Unless you live on another planet, you have now probably witnessed first-hand or via video replay the officiating debacle that happened in yesterday’s NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. In short, the Rams were guilty of a pass interference infraction that wasn’t called, which would have likely wrapped up the victory for New Orleans. As it was, the Saints lost, and now there’s a new report that the NFL may add pass interference among other penalties to the ala cart menu of instant (sic) replay items – to help slow down the game even more.
The purpose of this diatribe is not actually golf related, but to point out that if the NFL pursues this endeavor, I’m done with them. That would free up a whole lot of time on Sunday afternoons for golf in the Fall. I’m almost half hoping they pull the trigger, so I can bail. I’ve been teetering on the brink as the quality of the product continually slips and has been a huge time suck for my afternoons, as it has been for the last decade.
The NFL has tried to become too perfect in their use of instant replay, and they keep pushing the human element farther out of the game. Bad calls will never be eliminated from organized sport as long as humans are refereeing the games. Some folks would love to take the human refs completely out. Think that would solve anything? Can you imagine watching a game with nothing but automated officiating? The more we add automation to the review of officiating, the worse the human officiating becomes. It’s basic human nature. We’ve seen it for years with this burgeoning monstrosity. The less you make the humans responsible for, the less they are going to feel accountable for the quality of the results. You couldn’t pay me to referee in the NFL – it’s the worse job on the planet. Want to improve the officiating? Kill instant replay. Empower the refs. Of course, you’ll still get bad calls, but wasn’t replay designed to eliminate the effect of bad calls ever impacting the outcome? Wonder how that’s playing out in New Orleans.
So, go ahead NFL. I’m tired of being punished for my loyalty. My golf game is waiting!