Before you make that see-the-regular-refs-miss-calls-too joke, please read this checklist
The Kansas City Star
Well, the NFL owners made it official that they wasted all our time and blew at least some of our trust by giving the locked out referees most of what they asked for, notably the continuation of a pension program that will roll into a 401k.
And at some point, perhaps as soon as tonight, the “regular” refs will miss a call and someone out there will say something stupid like, “See? We should’ve just kept the replacements.”
So with that in mind, I would like to preemptively say the following:
Did the missed call clearly cost one team the victory, like happened in Seattle?
If overturned, was this the fifth overturned call in the game, the last of which was so obviously wrong that hardly anyone bothered to celebrate it, like happened in New Orleans?
Was the missed call a helmet-to-helmet hit so vicious it took Darius Heyward-Bey out on a stretcher but did not draw a flag, like happened in Oakland?
Was a coach given two replay challenges he didn’t have, like happened in Minnesota?
Is the ref constantly referring to one of the teams as “Arizona,” despite the game being between Atlanta and Baltimore?
Was a defensive player called for unsportsmanlike conduct after a quarterback kicked his helmet off, like happened in Green Bay?
Did a mismarked penalty give a team an extra 12 yards on what turned out to be the game-ending drive in overtime, like happened in Tennessee?
Did the refs call two different two minute warnings in the fourth quarter, like happened in Philadelphia?
Are the players so obviously disrespecting the refs to the point that the game is being played differently and liberties are being taken that they otherwise wouldn’t dream of, like happened all over the league?
If the answer to all of these questions is no, then shut up.
Of course the regular refs are going to miss calls. They’re not perfect, never were, never will be. But this has never been about perfection. It’s been about competence.
It will be nice to see competence again.