Another NFL Sunday, another day of official scrutiny

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NFL officials flag
(Photo: Parker Waters)

Nobody likes officials in any sport.

The people policing the games are ridiculed, yelled at, booed vociferously.

They have largely thankless jobs, other than the pay involved.

As I have said many times and will again, for the most part, they do a solid job, getting most calls right and getting many of the close calls right.

Then, there are the ones that they get wrong.

In my many broadcasts, I make a concerted effort to give credit to officials and referees who do good jobs. Of course, I also point out the mistakes that are obvious ones. It is all part of my job. It is all part of their jobs.

There was a roughing the passer call against Pittsburgh’s Ola Adeniyi on Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson which cost the Steelers the game in a 26-23 overtime loss. Adeniyi hit Jackson around the waist and as he makes contact, his hands slide down to his legs when bringing him down.

Is that roughing the passer?

If it is, then this league has truly lost its way.

The call was a bit ridiculous.

Then, there was the Green Bay game at Dallas.

The game saw Jason Garrett get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for correctly challenging a blown call on a catch by Amari Cooper.

At issue was how Garrett threw the flag. He was demonstrative, apparently too much.

Apparently, it was not enough to have blown the call but the rabbit ears of the official on the spot allowed him to perform double jeopardy on Dallas. He didn’t like “the abusive language” of Garrett and flagged him for it.

Green Bay beat Dallas 34-24.

Then, there was the Saints game where the officials ruled that the Saints had recovered a fumble by Deonte Harris on a punt. The Bucs’ Anthony Auclair came out of the pack holding the ball and running away with it, raising it to show the officials he had it.

Upon replay, the officials ruled there was no “clear” recovery and the Saints kept possession, finally getting a perceived break from the guys in black and white who have victimized New Orleans consistently since the playoff game with the Rams a year ago.

Of course, it did not matter as an interception gave the ball back to the Bucs, who took advantage and scored a touchdown.

Officials have a difficult job. The game is played at breakneck pace.

The reality of the situation is that there were perhaps as many missed calls in the past but the lack of various camera angles, the lack of HD television, the lack of replay did not spotlight the missed calls.

The focus is now clearly on officials.

The same is true of Major League Baseball with its replay system and boxed framed strike zone. Players are ruled out and they are safe. They are ruled safe and they are out. Pitches are called strikes and they are balls. Pitches are called balls and they are strikes.

The humanity of it all is on full display now. No one is perfect and no one ever will be at his or her craft. The goal is to get the call right.

By the way, forget about challenging pass interference.

With the way officials are ignoring the obvious calls which have been challenged by not changing their calls on the field, one even wonders if they would have overturned the egregious infraction of Nickell Robey-Coleman against Tommylee Lewis which crushed the Saints a year ago.

By the way the rule change for challenging pass interference is going, one wonders if it will remain in place after this season?

Meanwhile, let us hope Alberto Riveron is keeping score and not just making statements after games that his guys made mistakes. As I have stated many times, there should be consequences for actions. There most certainly are for players and coaches. Reward the good, penalize the bad.

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Ken Trahan

Ken Trahan

Owner/CEO

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…

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