Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Tragedy of the NFL

The referee's strike continues in the NFL and the replacement ref's are under fire from everywhere: the owners, the coaches, the players, and the fans. Their product: sports entertainment, is losing its shine and turning to dust right before the eyes of the richest players in all of sports.

And what is the real tragedy?

That the over paid professionals cannot police themselves. They cannot play the game without needing officials for every call--no matter how obvious.

What is this teaching our youth?

Why do we tolerate such immature behavior from these overpaid sports "heroes?"

Someone said it is all part of the game.

Sunday evening, I saw Bill Belichick of the Patriots behave like a spoiled schoolyard ruffian. He even grabbed a referee after the game. I remember my high school football days--if such behavior had occurred then I am sure the league would have suspended the coach--immediately. I also remember our coach would not tolerate less than perfect integrity from the players and no fighting was ever allowed on the field. I remember one game when one of our players started a fight on the field. When he got to the sidelines the coach sent him home--right in the middle of the game. The behavior was not tolerated. Period.

Why do our professional athletes not adhere to the same ideals?

The tragedy of the NFL is that we now need officials to make every call, no matter how obvious, instead of just the close calls. Players should make the majority of the calls without the officials being needed. A fumble is a live ball and a dropped pass is an incompletion.  Players know, why can't they make the calls instead of needing an outsider to make an independent determination.

Wouldn't it be cool to see a player tell the ref that he dropped the pass, instead of acting like he made a clean catch?

Sadly, he would be unemployed the very next day.

That is another tragedy of the NFL. Too much money and too much emphasis on winning at the expense of sportsmanship.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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