NFL Referees Praised by Commissioner

A Compliment Results in Controversy

The NFL’s 2022-23 story has come to an end and some believe it could not have had a better final chapter. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes concluded a historic MVP season with a Super Bowl win in a spectacular game against the Philadelphia Eagles and superstar quarterback Jalen Hurts.

While most enjoyed the game, halftime show, and commercials, there are quite a large contingent of fans who feel that the game’s result was tainted by a controversial crunch time penalty. With 1:54 left in the game, the Chiefs faced a third down from the Eagles 15 yard line. Mahomes lofted a pass over the head of first-year Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster that some believed was not close to being completed.

After the play, the referees called defensive holding on Eagles cornerback James Bradberry. Fans felt that the timing of the play and the flag being thrown warranted a no-call, but that was not the case.

When asked about the play, Bradberry calmly said “It was a holding, I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide.”

Even though the Eagles defensive back was honest about his late game mistake, fans are still irate at the nature of this situation.

Popular sports analyst Mike Golic Jr. tweeted “God what a terrible ending to a classic game.”

A few days before the Super Bowl, Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about how the referees had been this season and in an act of support, Goodell praised referees for their “great work” all year. He went on to say that the officiating had never been better.

Regardless of what Commissioner Goodell says, many NFL games end in controversy. Even on the biggest stage in American sports.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers thinks he’s figured out the problem with today’s officiating in the NFL. Rodgers appeared on the Pat McAfee Show and said that he feels the best refs have begun working as rules experts for the NFL’s TV partners.

The four-time NFL MVP said, “Gene Steratore, I think one of the best guys at understanding how to interact with guys and how to communicate with them, and then how to control a game without being a part of it. Gene was incredible at that, but Gene is on TV now. Why? Because they pay more.” This is largely due to the fact that NFL refs are part-time employees and when the best of them are offered full-time salaries at large television networks, they cannot turn them down.

In a statement prior to the Super Bowl, Roger Goodell said “There are over 42,000 plays in a season. Multiple infractions could occur on any play. Take that out or extrapolate that. That’s hundreds if not millions of potential fouls. And our officials do an extraordinary job of getting those. Are there mistakes in the context of that? Yes, they are not perfect and officiating never will be.”