Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Take: Monday Night Football

I feel the need to chime in on a subject. Not feeling real creative yet, so no stories to share, but I do have a few opinions about a popular current event and I must clear the air. I’ll use my blog today to have my say.

Monday Night Football

Last Monday, the Green Bay Packers played the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks won the game by a score of 14 to 12. Everyone is up in arms because the last play of the game led to a call by one of the officials that changed the outcome of the game.

This happens all the time in almost every game that is played. The fact that this was a Nationally televised Monday NIght Game and therefore watched by a Nation of fans, coupled with the idea that the Referee, Umpire, Linesmen, Field, Side and Back Judges that regularly call the game are on strike, or locked out, which means basically the same thing to the fans and viewers, gave watchers a false reason to dislike the play calling.

But there is a difference. A lock out is when management won’t allow them to do their job because of some agreements and disagreements. A strike is when they won’t perform their job because of agreements and disagreements.

The fans don’t care which way it is because they think the replacement officials are doing a horrible job and the regular NFL employed officials, which are locked out, by the way, do a better job.

Case in point, an official makes a questionable call that dictates the outcome of a game on Monday Night Football. The fans blame the idea that these replacement officials aren’t as good as the ones they are replacing, and that if the regular officials were calling the plays, the other team would have won the game.

What do they think? That the regular officials that are locked out of their job won’t ever make a mistake?

Look at the Armando Galarraga no hit baseball game that wasn’t a no hitter because an Umpire missed a call. This happened on June 2, 2010. Galarraga, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, had retired 26 batters in succession. No walks, no hits, no errors. When the 27th batter, the last batter, that if called out, would have led Galarraga to a perfect game, a feat that is not very common in Major League Baseball, and a milestone in anyone’s baseball career, the Umpire at first base made a glaring error in a call.

The Umpire, Jim Joyce, a seasoned Veteran Umpire that has been calling plays in Major League Baseball since 1987, made a bad call. The fans knew it was a bad call, the announcers did too. Everyone knew it was a bad call and that Mr. Joyce, the Umpire, had made a mistake on a very very important decision.

The next day, Joyce apologized to the player as he realized his error. The game where he made the error went down in the record books with the errant call intact. Even an admitted mistake in officiating didn’t change the outcome of the game.

The Green Bay Packers need to get over it and live with the call as it was made and determined, whether it was a mistake or not, and whether it was made by replacement officials or not. They are NOT going to change the score of the game because of it.

I have an opinion about the play itself. As I saw the replay, and remember, the camera shots you get to see on TV are not scripted, they are at full speed and at the angle the camera gets IF it is pointed at the play or a part of it, the receiver had a hand on the ball and the defender also had his hands on the ball. When the players came down in a heap, the defender was on top of the receiver and the receiver had his hands on the ball.  Joint possession. The decision favors the receiver, by rule.

As the defender rolled off of the receiver, he then had sole possession of the ball. But at the time of the end of the play, they both had the ball. It is simply an opinion that the defender had more of the ball than the receiver. An opinion made during a highly stressful time of a highly contested play in a game that is played and decisions made very quickly.

So, wrong or right, it’s over. It won’t be reversed. Live with it.

The worst part of the matter is that the officials that are locked out by management are sitting there wanting to work and do their job but can’t because management wants to make more money for the owners and pay the officials less. Always about money, isn’t it?

When I worked as  Teamster truck driver years ago, if I were to pull up to a business and the union workers were on strike, or locked out, I would divert the load and bring it back to the terminal. 

I would not, nor did I ever, cross a picket line. This was to honor the idea of collective bargaining and support other union workers since I, myself, was a union worker.

I think the NFL Players Association, the Union that the players work under, should have refused to take the field for any game that the regular officials were locked out of from day 1. There would be no bad calls then as they wouldn’t play because they were honoring the picket line of another union. Greed. It’s all about money. Honor makes no difference any more and that, to me, is the real tragedy. 

Like war, where society allows the government to teach soldiers how to kill people. The world of football allows the owners to persecute the workers, in this case the officials, and we watch for our entertainment without regard to the psychic cost to the game, all in the name of money.

It is simple greed that cost the Packers to get a bad call and lose the game. That, and the idea that the team should have never played so poorly to be in a position to lose the game.

There, I said all I needed to say today. I’ll get back to my convalescing. Stitches are out, the black and blue is getting smaller and taking on a purplish hue, and my teeth, and the places where there used to be teeth, are healing but still hurt like hell.



Mel said...


I'm a Packers Fan and I AGREE with you?
What's wrong with me? LOL

HUMAN beings..fallible human beings.
STUFF happens. No matter the officiating, fallible human beings.

And you're right...silly boogers. There's something about personal responsibility that's becoming more and more rare.....*sigh* How scary is that?

Mel said...

OH! And I'm glad healing is happening. Sucks that you still hurt like hell, but gee....I'm thinking I'll just celebrate that you walked from it!
JUST sayin'.......

*sending more healing thoughts!*

Lea said...

I learned something here tonight! Wondered about the ref's pic on a friend's facebook post. Now I know. Well said Mr. Spadoman!