and add and subtract the "what if" points, but that is assuming that every other play of the game would have been the same, except for the ones where there were bad calls by the officials. Big assumption. Who knows what the next plays would have been if those calls went the other way?


However, let's focus the attention on where it should be -- on the officials. The fact that they blew it doesn't mean that Steelers fans should be vilified. Should I stop being a fan because the refs are bad? What would you like a team to do on the field? Should they say... Thanks ref, but the call was a bad one so we are going to spot the other team some points?

Both teams played a hard game. Mistakes and bad plays were made on both sides. The Steelers pretty much let the Seahawks walk all over them in the first half. The Seahawks had some bad play calls and poor time management. One of the golden rules in all of sports, whatever level, is "Don't turn the game over to the officials". Teams can't do anything about that. All they can do is play the game and make adjustments as needed, which is what both teams did in the superbowl. The fans and the players aren't at fault, the officials are.

As a Steelers fan, I am ticked off that this victory isn't what it could be. The refs in this game have cheapened the thrill of victory. I can sympathize with the Seahawks and their fans. If it was the other way around, I would be screaming even louder than they. But the truth is, we have the outcome of the game as it was played and as it was officiated. None of us, as talented as we claim we are, can say what would have happened if the refs hadn't blown it. So let's give credit where it's due -- to the players on BOTH sides of the ball -- and point our anger and frustration where it belongs -- at the worst officials in NFL history.


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