Thought #3- TO THE REFS: BE CONSISTENT
As we’ve all witnessed throughout this NFL season, the inconsistencies of the officiating crews have become a growing
problem. Everyone involved in the game has tried their best to overlook these short-comings and not place very much blame on game outcomes due to bad officiating, but it’s undeniable that serious changes must be made to how officiating crews call penalties and justify their decisions behind these penalties.
You could make the argument that a few no calls from last weeks Bengals-Steelers match-up was the difference in the outcome of that entire game. I’m not condoning the actions of the Bengals players nor do I think they didn’t deserve to have those penalties called against them, but the fact that Pittsburgh had committed some egregious penalties yet didn’t get called for any of it is disturbing.
If you call Vontaze Burfict for using his shoulder to hit Antonio Brown yet you don’t call Ryan Shazier for launching himself head first to hit a Bengals running back helmet-to-helmet, that’s a problem.
I’d make the argument that the Shazier hit was worse than the Burfict hit for two reasons.
-The NFL has tried to make player safety such a big emphasis, so much so that they’ve been very aggressive in calling any sort of vicious play. If they’re so intent on keeping the players safe, then why was Ryan Shazier able to get away with a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit that injured another player?
-Aside from the hit being highly suspect in the legality of the NFL rulebook, but it led to a Steelers takeaway. Not only did the refs not throw a flag on the vicious hit, but they gave the Steelers the ball which certainly played a role in the outcome of the entire game. Talk about rubbing salt in an open wound. I’ve heard the argument being made that the Burfict hit was against a defenseless receiver whereas the Shazier hit wasn’t. That may be the case in the NFL rulebook, but it seems highly hypocritical that with the NFL trying to protect its players from vicious plays that they would allow such a brutal hit that ended up changing the course of the game.
The moral of the story is, please be consistent with your calls! This game deserves to be played at a high level and fans, players and coaches alike deserve games that are won or lost by the team and not by a neutral influence. So for the NFL officials out there, please don’t allow games to get out of hand and be fair, but consistent with how you officiate the game.
I look forward to our match-up tomorrow and I hope it’s the beginning of our third Super Bowl winning run.