Thursday, September 27, 2012

Accountability Returns To The NFL

After a national uproar, the NFL officials have returned, resuming their duties tonight in Baltimore. Thus the arbiters of the gridiron will restore a level of accountability.

As an aside, Backtime's Editorial Department is accountable for the level of sarcasm in yesterday's post. With all the righteous outrage out there, Backtime decided to take too many cues from our Patron Saint,  Stephen Colbert. We are all of course happy to have the regular officials back.

And gone are the nameless, faceless stand-ins who can go back to their jobs in D3 and the LFL. The names and faces we know, such as Mike Carey (pictured above) will go back to enforcing the rules and officiating the disputes in NFL games.

Not that they are deserving of a hero's welcome. These men are not perfect, and as noted yesterday, they sometimes suck. But we know their names and they are accountable for their decisions.

When I was growing up, names like Jim Tunney, Pat Haggerty, and Red Cashion were part of the fabric of the game. They made their announcements before the stadium and TV audiences, and that was that. They weren't always correct but they had authority.

Take today's best-know NFL official, Ed Hochuli. He is a presence on the field, and not just because of his guns. It's because of the years of equity he's had dealing with the league, players and coaches.

And since Hochuli is a household name in NFL circles, he is accountable. When he screws up and costs a team a game, like he and his crew did in the 2008 Chargers-Broncos fiasco, he takes responsibility.

And for the last three weeks it wasn't the responsibility of the ill-equipped replacement zebras, but the owners who locked out the regulars. There was nobody in charge on the field.

The men in stripes are back and there's order in the universe again. Coaches, players and fans will know exactly where to direct their incessant bitching.

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