Not Funny, Rog

We’re not stupid. You have a problem.

Jim Rome
October 17, 2019 - 9:59 am
Roger Goodell

USA Today


If you watched the Lions-Packers Monday night game, you might think the league has an officiating problem.

And you would be wrong…AT LEAST according to the league. Roger Goodell had a press conference and of course he was asked about that DUMPSTE FIRE THAT was the officiating on Monday night.

“Officiating is always a focus for us. I joke, but I’m not joking: I think I’m close to 40 years [in the league], and I think there’s always a two- or three-week period where there’s an intense focus on it. But, listen, you never want to see a game where people are talking about officials afterwards. It was a great football game played by two great teams. ... It’s tough. It’s tough to be in that situation.”

The “joke” he referred to was a quick, nervous zinger back to the reporter. But the real joke is that answer. Because two days after Lions fans lost their minds and one day after NFL VP of Football Ops Troy Vincent admitted that one flag thrown on the game-winning drive should never have been thrown, Goodell’s response is: its fine. It happens. It happens all the time.

Yeah, that’s kind of the thing, Rog. If every year, coaches, players, and fans have an issue with the officiating, that’s a problem. And this hasn’t been a “two or three-week period” this has been six weeks of suck.

And even further back, if you include the Rams-Saints NFC Championship game and that Mortal Kombat finishing move Nickell Robey-Coleman dropped.

Roger is standing in front of a house on fire and telling everyone that everything’s good and the heat your feeling was because he turned up the thermostat. We can all see the house is on fire and he’s just like, nah, it always gets a little warm around this time of year, it’ll pass.

And speaking of that near-decapitation in the Rams-Saints game that somehow went uncalled, that was the play that led the league to make pass interference reviewable and when that change was announced, everyone said it would be a complete disaster.

And that’s exactly what it’s been. Just seven of the 44 reviews have been overturned and some truly egregious calls haven’t been reversed. It’s a problem when the audience sees one review after another showing clear interference and then it’s not called on review. It’s gotten to the point where coaches just aren’t going to use challenges on pass interference anymore, because they have no confidence the officials will get it right.

That’s a major problem.

But not in Roger Goodell’s eyes. He thinks it’s going just fine: "I think coaches understood replay was not going to correct every pass interference close call. It's not possible to make it perfect, and we're not re-officiating these plays. The thought process was to correct the obvious and clear error. I think it's settling out where we expected."

If by settling out where we expected you mean it’s a complete embarrassment for the league, then I’d agree. But again, Goodell isn’t alone on this. Believe it or not, Jerry Jones has takes on this too.

He said on Tuesday that “The calls were the subject of most of the talk after the ball game. And they’re the talk this morning. As long as they’re talking, keep it going.”

In other words, hell yes. Not only is it not a bad thing that people are talking about officiating, it’s a great thing. Sure, the officials were horrible and everyone is pissed off, but at least they’re talking.

What a truly terrible take. Even for a guy who made a career of spewing terrible takes, that’s one of the worst.

Who cares if the rules aren’t being followed by the guys who are supposed to be enforcing them, people are talking! Hell yes! How bout them horrible takes!!

There have been some bad takes on this show and there have been some bad takes coming from that guy’s pie hole, but that is an all-timer. That is a dumb guy’s idea of a smart answer. And I know Jerry isn’t a dumb guy.

But that was a dumb take.

It’s okay to say that a bad thing is a bad thing and then try to fix it. Just don’t insult our intelligence by trying to convince us that a bad thing is actually a good thing.

People talking about terrible officiating doesn’t make the officiating good. People talking about the league isn’t always a good thing.

Was it good for the league when people were talking about Ray Rice? Or Tyreek Hill? Those stories got even non-football fans talking about football, but at least they were talking, eh, Jerruh? So that had to be great for the league, right?

I don’t know if Jerry’s saying that because it didn’t hurt his team or if he really believes that, but either way, it’s just not a smart take. And by the way, if he was on the other side of that, there’s no way he’d be running that nonsense.

The NFL is the biggest thing in the world: it’s not in an “any publicity is good publicity” mode. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Leave that to the smaller leagues. In the meantime, this is broken. And it needs to be fixed. Stat. 

Because the most important thing in any sport, the thing that makes it a sport, is that people believe it’s real and it’s fair. And when refs are calling penalties that aren’t there and are missing penalties that are there, fans are going to think it’s not real and it’s not fair.

And they’ll talk about it. And then they’ll talk about finding something else to do with their time.

You have a problem. Fix it. Don’t say there isn’t a problem or claim that somehow the problem is a good thing, just fix it. We’re not stupid. You have a problem. And it’s a big problem. And we all know it. So did the right thing and fix it.