Keeping Score

Last Updated on


AJ Neuharth-Keusch


I’ve spent two fall seasons officiating youth flag football in Northern Virginia and I thoroughly believe that I’m a better referee than the majority of the NFL officials that have stepped onto the field so far this season.

It’s a topic sweeping the nation: replacement referees. If you’ve watched any NFL games so far this season, you’ve noticed something abnormal about the officiating. Pass interference calls happen twice as much as usual, fights break out after almost every play, and important calls are sometimes missed completely.

Their lack of knowledge for the rules has negatively influenced results in a variety of games this season.

In Monday Night’s game between the Packers and Seahawks, what’s being called the “worst call ever” tarnished the ending of the game.

On the final play, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson heaved the ball into the endzone into a group of Packers defenders and a couple of Seahawks receivers.

It was clear that Packers safety M.D. Jennings intercepted the ball, which would have ended the game. However, the replacement officials called that the ball was caught by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, giving them a 14-12 victory.

This awful call isn’t the only one causing people to be upset.

In previous weeks, controversial calls in the closing minutes of games were made as well.

The end-of-game mistakes are more outrageous and obvious due to the circumstances, but every game so far this season has had an abundance of questionable calls and rookie mistakes throughout.

Fans, players and coaches have expressed their agitation in interviews and on social media.

Patriots Linebacker Brandon Spikes tweeted, “Can someone please tell these [expletive] zebras foot locker called and they’re needed back at work !!!! #BreakingPoint.”

In a media press conference, Redskins cornerback Deangelo Hall said, “I’ve played a lot of football in my years, and I’ve never been a part of a game that was that chippy.” Hall, a nine-year veteran out of Virginia Tech, wants original referees back as soon as possible.

Rams Head coach Jeff Fisher spoke out about the officials on “Mike and Mike in the Morning.”

“…We’re all hopeful that they’ll get this thing resolved. We’ve got a great game, we’re missing the regular guys, at times things are difficult, but as coaches we just have to push through it.”

Although their performances have been dreadful, the full blame should not strictly fall onto the shoulders of the referees.

A majority of the blame should be placed on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL team owners. This is the league’s second lockout in the past two seasons.

As a commissioner of one of the most profitable and valuable professional sports leagues in the world, it’s Goodell’s obligation to come to an agreement with the officials and owners in order to bring the league back to normal. His disregard for safety of the players, success of the coaches, and happiness of the fans has caused the league to be in complete chaos.

If the replacement referees don’t disappear quickly, Goodell needs to disappear. The NFL has too large of a viewership and fan base to continue to disappoint week after week.

No matter how it’s done, the disgraceful officiating needs to be put to an end right now. If not, expect the outrage and controversy to heat up each week, until it reaches its boiling point.