NFL Already Dealing With Early Season Frustration Over Officiating
Any hope that the NFL had "put aside all of the consternation over last season’s officiating woes quickly dissipated amid turmoil about the calls being made -- and the calls being missed -- by its officials in the first two weeks" of this season, according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. The Saints have "already been involved in debates over two calls." Questions have been raised in and around the league about the manner in which NFL Senior VP/Officiating Al Riveron and his colleagues are "administering the new rule that makes pass interference calls and non-calls subject to video review." NFL rules have become "ever more complicated," and officials are "surrounded by less experienced crews." On replay reviews involving pass interference, "much is being entrusted to Riveron." The NFL "knew there would be growing pains and potential glitches when it instituted a rule that made a judgment call subject to replay for the first time." NBC's Tony Dungy said that the new system "has been, as he had feared, 'a disaster'" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/18).
GROWING PROBLEM? CBSSN's Jim Rome said the officiating is "bogging down" the games and bringing them to a "grinding halt." Rome: "It's over-officiated" ("The Jim Rome Show," CBSSN, 9/17). Former NFL referee John Parry said the officials in Saints-Rams had a "tough day," and overall, it has been a "tough start" to the season for referees ("Browns-Jets," ESPN, 9/16). FS1's Jason Whitlock said Riveron has become a household name due to the new rules, and it is a "classic case of the law of unintended consequences." The league "must explore ways to deemphasize the refs" ("Speak for Yourself," FS1, 9/16).In Minneapolis, Mark Craig writes it is "hard to imagine the officiating getting more frustrating than it was in Week 2, lending more credence to longtime football followers who suggest the NFL is in danger of becoming unwatchable through its tsunami of yellow flags thrown and added upon further review." The stoppages in play are "only part of the problem." Another "considerable issue is the opposite effect this dogged drive for perfection is having on officials" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/18).