I am a huge sports fan. I love the NFL and have been a life long Oakland Raider fan. Indeed, at age 8, I got a Kenny Stabler football uniform for Christmas. The NFL has always been part of my life and I look forward to it every year. I love the fall season as it turns to winder and football is a big part of that for me. So, it is with sadness that I have watch pro sports in this country become totally neutered and a joke for any intelligent fan to watch.
It seems though that the NFL is becoming more like the NBA in that players play the game and the refs decide them. The players no longer decide who wins the game on their own merits, the referees do. It is sickening to watch when EVERY game contains multiple: phantom pass interference calls. Peyton Manning gets another chance at a touchdown because he got knocked in the head-he has a helmet on! Touchdowns are taken away every game by some new rule that isn’t a rule and all previous rules are disregarded or interpreted differently. Lost fumbles where it was obviously not a fumble, but it stands because the team was out of challenges left. If you watch the games like I do, you see this every game. Refs over replaying and over analyzing to the point where it is not a game anymore, but a war of rule interpretation. You cannot even look at a quarterback anymore without drawing a fine and a 15-yard penalty and games are frequently decide late by pass interference. Just ask Pittsburgh’s James Harrison how he feels about the $100k he has been fined this year alone.
Yes, winning the games by superior athletic ability, skill, coaching, planning, those days are gone. Now, if the referees interpret rulings in your teams favor, they MIGHT win. Or if you team contains a superstar player. For example, if Ed Reed or Ray Lewis make a hard hit, then they are great ‘smash-mouth’ players. But if an Oakland Raider makes a hit, well the Raiders are a dirty team that draws a lot of penalties.
Maybe it was replay and technology that changed the games forever, but now like basketball, football has come a game where whoever gets the most calls wins. Don’t believe me? It started with the ‘tuck rule’ a few years ago when the Patriots were handed a berth in the Super Bowl. Watch Kobe or Lebron shoot 15-20 foul shots a game, EVERY game if you have any doubts. Oh, and now if you complain you will be given a technical foul and ejected after two, so that the fans can pay huge, over priced ticket prices to watch the bench players play.
It costs a family of 4 on average, $450 to watch an NFL game. Now, instead of watching the game, you can spend that money to watch a referee stick his head under a hood and interpret a rule that you didn’t even know existed. What a thrill!
Along with this, there will likely be a lock-out between owners and players. Millionaires against Billionaires deciding what to do with the money from a game that isn’t even a real game anymore.
Maybe I will watch hockey…