With poor officiating happening for what seems like every week, the league must find a solution to create a better product.
In 2018, the officiating in the NFL was pathetic–plain and simple. Every week, a referee would make a wrong decision that would directly impact the result of the game. Granted, the current rules are so weak and abstract that make it hard for the officials to interpret and enforce the rules on the field. But, too often, referees miss clear penalties and do not call the obvious penalty–referees need to be held accountable.
In the NFC Championship, the New Orleans Saints were driving down the field, trying to milk the clock. Then on a third down, Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees threw a ball to his receiver on the sideline. But, Los Angeles Rams’ cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman nailed the Saints player. The play was clearly defensive pass interference, but the field judges did nothing. Here is that play:
This might be the worst no call in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/KWPD4iwBbk
— Brandon Saho (@BrandonSaho) January 20, 2019
The Saints had to settle for a field goal. If the referees did their job, Brees might be in play for a second Super Bowl ring. And for other players on the roster, they will never play for New Orleans again, maybe never play the sport again.
They will be forced to either relocate their families or find a new way to put food on the table. When teams lose, players and coaches suffer more than just having to “deal with a loss”. It actually affects their lives.
Now the officials will just go home, sip on their coffee, collect their paychecks and ref the next year. This is not fair. Just as police officers should have accountability for their actions, referees should be held responsible for their judgment. They should be fired for making life-changing mistakes.
Currently, referees just do whatever they want with no consequence. If officials were treated like players, paid based on their performance, the officiating would definitely improve.
So how should the league decide whether or not to fire an official? The easiest answer is that the commissioner would have the power. But, maybe a fairer option would be to have a committee of people that vote on the future of that certain referee. Team owners would figure out all the rules and regulations, and set up the committee.
This is just one possible solution, and there are probably many others. One way or another, the NFL needs to fix the problem.
How do you think the NFL should handle referees that make crucial mistakes?