We all knew that the controversy in the Packers loss to the Seahawks would be end of the NFL officials’ lockout. Once Aaron Rodgers blasted the NFL, you knew that Jolly Rodger would have to convince the owners that this had to end and end immediately.
Going back and reviewing the Packers loss, I would say that overall the officials seemed to do a decent job of controlling the game. Now there was several questionable calls and three of the four came from the same side judge who famously placed his hands in the air for a touchdown. He also appears to be the official who called defensive pass interference on Shields in the 4th Quarter when clearly Rice was the offender with an obvious pass interference. He also called a questionable pass interference on Seattle that kept a Green Bay drive alive and failed to call an obvious pass interference in the end zone on Tate and to complicate things, he was the one who signaled for a TD.
Most of the replacements did ok. It was those like the poor guy above that gave all the officials a bad name. They have become scapegoats but I believe that their training did more bad then good. It was evident from the start that they were so intimidated by coaches and players that they just lost control. I think the NFL had these guys thinking that they couldn’t throw many flags and as we know the defenses soon figured that out and those grabbing the jerseys things became very common.
So, what will change? Overall we will get a better called game as the regulars return to great fanfare and immediate affection. That will last for a quarter or so and you and I will soon be back to discussing how lousy some calls were during the games. In fact some will still accuse the officials of cheating. Cheers will turn into boos. Players and coaches will still get fined for bad mouthing officials. But for the time being, I join in and say “Welcome Back! We have missed you.”
Not much different then when that regular teacher returns after an extended absence and the students roar their approval.