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View Full Version : Do Refs in the NFL change the integrity of football?


Jvig43
12-07-2009, 02:12 PM
After watching tim donaghy's interview on sixty minutes, I found some of his comments to be a bit interesting, even if they may be untrue, I started wondering if refs in all sports do the same type of things (singling out players, making extra calls to keep a team in the game/out of the game etc...) that he described happened in the NBA. Are refs in the NFL also responsible for making these types of decisions in the game?


Heres the link

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2009/12/tim-donaghy-60-minutes-talks-referee-nba-fbi.html

SeanTaylorRIP
12-07-2009, 02:18 PM
No doubt it's the human element in sports, but since there is no other option you have to live with it. Refs definitely look at players who have a reputation of doing things. If someone is known for pushing off a lot they might focus on them while someone else gets away with it. If someone is notorious for roughing the passer they might flag them on simultaneous contact. I also believe coaches screaming at refs to look for holding influences them to make ticky tack calls. Also I do think home field advantage plays a role at times as a deal breaker on a close call. Now are refs coinciding with the league to have certain teams win, no, but there is no doubt they play a major role in the games.

Bengalsrocket
12-07-2009, 02:26 PM
I believe in "make up" calls, especially on holding, so I voted maybe. Obviously there are bad apples everywhere and referees are no exception but I find it hard to believe that a good majority of referees are doing anything like Tim Donaghy was doing.

HawkeyeFan
12-07-2009, 02:30 PM
I definitely think so. I watch a lot of games and I notice these type things. The worse I've ever seen was 2001 Rams vs Patriots Super Bowl.

sweetness34
12-07-2009, 02:32 PM
I definitely think so. I watch a lot of games and I notice these type things. The worse I've ever seen was 2001 Rams vs Patriots Super Bowl.

That's the worst you've ever seen? You should go watch the 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Kings and Lakers.

HawkeyeFan
12-07-2009, 02:33 PM
That's the worst you've ever seen? You should go watch the 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Kings and Lakers.
I'm talking NFL wise. I see a lot of missed calls against a lot of teams though.

scottyboy
12-07-2009, 02:34 PM
I definitely think so. I watch a lot of games and I notice these type things. The worse I've ever seen was 2001 Rams vs Patriots Super Bowl.

a Rams fan saying the worst thing he's ever seen was something that hurt the rams. shocking to say the least

Shane P. Hallam
12-07-2009, 02:35 PM
Similar to Jvig, after reading some excerpts from his book, I was thinking about it. I went to the Ravens/Steelers game last week shortly after reading them, and a part of me was thinking the refs were giving the Steelers a few calls. Not saying it was happening, but I was looking for it and could see it. There is such a fine line, but I do believe the refs in the NFL have a bit less power than refs in the NBA (where personal fouls can take a player out of a game). I voted maybe, but I doubt it is done purposely.

sweetness34
12-07-2009, 02:37 PM
I'm talking NFL wise. I see a lot of missed calls against a lot of teams though.

I just find it hilarious that you said a Rams game was the worst you've ever seen. And that Rams game just so happened to be a Super Bowl loss.

I also find it funny that you mention how you watch a lot of games and notice these types of things. I think there are a lot of people who can do the same thing, including most knowledgeable fans on this board.

Rosebud
12-07-2009, 02:45 PM
I definitely think so. I watch a lot of games and I notice these type things. The worse I've ever seen was 2001 Rams vs Patriots Super Bowl.

The Steelers/Seahawks SB was another fine example.

HawkeyeFan
12-07-2009, 02:49 PM
The Steelers/Seahawks SB was another fine example.
Yeah, I forgot about that one.

There was just a game I watched the other day ( non Rams ) that was pretty bad, but I can't remember who it was, and it was pretty one sided.

CJSchneider
12-07-2009, 02:52 PM
Given the amount of scrutiny I know NFL refs go through, I'd say it would be hard to do so blatantly, but that isn't saying that those judgment calls don't go in certain players favor for a number of reasons. That being said, I voted maybe.

