Order has been restored in the NFL

The last time I wrote on here, the replacement refs had just made the worst call in NFL history.  Once that happened, Roger Goodell must have known that it was time to settle with the referee’s union, and he did.

Last week, the refs came out to a standing ovation at the Ravens game and everything was back to normal in the world of football.

This week, I can happily report that we still have good results from the refs, given that my Giants won and Victor Cruz had three TDs (yeah…three of ‘em)!  What’s important is to compare the two regimes, per se, and examine how the two affected sports culture. 

The replacement refs officiated the first three weeks of theNFL season and did terribly. The articles that kept being released portrayed the replacements as deplorable and worthless.  Across the country, football fans grew increasingly impatient thanks to the horrendous officiating. There were constant complaints about the inaccuracy of calls as well as the way the replacement refs seemed to brush off any sense of accountability.

Of coursethough, it was the Seahawks-Packers game and its final call that brought everything to a head and made the NFL wake up and get the real refs back. What probably compounded this was that people were actually threatening to begin boycotting the league and not watching or attending games because of the bad officiating.

That said, with Roger Goodell being a shrewd businessman and all, the agreement was made before Week 4 and people forgot all about boycotting the league because the real refs were back. Week 4, as expected, went off without a hitch and life was back to normal but people were still smarting over the replacement refs and the poor job they did.

This week was more of the same: good and fair officiating, no more BS, and no more excitement stifling. It seems that people are beginning to like the NFL once again after that three-week debacle.

However, we still have to ask two questions: Could the game-changing calls made in the first three weeks affect who goes into the playoffs and who doesn’t? Can we actually consider this an official season, or will it go down in the history books with an asterisk? These two questions are very much a crucial part of how the NFL will be viewed for the rest of the season. Whether there are repercussions or not, the one fact that remains constant is that we’ve already had the real refs for two weeks and we’ll have them for 14 more.

Til next time, you know what it is,

M

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