Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blowing The Whistle On NFL Zebra Talk

I resisted the temptation to pile on, but it's too great. The Backtime Editorial Department's official statement on the NFL officiating fiasco:

"Let's get all nostalgic about the regular officials, who just don't suck as much."

The truth is, I have no real take on this which hasn't already been put out there. The product is impacted and the games are becoming very difficult to watch. Professional gamblers in Vegas are no doubt turning to the roulette wheel, which now involves more research and strategy than betting a 2012 NFL game.

Wisconsin pols have gotten in on the act after their beloved Packers were jobbed on Monday. Paul Ryan in Cincinnati yesterday:

"You guys watch that Packers game last night? I mean GIVE ME A BREAK! (pauses for expected laughter, co-opting the personality of his running mate) It is time to get the real refs. And you know what it reminds me of? President Obama and the economy. If you can't get it right, it is time to get out."

I am trying, really trying to find the analogy here. Oh they're both lousy, I see - must've gone over my head. Kind of like how parking tickets and raw meat are both so hard to swallow.

Even the foremost authority in killing the right to collectively bargain has caved, as Scott Walker took to Twitter with the hashtag "#returntherealrefs." So he's suggesting that fatcat, billionaire NFL owners just give in on their hard-line stance against unionized workers. Maybe he was joking.

But despite all the attempts at comedy, as usual, one man stood alone. Noting that NFL ratings have never been higher, Stephen Colbert suggested that this is what the people want:

"People love sports disasters. That's why they watch NASCAR, or the Mets. I think the NFL should incorporate other things that entertainingly ruin the game. For instance, stop mowing the grass...

Or if you must mow it, make the groundscrew spend 20 minutes in a gyroscope before they paint the lines on the field...

Or maybe swap out the uprights for those wavy car dealership guys...

So I say, let the lockout continue. These replacement refs are great for business. I just hope they're demanding to get paid what they're worth. I mean if the owners don't give it to them, they should really form a union."

I think we found our whistleblower. But I must repeat Backtime's official statement:

"Let's get all nostalgic about the regular officials, who just don't suck as much."

These zebras-in-exile are responsible for things like a famously botched coin flip, and a completely mangled 2006 Steelers-Seahawks SuperBowl.

For the time being, things are what they are, and the product has suffered. But GIVE ME A BREAK (P.Ryan 9/25/12) with all the righteous outrage.

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