Staying quiet wouldn’t be an option for today’s NFL matchups, and as many of us know, bad calls have been ever-present lately – especially when it comes to controversial plays on the field. The emotions run deep when it comes to our beloved game of football, and when an official’s bad call costs your team a play – it’s like a knife in the heart.
I remember watching my team’s game this past Sunday with wide-eyed anticipation. It was fourth quarter, 3rd and inches on the nineteen yard line. My team was up by a touchdown, and it was do or die time. I glanced nervously at the clock, watching anxiously as time ticked down to the wire.
My heart nearly stopped beating as the officials threw a flag, immediately followed by groans of defeat from the crowd. The penalty? Unnecessary roughness. I felt my pulse begin to race, and I could feel the anger beginning to bubble up inside of me. Was this really necessary? The foul in question was extremely minor – a minor shove in the back that couldn’t have possibly affected the play.
Seeing the ref’s call was like seeing red; I just wanted to throw something at the television. I couldn’t believe how physicality of the game is policed at such an extreme level – it’s almost like the referees are trying to make these guys out to be robots instead of athletes. But it is what it is – sometimes it’s just a lousy bad call that turns the tide of the game in seemingly unpredictable ways.
It was too little too late for my team – the bad call crippled the momentum they had going, and of course, my team lost by a hair. It’s miserable knowing that a hardfought win was snatched from the jaws of victory due to a bad call, and it’s infuriating seeing the refs have so much power over the game.
I do realize that a bad call is part of the game, and sometimes the calls are called fairly. And that’s all and well, but at the end of the day it’s a tough pill to swallow when all your blood, sweat, and tears going into cheering for your team end up going to waste because of a ref’s bad call.
New questions arise for me. Is the access to instant replay available to the officials after the play? Will the NFL do anything to eliminate these sorts of errors? What is the turning point for bad calls? After reflecting on the game, all I can do is hope that next time, the refs will make the call correctly, because any team – no matter the skill or level of competition – can you take motorhome to nfl games lose due to a bad call.
The time for real change needs to happen now, so teams are not handicapped and penalized due to referees’ errors. First of all, I believe that the NFL should expand instant replay access to officials immediately following the game. If instant replay is available to the officials while the game is in progress, than incorrect calls – as well as any bias – can be easier regulated and ultimately reduced.
It is also important to ensure that officials are well-educated with rules and nfl saints fake injury regulations of the game itself. It’s easy enough for an official to miss a fumbled ball on a blitz, but when it comes to rules and regulations, there should be no excuse for an official to miss a call due to personal bias or lack of understanding.
I’m a firm believer that officials should spend more time intense training and strictly-structured simulations, so that their calls reflect the true nature of the game and not just their own judgement or opinion. The bottom line is that no team should lose because of a bad call – everyone should get a fair chance to compete.
It’s heartbreaking when an official’s bad call costs your team a play, and that’s why I think the NFL should do everything in its power to eliminate bad calls from the game. There’s no telling what the future of the NFL holds, but if the League is serious about protecting its athletes and the integrity of the game, then steps need to be taken towards preventing bad calls from happening.
We all know that bad calls can be a major game-changer, and very rarely do they end up benefiting the team. Deep down, I think it’s what we all want – for the players to be able to play football without the threat of officials’ poor judgement impacting the outcome of the game.
Having access to instant replay has already drastically improved the accuracy of calls, as well as the officiating process overall. But if the NFL wants to make sure bad calls don’t have the same impact in the future, then it needs to keep pushing innovation and technology to keep the game fair and balanced for all players.
Expanding training and education for referees, along with utilizing high-tech cameras and other gadgets, could ultimately make bad calls a thing of the past – and that’s a future I can get behind. Football is all about competition and sportsmanship, and eliminating bad calls is the first step towards a more enjoyable and unbiased version of the game we know and love.