George Hale takes a look at referee rules

Image Credit: MGN
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - THIS WEEK MUCH OF THE SPORTS TALK CENTERED AROUND THE NEW ENGLAND
PATRIOTS AND THE OFFICIATING OR LACK OF IN THE KANSAS CITY GAME LAST
SUNDAY.
SO LET'S BEGIN THERE.
THE REMATCH OF LAST SEASONS AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WAS PLAGUED BY
"ZEBRA" MISTAKES.
EVEN THE PATRIOTS HATERS HAD TO AGREE WITH THAT ANALYSIS.
A RETURN OF A FUMBLE RECOVERY WAS CUT SHORT AND BLOWN DEAD AND
A TOUCHDOWN WAS NULLIFIED WHEN OFFICIALS MISSED AN OUT OF BOUNDS
CALL.
NO QUESTION THAT THE OUTCOME WAS AFFECTED
NEW ENGLAND EVENTULLY LOST 23-16 INSTEAD OF WINNING OR AT LEAST ENDING
IN A TIE AND FORCING OVERTIME.
YOU CAN'T ASSUME TOUCHDOWNS BUT IT DIDN'T HELP.
BUT LET'S PARK THERE FOR A MOMENT.
IN TRUTH, EVERY NFL TEAM GETS SCREWED OVER SOONER OR LATER WITH
BAD CALLS.
EVERY TEAM GOES THROUGH IT.
FANS LIKE TO THINK IT ALWAYS HAPPENS TO THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
BUT IT'S SIMPLY NOT TRUE.
HOW FAST WE FORGET.
WHAT ABOUT THE MISSED PASS INTERFERENCE CALL THAT PUT THE LA RAMS IN
THE SUPER BOWL INSTEAD OF THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS.
WE WILL NEVER KNOW IF THE PATS WOULD HAVE KNOCKED OFF DREW BREES AND
CREW BECAUSE THE GAME NEVER HAPPENED.
THERE IS LITTLE SYMPATHY AROUND THE NATION FOR ANY OF US FOOTBALL
FANS IN NEW ENGLAND.
NONE ZERO…ZILCH!
BUT IT HASN'T ALWAYS GONE AGAINST THE PATRIOTS.
JANUARY 2002 WE HAD THE FAMOUS "TUCK" RULE ON A SNOWY NIGHT
IN FOXBOROUGH.
REMEMBER THAT ONE?
MY POINT IS THAT THE PATRIOTS, OR ANY TEAM FOR THAT MATTER, HAVE
GAMES WHERE THINGS SIMPLY DON'T WORK OUT.
THE OFFICIATING CREW LAST SUNDAY CERTAINLY CAME UNDER HEAVY SCRUTINY
AND DESERVEDLY SO.
THE GLARING MISTAKES MAKE US FORGET THE OTHER CALLS IN THE GAME
THAT COULD HAVE GONE EITHER WAY.
KANSAS CITY HAD 10 PENALTIES FOR 136 YARDS AND I BET THE CHIEFS WERE UNHAPPY
ABOUT SOME OF THEM.
A COUPLE OF LATE GAME "TRIPPING"CALLS WERE BORDERLINE.
THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS ARE HEADING TO GAME 14 SUNDAY AT CINCINNATTI
WITH MORE TO WORRY ABOUT THAN THE ZEBRAS.
AND I DON'T MEAN THE RECENT VIDEO PROBLEM.
HAVING TO RELY ON "GADGET" PLAYS TO SCORE TOUCHDOWNS WON'T WORK
FOREVER.
AT THE MOMENT NEW ENGLAND IS CONSIDERED THE SIXTH BEST TEAM IN THE
NFL.
THERE IS A LOT OF WORK TO DO.
THIS SEASON IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE REFEREES.
THE N F L OWNERS ARE MEETING IN DALLAS.
ON THEIR PLATE WILL BE MANY ITEMS INCLUDING DEALING WITH THE NFL PLAYERS
ASSOCIATION, ANTONIO BROWN STATUS AND MORE.
BUT BUBBLING UNDER THE SURFACE IS THE OFFICIATING IN THE LEAGUE.
THE REPLAY SYSTEM IN PLACE IS NOT WORKING AS PLANNED. TOO MANY CALLS
AND NON- CALLS ARE BEING BLOWN.
IT SEEMS, TO SOME AT LEAST, THAT SOME FORM OF " SKY CHIEF" NEEDS TO BE
IN PLACE FOR EVERY PLAY OF EVERY GAME.
IT'S QUITE POSSIBLE THAT FOOTBALL OFFICIALS, AS WELL VERSED AS THEY ARE
IN THE RULES, CAN NO LONGER BE THE ONLY ARBITERS OF PLAYS.
PLAYERS ARE TOO FAST AND THE RULES TOO COMPLEX FOR REFEREES WHO SEE
EVERYTHING IN REAL TIME.
NO ONE IS HAPPY RIGHT NOW.
NOT THE COACHES, NOT THE PLAYERS AND CERTAINLY NOT THE FANS.
YES, THE OFFICIALS IN KEY SITUATIONS WERE AWFUL LAST WEEKEND.
THE NFL NEEDS TO BITE THE BULLET AND HAVE A "SUPER" OFFICIAL VIEWING
EVERY PLAY AND CALL A HALT AND LOOK AT THE VIDEO TO SEE IF THE
HUMANS GOT IT RIGHT.
MOSTLY THEY DO BUT NOT ALWAYS.

THE LEAGUE IS PLANNING A ' TOP DOWN' REVIEW OF OFFICIATING IN THE OFF
SEASON INCLUDING WHO SHOULD BE IN CHARGE OF REPLAYS AT THE COMMAND CENTER.
BUT FOR NOW YOU CAN EXPECT MORE OF THE SAME.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS.