NFL Football: A Plea to Roger Goodell and All NFL Owners

Colby Lanham@Colby1226Correspondent ISeptember 25, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 20:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell participates in a news briefing after his meeting with U.S. Senate Majority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) June 20, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Goodell was on the Hill to discuss bounties in professional sports.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

So we went through the first three weeks of the season with replacement refs. We've seen their credibility reduced to the negatives. We've seen them make bogus calls and literally decide the course of games, as I just saw with the Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks game. Even the coaches are getting fed up, as was the case with Patriots coach Bill Belichick

There is too much at stake in what we call "America's Game." In a desperate plea to Roger Goodell and all NFL owners, I, ask only this:


These replacement refs have proved no point in the owners' case. The games have been unnecessarily extended, as we saw with the Panthers-Giants game, where the first quarter lasted over an hour. There has been too much confusion on calls, and rules have been broken, as we saw in the Vikings-49ers game, where 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh got extra challenges in the second half of the game.

The replacement refs have been a thorn in all of football nation's side for the first three weeks, and I can't take anymore. The late flags, the bad calls. Telling players you need them for fantasy. It's become horrendous how bad these officials are getting week to week.

What are the all-powerful NFL owners trying to prove? While the replacement referees test the patience of fans, players, and now coaches, the NFL is slowly taking backward steps every Sunday when these officials take the field, since no one knows what horrendous calls may occur or what confusion will be made in what will inevitably become a five-hour long game instead of a three and a half hour game.

I haven't seen that many yellow flags since my father's Minnesota Viking-themed birthday in 2010.

The NFL games are slowly deteriorating thanks to the poor performance of the replacement officials. The NFL is supposed to be the best game in America, so can we at least ask for fair results and not literally have the fate of a game in a replacement official's hands? They have shown poor knowledge and have been easily intimidated by NFL players, whom fans have seen change in light of these replacement officials. 

The players are calling for flags more than ever, and are getting them most of the time. It's something when the NFL sets a record for the most penalties in the fewest weeks at the start of the season. It's something the players would never do with the real officials, who deal better with the players on the field. It's not good to watch a game where the players are begging for flags every deep pass or hard hit.

I'm sure that this won't go very far in my attempt. In fact, I know this won't go anywhere, but Roger Goodell, for all your talk of player safety, progress and integrity of the NFL game, can we please bring the real referees back? After all, it's for the causes that you have charismatically stated year in and year out as the NFL Commissioner. It's time to do your duty as the most powerful man in sports and get these replacement referees out and put the real, experienced referees back in.  

Save the integrity and credibility of the NFL before it completely unravels. And the unraveling will start this week after the calls made in the Packers-Seahawks game. We can't have a whole season of these replacement referees. And you know it.