Tom Bogert, CBS Local Sports
With apologies to the egos of some referees, no one tunes in to the NFL on Sunday (Or Monday, Thursday and the occasional Saturday) to check in on their favorite referees.
Officiating is a difficult job. When they walk off the field, it’s commonplace for both teams to hate them. Fans tend to think that they did a poor job, that they’re the reason their team lost.
Now the NFL has introduced a new rule to give the referees even more power over any given game, as well as more opportunity for scrutiny. They NFL passed a new ejection rule that states once a player gets two personal fouls he’s tossed. This decision has been received by Jason Fitz of The Jason Fitz Show particularly poorly.
Dean Blandino, the Head of Officiating in the NFL, was on Jerry Jones’ party bus with the Dallas Cowboys owner in 2014. Now, he’s the face of the new rule change that absolutely baffles Fitz.
“Dean Blandino, the main guy that’s over all of the refs, is a moron,” said Fitz. “He’s not just a moron, he’s a maddening moron. He’s at the point that he’s almost dangerous stupid. Like you have those guys that are stupid and you almost feel bad for some guys, when you’re like ‘good guy, just stupid.’ You have those people in your life. Dean Blandino is not one of those people.”
Fitz goes as far as to say that Blandino could be destroying the game of football.
“Dean Blandino is trying to destroy the game of football by empowering people who haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt and giving them rights to destroy a game that they shouldn’t be in control of in the first place,” said Fitz. “It’s maddening, it’s stupid and the game of football deserves better.”
Fitz doesn’t understand how the referees have been handed even more power than they already have, and the introduction of instant replay and the debacles surrounding are evidence enough.
“There’s no better proof of their stupidity and lack of competence in their job, there’s no better proof than instant replay,” said Fitz. “Boy, they’ve been trying to get instant replay right. Why was instant replay brought by in the first place? It was brought to us in the first place because referees were making mistakes.”
How many times this season has there been a questionable call after the referees disappear under the booth for a few minutes?
“But then what happens?” Asks Fitz. “Now they’re saying ‘well should we do the hockey system? Are they still getting the replays wrong? Do we need somebody in the booth calling for replays? Do we need someone in New York watching these replays? Because it’s still not right. So the very thing that they’ve already given all of this control over to the referees on and it’s the very thing that we’re constantly talking about week in and week out because they can’t get it right.”
Fitz says just on his podcast alone that he’s inclined to talk about referees after games rather than the players, something that isn’t good for the game.
“How many times per year do we come back on this very show and say ‘woah, the refs blew a game’?” said Fitz. “It was almost weekly last year, it was embarrassing last year how many times we were talking about the referees instead of a quarterback. … So these are the jackasses you want to give more power to in an NFL game, these are the guys?”
The new rule mirrors the system of fouls in basketball, where players begin to play cautious as they draw closer to the threshold of ejection.
“We’re creating a basketball-like system where guys have to play cautious depending on the number of fouls they have,” said Fitz. “We’re creating a basketball-like system where a safety is not only going to have to worry about walking away, because that seems to be all Blandino wants to acknowledge here, but if there’s a bad unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the first minute of the game… how does it change the way the players play, because they’re worried about ejections?”
Jason Fitz can be found and followed on Twitter for updates, analysis and banter.
As a fan of repetitive disappointment and frustration, Tom holds Liverpool FC, the New York Knicks and New York Red Bulls near and dear to his heart with occasional joy coming from the New York Giants and New York Yankees.