Before I begin, thank you to Neil Everett for the title of this column. I had a hard time coming up with something appropriate to title this with.
I was really hoping to not have to write another article or column about how bad the NFL “officials” are and have been,but sometimes that’s why I consider myself the king of wishful thinking .
Aside from fans in Seattle, the majority of fans from the other 31 teams who watch,love,and enjoy NFL football are absolutely livid over the ending of Monday’s game in which the Seattle Seahawks “beat” the Green Bay Packers 14-12. The game ended with a controversial play in which Golden Tate of the Seahawks had the ball stripped from him in the end zone by Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings,which should have resulted in an interception and a Packers victory. Instead,Tate was awarded the touchdown catch and the Seahawks were awarded the victory.
Folks, this has seriously made me think twice about supporting this league in this current state,and I don’t feel that I’m alone in that sentiment. I’m absolutely disgusted with the way the league has handled its situation with the locked out officials and the way the replacement “officials” have performed through the first three weeks of this season. The integrity of the game has disappeared, at least for this season, over what? Money and benefits for their officials who I think now more than ever deserve everything they should get?
Not only that, player safety is and has been at stake with the “officials” currently in place. For instance,Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey gets sent to the hospital on a very violent helmet to helmet hit which received no penalty whatsoever.
The longer these “officials” are out there messing everything up like they have been, the harder it could be to win the fans back if this lockout is prolonged beyond Week Four or Week Five. But because of the strong love affair fans have with football, it may not get to the level of difficulty baseball had following the 1994 strike. People love this sport too much to be mad at it for the long term.
I know that labor disputes aren’t easy. I am a union member and have been for the past six years. The union I belong to and the grocer I work for have been without a set-in-stone contract for almost a year now, in fact it will be a year next week. It’s a pain in the ass worrying about what you’re going to lose in the next contract you get and you fight to keep what you’ve already got. It’s tough for both sides, I get that. But if Monday’s game has showed anyone anything, it’s shown that it is time for this lockout to get settled somehow someway. Fans,players,and everyone having some sort of connection to this game wants the real officials back out there officiating the games and bringing credibility to a game they love.
The king of wishful thinking in me hopes to God that this labor dispute ends soon. Real officials need to be officiating real football games. Enough said.
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