Where Did Football Go?
To be honest, I’m not really that angry about Monday Night’s Packers – Seahawks game. Of course I believe that the Packers should have won against the Seahawks. I would like to think that even if I was a Seahawks fan, I would have to admit that the Packers should have won the game. People are going to argue about who actually had the ball and how the play should have been called, but one thing that I think all football fans can universally agree on is this isn’t the game that we love.
More than anger, I am greatly saddened by where I see the NFL going. I don’t see parity and fair play. I don’t see the rules of the game being followed. I don’t see sportsmanship on the field.
I sincerely hope that football does not follow the path of boxing; back in the 1950’s boxing was a huge sport in America, but with the discovery of dementia pugilistica and the fall of fair and unbiased judging, boxing has fallen greatly from the spot it once held. Football is on that same precipice; more and more research is already showing the negative physical and mental effects that playing football can cause and letting money get in the way of fair and safe play is a grave mistake.
I also don’t want to see football fall into the rut of hockey, where fighting is the marque event during a game and teams sign goons exclusively to intimidate and fight other players and not for their skills in the rink. The game of football is violent enough as it is, look at what has happened to Junior Seau and Dave Duerson; football cannot afford to have Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak as well.
Referees, regular or replacement, are human and thus can and will make errors. This wasn’t the first time where referees blew a call that cost a team a victory nor will it be the last. Expect that to happen, sometimes that’s the way it goes. What I am more concerned about is the replacement refs aren’t following the rules of the game. If the referee truly believes that Golden Tate came down with the ball on the Hail Mary, then he should stick to his guns and call it as such. What he shouldn’t do is lose all sense of composure and flee from the scene like a criminal and forget the extra point.
Players and coaches are well cognizant of the mental fortitude of the replacement referees and are pushing the boundaries of fair play as well. Players are getting into fights and coaches are yelling at the referees because they know they can get away with it. I do not watch the NFL to see players punching each other or coaches screaming at officials; I come to see a fair game where players, coaches and referees respect each other.
I don’t see anything of that.
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.