Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pass Any Interference

Learn To Love This
I'm making the usual annual mistake of watching pre-season football, folks, and it's really not encouraging. Forget the meaningless of the games, the specter of injury, or the awfulness of the actual telecasts; the real problem is the way the games are being called.

When you watched NFL football in 2013, did you ever think these thoughts:

1) There just wasn't enough pass interference called against the defense

2) We really need to do something to encourage WRs to lobby for more PI calls

3) There just wasn't enough offense

4) How Seattle played defense was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, and must be stopped

5) Referees aren't deciding enough games.

Zero for five for you, too?

Well, I guess I shouldn't be looking a gift horse in the mouth, seeing how I root for a team (the Eagles) that usually don't get close enough to the WR for interference to be an issue. And maybe this is all just a one-week aberration, a fake-out to uppity CBs (heh heh) to remind everyone just who signs the checks around here, and this is all just going to go away, like 33-yard PATs and much of the guys getting second half reps.

But, um, what if not so much?

I don't mean to overstate the case here, but Week 1 of the preseason was borderline unwatchable. Flags were everywhere. Calls came late. Bad offense was bailed out repeatedly, and long down and distances weren't any kind of hazard, since all you really needed to do was take a dive near a DB and reap the benefits for your soccer-esque malfeasance. It's not even going to be good for the league's top constituency -- nerdy nitty gamblers, aka fantasy players -- since drawing PI yards doesn't show up in the allmighty stats, and just puts everything in the hands of the RB TD vultures.

Finally, there's this. Doesn't there have to be a year, even if only for regression or bad PR for the casual viewers, where the NFL's popularity actually goes down?

And wouldn't it be nice if that year were to coincide with a year in which scoring points is cheapened yet again?

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