Why Poor Officiating Is Ruining the NFL
Is there a pass down the field where fans are not looking everywhere for a flag? Along the same lines, is there ever a QB pressure that ends with a passer on his back that doesn't draw a flag?
Every week there seems to be a frustrating missed call or bad call that mars the finish of a game more than a botched call did the previous week.
Poor officiating is not just affecting the outcomes of games on the field, but it may be helping to rewrite the record books as well.
Players like Dan Marino are having to be gracious as they watch their long-held passing yardage record be assaulted by multiple players in one season because of the favorable passing rules that are being enforced.
No defensive secondary player can feel like they are able to unleash their inner Ronnie Lott for fear of drawing crippling penalties that flip the field for their teams. If that is the way those hits and physical coverages are going to be called, then what choice do defenders have than to be insanely cautious when running down the field?
Receivers are not nearly as worried about the outcome of the play and the acting job that follows the incompletion has become almost as important, and in some cases more important, than the actual effort to catch the ball.
Somewhere along the line, the push for player safety gave the referees an excuse to insert themselves into the game in a way that they never had before. All of a sudden plays that were once "textbook" in terms of placing your helmet on the ball and separating it from the man are now too dangerous to have a place in the game.
A ferocious pass rusher has to be sure to hit a quarterback slightly below the head, but far enough above his knees to not have the appearance of the intent to injure.
Many experts have said it, but how long will it be before the league allows the refs to legislate the "football" right out of NFL football?
It's a tough line to tow because the lasting effects of head injuries are being felt all over the sporting world. Players deserve to have a focus put on their well being, but there must be a better attempt made at trying to find a middle ground between allowing hard hitting and protecting players.
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