NFL Refereeing: What's Wrong?

Corey McSweeneyAnalyst IOctober 7, 2008

I’m not old enough to have seen the Happy Days episode when Fonzie jumped the shark, but I’ve seen the clip, and it looked pretty ridiculous.

NFL refereeing is becoming that way to me. I start watching game after game, and in all the games I have seen this year a major call is blown. Take yesterday for example. In the first quarter Reggie Bush ran to the right, had his head twisted 180 degrees, fumbled, and the referee threw a flag. O, wait, no he didn’t. How do you miss that call? My dad saw it on the couch, and Bush was running AWAY from the camera. You could literally see his head jerk.

I don’t understand how these paid professionals can miss these calls. That brings me to my next point. These referees are part time employees. Yes they are. I didn’t know that until this year, and it absolutely stunned me. I don’t see how you can give a man this much responsibility and not make him a full-time employee.

The other thing that appalled me is the job these refs hold in their “spare” time. Ed Hochuli is a partner in a law firm. Mike Carey co-owns a company.  How much time do these guys have to perfect their craft as an NFL referee? The league either needs to hire them away from these jobs or let them go and find guys they can employ full-time.

Do you know what happens when teachers become professors? In addition the promotion, they have to start performing research to become experts in their respective fields. Don’t we want the same with refs? Make them get better at their job and not just look at it like a hobby? I know that one play can’t totally change the outcome of a game, but it can sure do a whole lot to affect the outcome. Let’s make sure these calls get right.

I believe this one simple change can do wonders and take away a lot of this controversy we’ve been seeing lately.

And then maybe the NFL will stop jumping the shark.