Jvig43
12-07-2009, 02:59 PM
Im pretty undecided as well, I'd like to think that most bad calls are just that bad calls. But occasionally a call comes around that I question what in the world they were thinking. I think the best way to look at it is to to give examples of calls theat werent against your team or a game your team was playing, because lets face it, the homer in us all is going to bring up a game our team lost due to penalties.

Supporting Caste
12-07-2009, 03:07 PM
NFL refs clearly intentionally botch calls from time to time. Could be because they were betting, could be because they just didn't like the player/team they screwed over.

I'm sure it doesn't happen anywhere near as much as there are missed calls because of laziness or just complete ignorance over the rules, but anyone who thinks all refs are squeaky clean all the time are naive.

falloutboy14
12-07-2009, 03:10 PM
Anyone remember the Steelers @ Colts '05 playoff game? Polamalu had an interception with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter or something, which more or less sealed the deal. As a Colts fan, I left the room to curse the gods.

After I left the room, Tony Dungy threw the challenge flag, and what I remember can best be described as a "interception, down by contact, jumps up & spike the ball in celebration" play was called an incomplete pass. It was a great play on Polamalu's part, which from a ref's standpoint should be a routine call. I don't even know how you could argue it, and would roll my eyes at a coach challenging it, if it didn't mean the game. I've looked recently & couldn't find it, but if anyone has a link to it, post it.

If the Colts had won that game, that play would be the poster-boy for this topic.

Brent
12-07-2009, 03:37 PM
I watched the Mavs/Heat finals. There is some ******** that goes down. 5 ******* phantom calls? Give me a ******* break.

fydhtOSlfW0

EDIT, as for football, there were some ******* BS calls in the Niners game yesterday.

Gay Ork Wang
12-07-2009, 04:07 PM
i cant believe 10 people believe they do it on purpose. Every now and then a biased call might come in, but seriously, its mostly judgement calls on 2 second happenings. Being a ref is one of the harder jobs in the world.

Timbathia
12-07-2009, 04:25 PM
i cant believe 10 people believe they do it on purpose. Every now and then a biased call might come in, but seriously, its mostly judgement calls on 2 second happenings. Being a ref is one of the harder jobs in the world.

I guess there are two angles to this though. One is that they hate a team or player, or they have a vested interest in seeing a team do well or poorly, and they cheat. This obviously happens very rarely, though it has been seen in sports before.

The second is that refs can be biased towards or against players/teams, and when making those instantaneous judgment calls, that bias subconsciously affects their decision. This is plausible - refs are humans, and while it is easy for most to be consciously impartial in making decisions when in that sort of a role, it may be more difficult for some to remain completely subconsciously impartial in those judgment calls. For instance if a player is reputed to being dirty, then he may be penalized more on line-ball calls than a player who has a cleaner reputation, without the ref even realizing it.

tjsunstein
12-07-2009, 04:31 PM
I like to think that they try to maintain the intregrity of their game. They are human, they do make mistakes. I don't think they do it on purpose, though. There are so many eyes watching the referees on a week to week basis.

CC.SD
12-07-2009, 04:34 PM
Sometimes they put a second back on the clock to ensure the BCS is not embroiled in massive anti-trust lawsuits...

Other times there are mistakes so grievous you cannot imagine any human could make them...

http://espn.go.com/photo/2006/1030/pg2_w_hochuli_195.jpg

but on the whole men are not machines so there's not much to do about any of it.

Gay Ork Wang
12-07-2009, 04:36 PM
I guess there are two angles to this though. One is that they hate a team or player, or they have a vested interest in seeing a team do well or poorly, and they cheat. This obviously happens very rarely, though it has been seen in sports before.

The second is that refs can be biased towards or against players/teams, and when making those instantaneous judgment calls, that bias subconsciously affects their decision. This is plausible - refs are humans, and while it is easy for most to be consciously impartial in making decisions when in that sort of a role, it may be more difficult for some to remain completely subconsciously impartial in those judgment calls. For instance if a player is reputed to being dirty, then he may be penalized more on line-ball calls than a player who has a cleaner reputation, without the ref even realizing it.
1. I dont think it really happens. I mean if it is just a single person, then it would become apparent very fast since they are looking at every single play from every game to see if there were any missed calls or if the calls were correct. I mean i dont think there is a case where you can make an example for, and if there really really was one, i dont think it would really change the whole integrity of the sport overall, it would be 1 call out of hundred thousands.

