It has been a full day since the loss to the much hated Steelers. I am over the loss, I am not over the officiating. As fans we pour thousands of dollars in tickets, concessions and merchandise into the NFL coffers. We plan our weekends around football games. We may even wager on these contests on- line or when we are in Las Vegas. I would guess that over the last 10 years I have spent between 10 and 20 thousand dollars on being a fan of the NFL, and I don't even own a PSL. In return for this investment we as fans should receive a few things in return. We deserve an entertaining product; and we deserve a product where the integrity of the competition can never be questioned. The NFL failed on this second point on Sunday. Walt Colemans' officiating can be called questionable at best. On a third and 1 Mr. Coleman refused to overturn a spot despite clear evidence that the Pittsburgh runner was well short. The result remained a first down for the Steelers, which eventually led to 3 points. Mr. Coleman then neglected to blow his whistle at least twice while the Steelers snapped the ball as the play clock read 0. These infractions, which were never called, should have resulted in 5 yard penalties. But these screw ups are small potatoes when compared to the call late in the fourth quarter. We all know the play. We all know the evidence was inconclusive. (If the ball did ever cross the plane, which you can't see, it was before the receiver had possession.) Yet somehow Mr. Coleman reverses the call on the field without indisputable evidence and calls it a touchdown. When explaining this perplexing development to us Coleman says that the receiver had both feet in the endzone with possession. REALLY? This isn't even what he was supposed to be reviewing. Does he not know that the ball must cross the plane? Isn't that what he should have been looking at? Is it possible that this fool doesn't know the RULES?! As ludicrous as this sounds it is not without precedent. Earlier this season, Jay Cutler of the Broncos fumbled the football. The ball was then recovered by the Chargers. The game was in the last minute and the play was deep in Charger territory. The referee, Mr. Ed Hochuli, gave the ball BACK TO THE BRONCOS, allowing them to then score the winning touchdown. He claimed to have blown his whistle. Then in Pittsburgh the refs took a late touchdown away from the Steelers saying it was the result of an illegal forward lateral. If there was an illegal forward lateral in that play than I am President Barack Obama. The play resulted in the touchdown being nullified. The Steelers still won but they did not cover.( HMMM. ) And no folks these are not judgement calls where officials are in the midst of 22 players traveling at 25-30 feet per second. These PLAYS ARE BEING REVIEWED!!!!!!
Which bring us to this. What the hell am I watching? Mistakes this obvious surely cannot be possible. I am not a conspiracy guy. But it can make you wonder. And once the smallest doubt creeps in, the game is scarred. What makes it worse is the the NFL does nothing. Nothing is explained, officials' awful decisions are backed by the league and the refs keep reffing. The NFL has failed its most important asset, its fans. I think we deserve a whole lot better.