... Contains many zebras who haven't earned their stripes in the National Football League.
Those who know me know I'm one of the last people to use officiating as an excuse for the outcome of a ballgame. Calls are hard to make in real time. Our perspective is clouded by our biases.
But that call in Monday night's Seattle-Green Bay football game, one in which I had no rooting interest in the outcome, did it for me. The interception by Green Bay that the zebras managed to turn into the winning touchdown for Seattle was absolutely atrocious — and disgraceful as far as deciding a game on the highest professional level. The officiating crew made things worse by not overturning the call when even a fan with limited football knowledge could tell there was conclusive evidence. It was particularly disturbing when the two officials on top of the play signaled two different calls.
That was just the call that is spotlighted — because it was before a national TV audience (many who have an interest via fantasy teams and otherwise) of a weekend of shake-your-head decisions.
The NFL is paying a severe price for its labor dispute and is rapidly losing credibility. Players and coaches are in a state of revolt and we'll see rioting and violence by fans if this continues.
The replacement refs are not qualified for the speed, violence and nature of the game. It's a tough game to call. It should be. Very few can do it right. Replacement refs are like bargain-brand tissue. Things can unravel and fall apart way too easily.
The NFL leadership has to do something. The integrity of the game, which they publically guard so preciously, is at stake.