This week in: The NFL – Week 4 2012 – Replacement Refs Edition

The Seahawks winning “Touchdown”

In the record books, Week 3 of the 2012 NFL season will show that the Ravens came from behind to beat the Patriots, 31-30; the Falcons, Cardinals and Texans all moved to 3-0; and the Seahawks sent the Packers to a 14-12 defeat, leaving Aaron Rodgers winless in five starts on Monday Night Football.  However, what the statistics do not show is how much of joke the officiating has become by the replacements, as the lockout continues between the referees and the league.  The nadir was reached on Monday night, when the Packers were robbed of a win in Seattle because of a terrible call giving the Seahawks a touchdown as time expired.  While Green Bay’s offense should receive some of the blame for failing to score more than 12 points in the game, the inexplicable decision to award a touchdown for this play confirms that the league has descended into a joke.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL were arrogant in assuming that they could push on with the games, despite not having reached a deal with the regular officials, who are experts at both calling the game and controlling the players.  It should not be a surprise that the replacements are unable to deal with either aspect as effectively as the regular referees, yet the league pushed on with the season regardless.  The erratic and incorrect rulings bring the credibility of the game into doubt, but there is also a much more significant issue of the potential for a player to suffer a serious injury.  Goodell already showed his ambivalence to the dangers of concussions by pushing for 18 regular season games during the lockout of last year, but having these replacement referees has increased the risk significantly, as they have been missing helmet-to-helmet hits and the lack of control they exert over the two teams has led to contests getting more violent.  While it may not be too much of a surprise that I would side with the workers on a pay dispute, the league is so profitable that it can afford to meet the pay demands of the regular referees – whose true value has been proven by the replacements.

The NFL’s hand would only be forced by a mass protest by the fans, during which they refused to attend or watch games, causing financial loss to the league.  Until that happens, and since results have become a coin flip on how the replacement refs make their calls, that is exactly how I will be predicting the games until the lockout of the real officials ends – heads for the home team (because they both begin with “h”) and tails for the away side (because they are the other two options…)

Week 4 Predictions

Last week, 6-10; Season, 29-19

Home teams in Bold. Coin of choice: A New York Quarter

Browns +12.5 over Ravens

Falcons -7.5 over Panthers

Bills +3.5 over Patriots

Vikings +6.5 over Lions

Chargers -0.5 over Chiefs

Seahawks -2.5 over Rams

Jets +3.5 over 49ers

Titans +12.5 over Texans

Raiders +6.5 over Broncos

Dolphins +6.5 over Cardinals

Bengals -1.5 over Jaguars

Packers -7.5 over Saints

Redskins +2.5 over Buccaneers

Giants +2.5 over Eagles

Cowboys -3.5 over Bears

2 thoughts on “This week in: The NFL – Week 4 2012 – Replacement Refs Edition

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