OFF TOPIC: Who’s Watching the Watchman? (an NFL & NCAA football rant)
- Posted by chicagosean
- on December 3rd, 2011
Football fans have long heard that “Football is a game of inches.” I don’t disagree. However, nothing gets my blood boiling during a key moment of a big game more than this…
Yes, I know a team needs to gain 10 yards to acquire a new set of downs. Not 9 yards & 11 inches. This I do not dispute. But I have a BIG problem with the way it’s measured when it’s close.
Pro & NCAA referees go through a well choreographed charade of trotting out “the chains” to decide indisputably whether or not the offensive team has moved the ball past the necessary yardage. It all looks good for the fans in the stands and the people watching at home.
But who’s watching the guy at the other end of the chain? As far as I can tell, nobody.
There are two ends of that chain, and we all focus on the end closest to the ball. But what makes the position of the guy at the other end perfect? That linesman has no chance of being off on his spot by an inch? A centimeter? I call bullshit. His spot determines the outcome of the call! But nobody talks about that guy.
There is so much wrong with this. Even the spot of the ball is inexact. At the end of the play, the referee EYEBALLS where he should place the ball on the field. No chance of him being off by and inch? A centimeter?
If the ball placement is eyeballed and the placement of the measuring chains is eyeballed, why the hell do the leagues emphasize this “exact” method of determining a first down?
As in the first two legs of this process, there should be a degree of error introduced. If the ball is within a couple inches of the “first down line,” as viewed from the sideline first down marker, the offensive team should be awarded the first down. Yes, occasionally a referee might get the call wrong and teams/fans will be pissed. But how is that any different than a holding or pass interference penalty that changes a game? Stop insulting the fans who have half a brain.
…And don’t get me started on how pass interference is called and penalized (especially in the NFL). Perhaps a post for another day.
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