Umpires and Referees

A couple of weeks ago I had to go to a restaurant to watch the Packers play the Redskins since the game was not on any of the cable channels I get.  During the second half a Redskin fan sat down at the table next to mine.  It was not too long before we exchanged a couple of comments on the game.   Soon after that he started complaining about the officiating.  I about lost it (only about though).  In the first place, I can’t stand it when people blame the refs.  In the second place, the refs in that Packer/Redskin game were not doing any favors for the Packers any more than favors for the Redskins.

When I got home I checked the blogs and, sure enough, there was no shortage of Packer fans complaining about the refs.

The refereeing in the NFL is simply bad.   The only virtue it has is that all plays are called equally badly and all teams get their turn at being screwed over.  Still, good refereeing would be better than bad.

Tonight I am watching the Phils and Giants play for the National League penant.  The game is on Fox.  On replays of pitches, Fox has the graphic of the strike zone showing exactly where the pitch was located.  It is amusing to listen to the announcer, Tim McCarver, when the umpire calls the pitch a strike and the graphic shows the pitch was clearly a ball.  McCarver just ignores the graphic completely and, as the replay of the pitch is shown, talks about how the pitch caught the outside of the plate.   The replay clearly looks like it was outside and the graphic confirms it, but we don’t want to show up the umpires.

Umpiring in baseball is slightly better than what goes on in the NFL, but the ball and strike calling is a joke.  The rest of the calls are usually correct, but there are still plenty of errors.

I wonder how long it will be before sports really embraces technology to help call the games.