I tend to have issues with people who consider their own opinions infallible. Oh, you’re SO important that it’s impossible for you to even be SLIGHTLY wrong? Fortunately, I don’t feel like this happens much to me in my daily life, but in sports it happens ALL THE TIME.
Referees and umpires. Who needs ’em, right? Well, I guess some of these games would devolve into chaos, but you know what? They shouldn’t have the type of power they have over games. These sports leagues have done what they can to take back some of that power with “instant replay”, but I would argue that they haven’t gone NEARLY far enough.
In the end, fans don’t REALLY care about how long these games are. That’s a product of the media, giving voice to people who don’t really exist outside of the media. Yeah, beat writers and such want the games to be shorter, because they don’t want to sit around for four hours or more doing their jobs. It’s pretty pathetic when you think about it, but just look at it! Who is arguing for less time “under the hood?” It’s media types. Period. That’s why you always hear about them complaining whenever a baseball game goes into extra innings. Oh, you poor thing, you get to write about sports for a living, and you have to stay a little longer!
The only thing fans care about is getting the call right. It doesn’t matter if the game is 3 hours or 3:30 or even 4 hours. They want to know they’re getting a game that’s judged fairly.
So, to think it’s okay that certain refs call certain penalties a certain way is an absolute joke. These players already have to adjust to all the things the other team is throwing at them; now they’ve got to adjust their play to how the refs are calling pass interference? And, as for baseball, a strike zone is a strike zone, and it shouldn’t matter who is behind the plate or if the batter is left-handed or not!
How would I change things? For starters, no more umpires calling balls & strikes. You use whatever technology they have to track balls and strikes and you go by THAT. Instead of an ump, just have a couple of lights at the backstop: red for a ball, green for a strike. Let the umpire stand there if you want, but he’s only in charge of over-riding the system if a batter swings and misses (and the home plate ump no longer gets to stand behind the plate – he stands across from the batter, watching for checked-swings). Oh, we’re not allowed to question your almighty judgment on balls & strikes with replay? Fine, then we’re taking the job away from you altogether.
As for everything else in baseball, it’s all automatically reviewed. There’s a guy from the MLB home office in every stadium, with no affiliation to the umpire’s union, and he calls for a stoppage of the game if there’s a missed call. Like, a short stop’s phantom tagging of second base on a double play. That shit won’t fly when I’m in charge!
As for football, all penalties can be reviewed. I will never understand why teams aren’t allowed to question a penalty! Or, an egregious non-call. It’s absolutely absurd that referees get to have all of this unquestioned power over a football game! Do you understand how many billions of dollars the NFL is worth? And we’re letting these little panty-waists dictate the results of games?
Again, here, there would be an impartial observer to review penalties. Someone who knows the rules inside and out, someone who can come on the broadcast and explain things for us (so the stupid refs don’t have to), and someone who won’t be swayed because they were once in Ed Hochuli’s shoes.
Also, I think all reviews in the NFL should be automatic. Give coaches their two-to-three challenges just in case “Upstairs” doesn’t see something in time, but otherwise I want the game stopped on close calls.
We can do this, people! If we put our minds to it, we can do anything! By God, I won’t have another Super Bowl XL! Not on my watch!
On to the rankings.
- Denver Broncos (9-1) – Inside track for AFC West, and proof-positive that they’re the #1 team in the NFL.
- Seattle Seahawks (10-1) – Most fortunate BYE week of anyone in the NFL. You’ve earned this rest, Seahawks.
- Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) – Not going to call them a pretender, but they’re going to need to play better – and get Jamaal Charles more involved – if they’re going to take down the Broncos.
- Carolina Panthers (7-3) – Holy shitballs! This team is for real! Boy, are we lucky we caught them early, before Riverboat “Swingin’ Dick” Ron took control.
- New England Patriots (7-3) – The Colts gotta be pretty stoked about the Patriots losing like this. It’ll be a shame for whichever team doesn’t get the #2 seed. Then again, not as much of a shame as whichever team between the Chiefs/Broncos getting the #5 seed. There outta be a law.
- New Orleans Saints (8-2) – The showdown for the NFC #1 seed in two weeks. These Saints will lose.
- Indianapolis Colts (7-3) – Almost blew that to the Titans. They will struggle without Reggie Wayne.
- San Francisco 49ers (6-4) – Not the same football team without Crabtree. Now, they’re not even guaranteed to be a playoff team!
- Detroit Lions (6-4) – Playing defense like that is going to lose you that division title.
- Chicago Bears (6-4) – McCown is not stealing the starter’s job from Cutler. He will be back in there when he’s healthy … just not a moment sooner.
- Philadelphia Eagles (6-5) – Even when Nick Foles doesn’t throw a TD pass, he still scores 30 fantasy points. Fantasy Juggernaut!
- Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) – Not a contender. But, probably still a division winner.
- Arizona Cardinals (6-4) – I would have laughed and laughed if the Jags had beaten them. As it stands, I’m just laughing and laughing because they have the same record as the 49ers.
- Green Bay Packers (5-5) – Will you PLEASE make Matt Flynn your starter?
- Miami Dolphins (5-5) – What can you say? Solid win. They’re still not a great team, but whatever.
- Dallas Cowboys (5-5) – Sorry Cowboys, your season is over. The Eagles will F your S up.
- Baltimore Ravens (4-6) – All it took was one of the worst weather games in NFL history for the Ravens to remember they have Ray Rice on their team. Fantasy owners would probably appreciate it if you gave him this type of attention the rest of the year.
- New York Giants (4-6) – Whoop-dee-doo, they beat up on the Green Bay Packers, BFD.
- St. Louis Rams (4-6) – I think the Rams beat the 49ers the next time these two teams play.
- New York Jets (5-5) – Wasn’t this team supposed to be good on defense? I guess it’s hard to be when your offense turns it over so much.
- San Diego Chargers (4-6) – Will people finally stop believing that this is a playoff team now?
- Cleveland Browns (4-6) – Whatever.
- Buffalo Bills (4-7) – Yeah, I dunno.
- Tennessee Titans (4-6) – 4-6 record and second place in their divison. Huh.
- Oakland Raiders (4-6) – Now THAT’S how you play with a backup quarterback!
- Pittsburgh Steelers (4-6) – The Steelers & The Lions: A Defensive Pillow Fight For The Ages.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) – This team COULD approach a 7-9 record by season’s end. Not too shabby after that start.
- Washington Redskins (3-7) – And yet, still not out of the NFC Least.
- Houston Texans (2-8) – Keenum benched? What is this world coming to?
- Atlanta Falcons (2-8) – Just an awful, awful team.
- Minnesota Vikings (2-8) – I guess that’s that for Christian Ponder, yeah?
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) – Your 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars.