On The Fence

Bobby Leach "The Rooster" | 10/7/2015, 7:44 a.m.
What happens when an official gets it wrong during a game?
Bobby Leach

What happens when an official gets it wrong during a game? In a game between Seattle and Detroit on Monday, there was a Detroit fumble at the goal line that was helped out the back of the end zone by a Seattle defender and it was ruled a touchback turn over ending the Detroit scoring threat. After the game, it was determined that it wasn’t the right call and that Detroit should have retained possession. Detroit went on to lose that game.

I ask the question of what happens to an official who gets it wrong because in the world of professional sports, much is on the line and if a player or coach gets it wrong often times there is a financial penalty associated with the mistake. Shouldn’t there be some sort of penalty for the officiating crew when a blunder of this size is made?

In today’s world of instant replay and a demand to get the call right. What happens when it all goes south? In a nutshell I don’t think there is anything that can be done or even should be. Officials make mistakes and while there are rules and many eyes on a typical field to ensure mistakes are minimized there is no guarantee that they won’t happen.

Officials regardless of sport have a tough job considering the amount of rules put in place to protect participants and integrate of the sport then consider the emotional investment of all involved. Let’s face it, emotions can run high at sporting events and often times a bad call touches off poor reactions for people who likely would never act that way if a drive thru chain got their order wrong. It all seems so insignificant until it happens to your team and you are left pondering the unfairness of it all.

Honestly I never met a single official I didn’t feel was giving his or her best effort every time they took their spot in a game. While I had my share of disagreements with officials when a call didn’t go my way, I never felt it was intentional when a bad call was made. It’s part of the game just like foul weather, crowd noise, sunshine, field conditions and the like. Get over it and focus on things within your control. If the game comes down to one play for a win, most sensible coaches would be quick to point out the others that didn’t turn out good as the cause for a loss.

Officials deserve respect and earn it every time they suit up. I think we as a society would do well in showing more support to officials instead of immediately turning our thoughts to conspiracy theories.