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NFL referees have decided that quarterbacks are not football players; instead, they are princesses needing protection. I am all in for player safety in all sports. However, the NFL has become a joke.
Most of the roughing the passer calls are just plain bulls**t. The defensive players did not make contact with the quarterback in a manner that would slightly bruise him, but they made the call, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. These calls are often game-changing. Unfortunately, the referees decide the outcome of far too many games today.
Never considered is the momentum of the defensive player who had evaded or conquered the efforts of an offensive lineman. This is the primary reason Tom Brady and others have become successful, and the league is dominated by the forward pass and not the running game.
I began watching the NFL in the late 1950s. There is no comparison between the game then and what we see today. I’m not saying it was better, but there is no comparison to the greats of the past and those who play today. Some of the rules in the NFL today have reduced the game to ‘’lag football.’’Some hardcore fans such as myself are aware that the quarterbacks wear a red jersey in practice. This prevents the defensive players from physical contact with the QB. League officials obey the same rules today during the games, and quarterbacks know they are protected from being seriously injured.
The best description of football I ever heard was in high school when I was a point guard on the basketball team. My coach said, “basketball is a contact sport; football is a collision sport. I believe that this is what both should be.
In general, I believe that the NFL has the worst officials in all of sport. Bad calls and non-calls are far too frequent. Penalties are often unequally distributed. Players will tell you that “olding” could be called on every play. If this is true, why is one team penalized for this violation, and their opponents are not?
Two non-calls will remain in my memory for all time.
Toward the end of Super Bowl XLVII, the 49ers were just yards away from the end zone. Colin Kaepernick threw the ball into the end zone. The Ravens defender clearly interfered with the rereceiver’spportunity to catch the ball.
Although the official was standing right behind the play, there was no call. As a result, the Ravens won the game, 34-31.
The other incident was similar and happened just a few years ago. It was a playoff game. The winner would represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. With an official standing next to the play, the SaiSaints’ceiver was pushed out of bounds before the ball reached him. Once again, no call, although the television camera clearly revealed the fact that pass interference should have been called.
Sadly, there are many more. For example, in last year’s Super Bowl, the Chiefs were given multiple penalties in the first half, while the Buccaneers were given a free pass.
Football is the most physically demanding of all sports. When the officials decide the game’s outcome, it is an insult to the coaches and players on both sides. Their hard and physically demanding efforts are crushed by a bad call or a no-call far too often.
The games have become less enjoyable. I can’t remember the number of times I change the channel, including Super Bowls. For example, I turned off last February’s February’game at halftime.
Opinion by James Turnage
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