Sports Perspective: NFL needs to throw the flag - The Explorer: Sports

Sports Perspective: NFL needs to throw the flag

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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 4:00 am | Updated: 4:19 pm, Wed Aug 29, 2012.

With only two weeks until the season opener, the lockout of NFL referees continues. Since June 3rd, the referees’ union has been negotiating with the NFL and they haven’t gotten much closer to a deal since then.

The NFL wants to turn most of the current officials from part-time to full-time employees. The league also wants to add twenty-one more officials to the roster to reduce the stress and travel demands. The problem is that the salary increase that the NFL is proposing is only 2.8% - not worth the officials giving up their other jobs. There is also the issue of pensions which the league wants to turn into 401k’s instead.

Since the beginning of the pre-season we have seen the progression of terrible calls from the replacement referees. These same referees are scheduled to take charge starting week one of the NFL season if the lockout out doesn’t end. All we can do as fans is hope that it ends, because otherwise we might be in for the most injuries and most ejections in NFL history.

For as much effort commissioner Roger Goodell has put into protecting the players, it is astounding that this lockout hasn’t been resolved. After suspending and fining players for late hits and excessive contact, you would think the last thing he would want is inexperienced referees who have proven that they miss those kinds of calls. However, the lockout continues and the NFL plans to begin the season with the replacement referees.

As the NFL season opener on September 5th comes closer and the replacement officials continue their mistakes, there’s a chance that the NFL will cave in to the demands of the officials. That is exactly what the referees are waiting for. We have seen missed calls and penalties that have altered the results of games, but never have we seen so many gaffes in a short two week span.

The mistakes began at the coin toss when a replacement referee announced the Saints had won the toss when the Cardinals actually won it. Another replacement referee referred to the Atlanta Falcons as the Arizona Cardinals. Even a passionate football fan without any refereeing experience could handle those simple tasks.

The slip-ups continued as the New York Giants’ punt returner was called for holding. Something I don’t think has ever been called in NFL history. So, if nothing is done about the referee situation at least they’re making history.

However, the scary part is that there have been multiple late hits on quarterbacks that haven’t been called. For the league who has dedicated their time to protecting the players, it seems like common sense to make some concessions to the officials and pay a little extra to shelter the players.

It seems like the NFL is missing the big picture. Fans pay for tickets and NFL gear because they love their teams. They love their teams because of the players. If star players suffer season ending injuries or worse, fans will stop coming to the games and the money will stop flowing. The NFL should settle their dispute with the referees quickly and fairly, before a major injury occurs.

Looking forward, the regular season brings a much higher level of pressure to the referees and a much quicker tempo to keep up with compared to the pre-season. Thus far, the replacement referees have struggled in games with no importance and not a significant amount of fans. So, what happens when the lights are on and 75,000 fans are screaming?

The fact is, the NFL becomes a much more dangerous place with these replacement referees and the outcome of games can be determined by one little mistake. Is it really worth not paying a little extra money to the real referees to maintain the safety of the game? Especially when the league is already facing thousands of lawsuits from former players on health issues. One thing is clear, unless the NFL gets the regular referees back out on the field quickly, they could be in for one of the longest and most painful seasons in history.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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