Pat McAfee, like many other people, thinks the NFL has an officiating problem that showed during the Conference Championship games.
The NFC Championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers may have a had a bad call or two, but the game ended with a lopsided score, so there wasn’t much anybody could say about it.
In the AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals, however, a bunch of calls, non-calls, and a huge error seemed to go the way of the home team and it was hard not to see it happen in real-time.
The Chiefs, at one point, received two chances at a third down after a ref said he tried to stop play without blowing his whistle. The play went through, and as the Chiefs got ready to punt, the officials ruled that the play did not count. A holding call by the Bengals gave them a first down.
A missed block in the back and holding penalty changed the game entirely as the Chiefs went on to win.
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On Monday, McAfee did not mince a single word on his feelings toward the NFL’s officiating.
“I do think, though, we have a massive officiating issue. I think refs suck. Not all refs, there are some refs that suck and they shouldn’t be in playoff games. Why are they in playoff games, especially when there’s only two games and there’s gonna be 50 million people watching? That’s a great question. We’ve been talking about the officiating stinking for a long time. I got tweets from a lot of Ohio (people) over there in Cincinnati who are die-hard ‘Who Dey’ fans and Bengals fans. ‘Why don’t use your platform and why don’t you try to make the NFL better for once? Why don’t you not candy-coat, not dance around it, not be the fake funny guy that you are and why don’t you call out the NFL for officiating?’
“So this morning, I drove through our Twitter account. And we’ve literally been talking about this since 2018. About how full-time refs, optically, would just look much better to everybody. Because you got part-time refs and they’re not full-time refs, there’s a chance that they could be swayed by somebody outside the NFL. Since they’re not completely committed to the NFL, there’s a chance that somebody outside to get ahold of them now. I think they get paid well, but what is well? What is the line? Especially with how much money is potentially being made. Off of these games and off these deals and off these advertising deals and sports gambling and everything like that. What is good money in comparison to? You make them full-time, boom, we can eliminate that distraction of potentially getting swayed elsewhere.
“It absolutely pours gasoline onto the fire of the NFL being rigged and wanting Patrick Mahomes and a new dynasty back into the Super Bowl. Andy Reid taking on his old team, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Kelce Bowl happening. If you start thinking about how great it is to have the Chiefs and the Eagles. Because the Eagles had already been decided. So if they’re just booking this in real time once the Eagles go in… Boom, we need the Chiefs to go in.
“And they’re purposely (expletive) the Cincinnati Bengals, you can start putting some things together where you’re like, ‘I could see how that could be the case.’ With that being said; the amount of people that would have to be in on it, and the amount of money that all these people would have to be paid, would have to be so astronomical that they wouldn’t tear down the entire league.”
The former punter elaborated that fans heavily scrutinize the games due to the NFL’s popularity.
He’s not wrong.
We can only hope and pray that we get a clean game in Arizona when the Eagles take on the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. The worst thing ever would be the game being decided over terrible calls by refs.
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