Fans still chirping about Super Bowl officials


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Jan 22, 2006
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Fans still chirping about Super Bowl officials
Adam Schein / Special to

It's amazing and it is rather pathetic and sad.

Here we are, days after the Steelers win the Super Bowl, and I am still fielding non-stop calls on my radio show about the refs. My e-mail bag is flooded with letters from readers, who root for all different teams, just bashing the officials in the biggest game, and in the playoffs in general.

And I haven't even gotten to the scary part yet.

There are some fans wondering if the sport is legit.

Now, I have ripped apart the callers to my radio program who have been making such claims. But it is even the charge itself that the NFL needs to hear loud and clear. The line between perception and reality is starting to blur a bit. And hey — it isn't even just fans. Steelers' linebacker Joey Porter wondered the same thing after the win against the Colts.

There are now more than just pockets of NFL fans who are wondering about the how competent the refs are, and others wondering how honest they are.

And sadly, this is taking a bit of the esteem away from the flat out amazing run to a championship by the sixth-seed Pittsburgh Steelers. They, and the game itself, deserve better.

Look, the officiating was horrible in the postseason. We attacked every wrong and grotesque call on Monday. And of course, we know about the Polamalu pick, the Champ Bailey fumble, and the Samuel pass interference that marred other games leading up to the Super Bowl.

Now the NFL, the most competitive and most popular sport on the planet, needs to react.

The first thing the league needs to do is make the officials full-time. You can not equally serve at two jobs. You need to make choices. And when you have a family and bills to pay, the full-time job always take priority. When my editor at FOX asked me to do a column last week and I had to do interviews for my radio show, my full-time job took center stage. That's just life and reality.

When these officials spend their week at the fire house, law office, school, or elsewhere, I don't think they are ready to go. As full-time officials, all of your attention goes towards your job of calling a game. And I have heard the argument that there isn't enough for full-time officials to do. That's total nonsense. During the season, all officials should be in the NFL offices in New York studying there performances, going over film, meeting with officiating czar Mike Pereira. During the offseason, they should be at NFL Europe, studying more film, going over replay procedures, conducting more clinics, rotating from mini-camp to mini-camp, from training camp to training camp.

And in the big game, we need to keep a crew together. Communication is the key. Togetherness is paramount.

And like they do in baseball for the World Series on the foul lines, I'd like to see two refs added at each goal-line for the Super Bowl.

Colts' general manager and president Bill Polian, who sits on the competition committee, was also very bothered by the officials in the Super Bowl. While declining to get into specific calls, he strongly agreed with my assessment that an all-star crew doesn't work, and you need to keep an entire team together. A crew working together all season knows how to communicate with each other, and knows how to get an unwarranted flag picked up. Polian also agrees with my take that you need to waive the "five-years-in-the-league rule" to work a Super Bowl. Polian promises he will bring this up in the next meeting.

And that's a good thing.

This was one of the greatest and most unpredictable seasons in NFL history. We should be celebrating it.

Not having some questioning its authenticity. Not talking about the refs.

The NFL needs to hear this in unison, and do something. Fast.
CrossBones said:
Time to move on I'd say! :rolleyes:

Well, easier said than done...I know when I hear the words "tuck rule", I get a little angry still.
CrossBones said:
Time to move on I'd say! :rolleyes:
Might as well cause getting angry isn't going to change anything anyway!! ;)
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