Second String Refs
September 18, 2012
Filed under Sports Minute
“It’s like, maybe you can cook, but that doesn’t mean you should start a restaurant.” That’s a quote from Ryan off of The Office. I know, it’s not a real popular quote, but in the episode where the office is making a commercial, Ryan tries to tell that to Michael Scott who is attempting to hijack the creation of the commercial from the professionals hired to do it. I love The Office. It is definitely my favorite show. It has a lot of good comparisons to things in life, too. Like in this quote. I was watching the episode in which this quote is from and thinking that its totally a good comparison to the situation with the replacement referees in the NFL.
Now I understand why these refs are being used, but it’s plain to see that something has to be done. Yes there are bad calls here and there, and frankly everywhere, but this all stems from the regular officials feeling that they are underpaid by the league. However, where this differs from what I talked about in my last column, I side with the referees on this one. These guys take more flack than anyone in the league. Think about it for a second. How many times do you hear a player complain, or a coach complain, or that guy down the street who roots for the rival of your favorite team complain how his guys got homered. Every time a ref blows his whistle half the people watching agree and half the people watching disagree and it’s always going to be that way. The referees of this age of instant replay are under so much scrutiny that they deserve some better compensation. All you need to do is watch one game that is officiated by these replacement refs and you will agree.
The microcosm, if you will, of this whole replacement refs situation came just yesterday. Saints fans were preparing to watch their team play in Carolina against Cam Newton and the Panthers. All Saints fans were excited about the game, including Brian Stropolo…a man slated to be the side judge for the game. Apparently, the NFL has him slated as part of the referee crew for the Saints game without knowing he was a die-hard Saints fan. In fact, according to ESPN, he posted that he would be officiating the Panthers v Saints on Facebook, which is a direct breach in contract. Stropolo cannot ref another game until the league finishes reviewing his case. The real crazy thing about all of this is that the NFL scheduled a Saints fan to ref a Saints game. It’s bad enough that there are officials making blatantly wrong calls, but now we, the fans, have to worry about possible other fans of the opposing team throwing flags on our beloved team. I really feel like the NFL needs to settle with the real refs and let’s stop the fooling around.
In some positive NFL news, the Atlanta Falcons improved to 2-0 last night against the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos. Atlanta got a solid performance from Matt Ryan and Roddy White and the defense forced a handful of turnovers early that really opened up the door for the offense to grab a big lead. Peyton Manning staged an attempt at rising from the ashes late, but fell short. Denver’s offensive line looked very porous against the Falcons D as there were plenty of red jerseys harassing Manning in the pocket forcing him to make hasty decisions that led to turnovers and incomplete passes. Kudos to Atlanta, they’ve had a good first two weeks to start the year and Matty Ice looks real nice.
Quick baseball note: how about those Braves? Still clinging to life in the division race with Washington, Atlanta sweeps the Nationals and pulls within 5 games of the division. A month ago it looked as if Washington was going to waltz into the playoffs as the Eastern division champs, but it looks like there may still be a dogfight ahead. Atlanta has had some really good pitching lately backed in large part by Kris Medlen. My roommate, a rather big Braves fan, said that he thought Medlen should be their number one starter in the playoffs, and you know what? I do not disagree with that statement. In the last ten games in which Medlen has started for the Braves, Atlanta has gone 10-0. That’s right, undefeated in the last ten Kris Medlen-started games. Sign this kid up for ace of the staff!
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