One for Wednesday

Rules: This isn’t about fantasy football, so if that’s all you’re in for today, feel free to stop reading now and go out and pick up Tyler Thigpen if he’s still available. This is about how absolutely ridiculous this weekend was in the NFL. First of all, it’s absolutely ridiculous for NFL players not to know the rules of the game they play. You see it every single damn weekend, so believe me when I tell you Donovan McNabb isn’t the first. 

McNabb didn’t know that football games ended after the first overtime, and that’s that. Does it effect the way he plays? No – so honestly, as ridiculous as that is, it’s not as bad as the guys on punt coverage that screw up regularly. This weekend, not sure which game, but I watched it happen with my own eyes, a team punted late in the game. They were up and at this point in the game, every second mattered, so they should be trying to let the clock run. With the ball still rolling, the punting team’s player grabbed the ball. He left about 6 seconds on the clock, because the ball would have rolled and the clock would have done the same. That’s a bigger rule blunder than Donovan’s, I promise. 

But that’s the players, and I understand it’s ridiculous, but it isn’t even close to as ridiculous as referees replaying a call and screwing up a rule to disqualify a touchdown. That’s absurd. Referees have one job, know the rules and enforce them. Everybody that’s ever loved football knows that an illegal forward pass isn’t a dead ball foul, and therefore whatever happens after that play is fair game. If a whistle isn’t blown to stop the play, the non-penalized team can do what they want and then choose between the penalty or the outcome of the play. That’s it. I’m a football coach, and I’ve played some ball in my day, so I probably know the rules better than the average fan, but I shouldn’t know them better than any single man paid to officiate at the pro football level. It’s a joke. 

In the blink of an eye, during play, I can understand a bad call, a misjudgment, a quick mistake – but I can’t even begin to justify a replay of a touchdown that results in no touchdown because a referee doesn’t know the rule. Especially a non-dead ball foul rule like that. It’s as if he went into the booth, made something up, and ruined fantasy games and gambling wagers alike. What a damn idiot.

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