This debate comes up every single year, generally right around this time, and nothing is ever really done about it while the problem continues to get worse and worse.
I can get that it's rough to be an NFL official. Nobody likes you, nobody has anything positive to say about you. . .it really is a thankless position. But when you see calls like the one we got yesterday in the picture above, it illustrates that maybe these guys bring it on themselves a little bit. I mean, seriously. . .FOX must have had at least a dozen TV cameras at each of the games this weekend (and I'm probably way underestimating that number) to show every single play from every conceivable angle whenever anyone calls for it.
Honestly, how do you go "under the hood," take a look at that play from a dozen different angles, and still determine that the guy was down before the ball came out? I mean, look at the picture up there, for crying out loud. . .all it takes is that one frame from that one angle, and there's no other conclusion that can be drawn other than to say, "Yeah, that's a fumble."
Back in the days before instant replay, officials missing calls was understandable, because things were more "open to interpretation." But now that the replay system has been implemented, there shouldn't be any real "interpretation" involved when it comes to these sorts of plays.
Either a play is a fumble. . .or it isn't.
Either a play is a catch. . .or it isn't.
Either the quarterback's arm was going forward. . .or it wasn't.
That's why this league. . .a $9 billion a year industry. . .needs to go to full-time officials. Rather than going back to selling insurance or whatever it is that these gentlemen do during the off-season, they need to be getting on the same page on these things. Watching video, clarifying verbiage, taking classes, and whatever else it takes to get everyone singing off of the same sheet of music. There needs to be a standard set for the rules in the rulebook and for an acceptable level of performance in the workplace, just like everybody else in every other job in America.
I know. . .my little missive here isn't going to convince anyone in the National Football League offices to change anything. But it's something that needs to be said. The National Football League is the greatest sports league for the greatest sport in America. The guys in the striped shirts should be held to such a standard.