Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NFL reject refs reminiscent of NHL real refs

The NFL officiating crisis unfolding before America's eyes doesn't have to be so dramatic.

There is another "professional" sports league which deals with this type of thing on a nightly basis during a regular season.

While football fans across the country are ready to ... well, do nothing but complain (because that's all one can do, BTW) ... NHL fans can just laugh, because it's almost comforting to know even though the league is in a lockout, its traditions and customs have leaked into other American sports.

I could go down the list of times NHL refs have ruined the game, literally, but let's remember: It's not the refs. And it's not about the refs and backup refs in the NFL, either. It's the league and owners, once again.

The NHL changes its rules -- vital ones which affect actual Stanley Cup championship games (See: 1999 finals, Brett Hull goal) -- on a yearly, maybe every 5 years, basis. This, plus adding an extra official to the ice, has enabled the NHL to push out veteran officials and bring in the new, shapable ones.

Hello, NFL. Yep, that's exactly the same type of bullying the NFL wants to achieve. Of course, they are going about it in a different way and a union strike was probably not in the plans. But, one must wonder, where does it end?

Well, it could end on the final play in overtime in a championship game. Then, fans are lost. Trust across the league is lost. People literally freak out. High school, college, arena football scramble to change rules in order to keep up with the NHL's NFL's absurdity. It takes 10 years for leagues to catch up.

Yes, this all sounds familiar.

I am in no way comparing the two leagues, especially since one can't go 10 years without a lockout. However, it is important to point out the similarities between officiating crises.

It could get ugly. Or is it already?