If The Refs Keep Throwing This Many Flags, The NFL Regular Season is Going To Suck Balls.

Featured, Sports and Bets — August 20, 2014 at 10:48 pm by

The NFL preseason is spiraling out of control.  No, Johnny Manziel didn’t go on a bender in downtown Cleveland after being benched for Brian Hoyer;  and no Ravens got arrested this afternoon. (Although, some Steelers did.)  In fact, I’m not talking about off the filed stuff at all.  Instead, I’m talking about all the flags that have been thrown by NFL referees this preseason.

Through two weeks of preseason football, there have been 756 penalties called.  That comes to 23.7 penalties per game.  That’s gross.  The spike in flag throwing has come about because the NFL has decided to tell its refs (There is one more of them on the field this preseason, too.) to focus on downfield illegal contact penalties and defensive holding penalties.  Great, like we already didn’t have enough of those calls already.

The NFL, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that passing the football will remain the preferred method of offense, and that touching any receiver in any way, shape, or form, five yards past the line of scrimmage will simply not be tolerated.  This will make man-to-man coverage even more difficult ( if not impossible)  for defensive backs and linebackers.  In fact, these defensive players have already been completely screwed this August.  In the first two weeks of preseason in 2013, refs called 8 illegal contact penalties and 20 defensive holding infractions.  This year, the zebras have called 55 illegal contact penalties and 107 defensive holding penalties.  That is a big uptick and an obvious focus; and it’s an obvious disadvantage to defensive players.  (Just think of all the drives that these penalties are keeping alive). Thing is, I don’t the flag throwing will slow down once the regular season starts, because the NFL believes that passing the football and increased scoring are what the fans want, and that’s the product the NFL intends to deliver.

The problem is that more penalties and infractions won’t create a superior product.  In fact, less contact will turn the NFL game into a high-dollar flag football league, with quick vertical scores and final scores in the 30’s and 40’s for both teams on a consistent basis.  Sorry, but constant totals in the seventies and eighties ain’t real football, babes. While the high scoring games can be impressive to watch, they become markedly less impressive to watch when they become the norm.  Defensive stops are what create drama in football, and these rules are meant to create less defensive stops. By handcuffing defenses even further with stricter rule enforcement, all the NFL is really doing is creating a less dramatic sports product.  Nobody wants that.

What the fans really want is referees that let the players play.  Games that are over-officiated become petty and toxic affairs in which players look for flags on every play instead of worrying about actually playing the game itself.  Fans don’t want more penalties and more rules, they just want fair and even officiating, and they want defensive players to be allowed to showcase their talents.

The NFL is quickly making the game less and less physical.  I understand wanting to reduce helmet-to-helmet hits and head hunting collisions downfield, that’s just common sense.  But if the NFL goes too far in limiting defenses and reducing contact, their game will become of shell of what it once was.

So get ready, football fans, the yellow hankies are gonna fly this season.  And it’s going to suck balls.


  1. It is going to suck. I agree. The game is changing too much.

  2. Tell me about it, almost every drive is either saved or ruined by flags. We are simply not watching a team versus a team; we are watching the Zebra Enforcers.

    Why pay attention to the score anymore?

    Just play on your phone until you hear the crowd rawr, then watch the replay of the amazing play.

    Why pay attention to the game anymore?

    All your doing is watching 25 seconds of Gameplay, and then 120 seconds of Zebra Calls, then 240 seconds of Commercials.

    Like I said, turn the Volume Up, and wait for the Crowd to Rawr, then watch the Replay.

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