Second: well yea that bias is always there, i mean right now when we judging them, there is that bias. But every call is biased, since you they are made by a person. that doesnt mean A) it changes the integrity of football, because lets face it, there is no real way to judge things like that without a bit of subjectivity, B) most of the things are split second decisions. In this day and age, when we can see most of the plays 5 times over and over again, its easy to fault the referees. But i mean just a single catch at the sidelines, you have to watch for so many things in just about a second. there is just that split second to decide, and most of the times the decisions are the right ones. I mean the calls are in my eyes as unbiased as they can be. they will never be without bias, but thats really something impossible and you dont have any sports where it is that way.

BlindSite
12-07-2009, 05:53 PM
There's a few books I've read on the NFL, either written about teams or by coaches and players and the teams even study the tendencies of certain officating teams to know just how likely they are to get away with holding, PI and all the rest of it.

I don't think it's necessarily a case of one team committing to not calling holds, I think it's more their philosophy on what constitutes "contact" or "holding" that causes issues.

Yes it affects the game, but it's one of those it is what it is situations. It's the same for everyone.

Jvig43
12-07-2009, 06:39 PM
1. I dont think it really happens. I mean if it is just a single person, then it would become apparent very fast since they are looking at every single play from every game to see if there were any missed calls or if the calls were correct. I mean i dont think there is a case where you can make an example for, and if there really really was one, i dont think it would really change the whole integrity of the sport overall, it would be 1 call out of hundred thousands.

Second: well yea that bias is always there, i mean right now when we judging them, there is that bias. But every call is biased, since you they are made by a person. that doesnt mean A) it changes the integrity of football, because lets face it, there is no real way to judge things like that without a bit of subjectivity, B) most of the things are split second decisions. In this day and age, when we can see most of the plays 5 times over and over again, its easy to fault the referees. But i mean just a single catch at the sidelines, you have to watch for so many things in just about a second. there is just that split second to decide, and most of the times the decisions are the right ones. I mean the calls are in my eyes as unbiased as they can be. they will never be without bias, but thats really something impossible and you dont have any sports where it is that way.

Clearly didnt watch the interview. :rolleyes:

Bucs_Rule
12-07-2009, 07:54 PM
The league wouldn't be able to go throw how a ref made calls vs different players. They just wouldn't officiate against specific players enough to notice tendancies. Refs officiate teams at best 2 games a year. In order to tell that the ref has bias you have to notice it over a large sample or the bias has to be very apparent.

Statistically you will see some refs appear to heavily favor some players and go after others.

BaLLiN
12-07-2009, 11:32 PM
This last game, GB vs BAL, really was ridiculous. It completely changed the game, they are making it way too much of an offensive game. Many of those pass interferences were handled right as professionals those players shouldn't be so undisiplined, but other calls that had interference on both sides, should've been no calls.

I don't like the 5 yard incidental facemask penalty being taken away, if the facemask is grabbed it should be 5 yards, if its grabbed and ripped in a way that hinders the ball carrier's balance and/or helps in tackling it should be 15 yards.

Jughead10
12-07-2009, 11:40 PM
The most questionable game was Steelers vs. SD last year or two years ago. I think the game ended 13-10 Steelers, but a final defensive TD by Polamalu I think, should have been scored as time expired to make it 19-10. Refs incorrectly took the TD off the board. Steelers still won, but the they didn't cover the spread like they would have had the TD stood.

vikes_28
12-07-2009, 11:58 PM
How about this year when the Vikings played the Steelers. A tripping call that changed the game for the Steelers. The Vikings would have won that game if it weren't for that call, and It was not a good call at all. Even the great Shane P. Hallam agreed with me on that one. That call really changed the course of the game, cause on that very play the Vikings scored a Touchdown which would have put them up by 10 points.