- NFL officials have a tough job, and while fans would like them to be perfect, most would be satisfied with a little consistency.
- But in the Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Redskins game there was not much consistency and there certainly wasn’t anything resembling perfection.
- Two players, Carolina’s DeAndrew White and Washington’s Ryan Anderson, committed egregious helmet-to-helmet hits, but only one player was ejected.
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).
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) December 1, 2019
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.
Another look at the hit on Greg Olsen.pic.twitter.com/UJtOV9HOUu
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 1, 2019
Anderson was ejected, and he should have been, but White should have been tossed as well.
NFL Officials Have A Tough Job
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.