© 2012 Aaron Atkinson

The Replacement Refs

It’s a tough week to be a Green Bay Packers fan. If it’s true that the very best refs and umpires make themselves invisible, the refs that decided the Packer / Seahawk game might be the very worst. And I’m not alone in my judgement. There were more than 6,000 game-related Twitter posts per minute in the aftermath of the debacle in Seattle.

To add insult to injury, the NFL had the opportunity to overturn the call, and they did not. Like a stubborn presidential candidate who refuses to admit he’s wrong, the league had to stand behind their replacement refs or risk losing face. But face is already long gone.

As a fan, it’s enough to make me not want to watch anymore. And perhaps this is what it will take to force a change back to normalcy. Because by watching, I’m subtly voting in support of continuing the madness.

This is certainly the hot story this week. I can’t flip on the TV or browse the Internet without seeing the replay. And the more I watch it, the more my head involuntary shakes in confused disgust. I have to remind myself that it’s just a game – a game that’s played for our entertainment. In those moments when I get really frustrated, I just think ahead a few weeks to when I’ll spend my Sunday afternoons chasing pheasants instead of watching football.

The fact that there aren’t any referees in bird hunting is the newest reason why I love the sport.


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