English Journal Prompt for 09/27/12

How have the replacement referees in the NFL impacted the game? Do you think when the real referees return tonight the players and coaches will treat them differently than they have in the past?

I believe the replacement referees negatively impacted the NFL. They brought more criticism to the game than anything else of recent history has. They were not qualified to officiate at the NFL level, and that resulted in players being more at risk for serious injury and calls being blown left and right.

I understand they stood up and helped in a time of need. For that, they should be commended. However, everyone needs to know his or her own limits. Being a ref in an NFL game is not the same as college division two or lingerie football. They exceeded their limits. In an egregious fashion.

The blown call in the Green Bay versus Seattle was the tipping point, but every week of the young season a call was blown. It was consistently bad. It was almost to the point of making the NFL look ridiculous, and that is a public relations nightmare the league does not want to face.

Sadly, as this entry into the English Journal for my class is late, I already know that the referees’ union will be voting on a new contract today. This is good news. It will spare the league further humiliation and potentially save the lives of players who were otherwise being allowed to run free and inflict unnecessary damage to their fellow athletes.

I also know the fans greeted the real referees with a warm reception Thursday night in Baltimore. Of course, every call against the home team did result in boos. That is sad. I understand it is part of the game, even if the referees are good; however, in light of what took place previously, I would have liked to think that for the first game with the real referees back, the fans would have went easy on them. 

This weekend, though, they are fair game. It’s back to business as usual.