Fans do not want much from the NFL. They want an entertaining product put on the field; do that, and most fans could care less about anything else. Of course, many things go into the NFL doing just that, like proper officiating and player safety—two things missing from Sunday’s Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins game.
During the game, two players were on the receiving end of a helmet-to-helmet hit, Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and Redskins wide receiver Trey Quinn. Both plays saw the refs throw a flag on the hitter, and both resulted in yardage being marched off.
But that is where the similarities end and the problems begin.
DeAndrew White made his helmet-to-helmet hit first, in the second quarter when Quinn was attempting to catch a punt. He did not call for a fair catch, but White can’t hit him when Quinn is in a defenseless position (like he was), and he certainly can’t go helmet-to-helmet (like he did).
It looks pretty cut and dry, right? Yeah, but the penalty was for catch interference. Somehow, the refs failed to take note of the egregious helmet-to-helmet hit. So, White remained in the game while Quinn left with a concussion.
The play by Ryan Anderson on Greg Olsen was just as violent. But it could be considered the lesser of the two since Olsen wasn’t standing still and looking up like Quinn.
Anderson was ejected, and he should have been, but White should have been tossed as well.
Officiating an NFL game is not easy. It’s impossible to get every call right; NFL officials are humans and are going to make mistakes. This year, there seems to be an alarming number of bad calls being made or not made every week. There were enough earlier in the season that nice guy Tony Dungy complained about them on Twitter.
Poor officiating has driven at least one fan away from the game.
The rules can be ambiguous at times, but with these two hits, that did not appear to be the case. Both are targeting plays, which makes them reviewable. With the same replay official looking over both plays, there should be no problem getting a proper and consistent ruling.
But neither happened in this case.
The NFL may not see the need, but the league needs to get its act together. There is a reason why people keep trying to form an alternative league to the NFL. It is because there is enough frustration with how the NFL conducts itself that businessmen like Vince McMahon see an opening.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:41 PM UTC