Ruining a Beloved Pastime: Football Over-Officiating

Penalties are hurting America’s greatest spectator sport. Most games are adversely affected by violations of the rules and/or their over enforcement. Great plays – long runs, long passes, fumbles, interceptions, etc. – are often eradicated  by the guys in pinstripes. Perhaps football needs a penalty box like hockey and Lacrosse for certain infractions.

Am I the only one bothered by this or are others also recognizing the excessive and/or unnecessary officiating at football contests – at both the college and professional levels?

Is anyone besides me getting the feeling that there are three teams on the playing field of every football game – both college and professional?  Two are in direct opposition and the third, with yellow flags,  is controlling the outcome of many close contest.

For example back in 2011, I remember the Seattle Seahawks were continuously penalized in a critical game against New York – much to my delight.  Conversely, the same year, Notre Dame, my beloved alma-mater, lost to Michigan as a result of a fraudulent roughing the quarterback penalty against the Irish –  and a subsequent, obvious, no-call, block-in-the-back by Michigan, in the clear view of the TV cameras – much to my chagrin.  (I still have the pictures.) This allowed a 60-yard gain to stand and set up the Wolverine’s winning score.

For sure, instant replay has added a great deal of credibility to the officiating challenge.  But the holding calls and pass interference calls – and their effect on the game – are simply intolerable.  Perhaps, the previous rules against “illegal use of hands” on offense should be restored?  Also the inadvertent blows to the head and horse collar penalties should be imposed only when they are clearly deliberate.  Sideline penalties and disallows – and roughing the quarterback calls – are frequent farces – requiring 250-pound, high speed athletes to stop in midair.

It is clear that teams are deliberately drawing penalties to enhance their ability to move the ball in their favor.  The long pass interference call is an obvious tactic.

I love football – but I like it a lot less nowadays with all of the over-officiating.  It is ruining an otherwise great game . . . and it is getting worse!

Perhaps it is a manifestation of today’s liberal-leftist affection for authoritarianism in all aspects of American life.  What do you think?

Image: Courtesy of: http://any2ndnow.com/2012/09/28/random-sports-rant-the-replacements-my-take-on-the-current-state-of-officiating-in-the-nfl/

William Pauwels

About the author, William Pauwels: William A. Pauwels, Sr. was born in Jackson Michigan to a Belgian, immigrant, entrepreneurial family. Bill is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served in executive and/or leadership positions at Thomson Industries, Inc., Dow Corning, Loctite and Sherwin-Williams. He is currently CIO of Pauwels Private Investment Practice. He's been commenting on matters political/economic/philosophical since 1980. View all articles by William Pauwels

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