Bad calls are part of the game in essentially any sport. They are often misconstrued, exaggerated and at times, not entirely unlike good calls that some people just can't quite get over. But they'll always be there, and on Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Seattle Seahawks, there were more than a couple of them.
One call in particular illustrates what is not only an affront to the officiating in that isolated game, but is an all-around problem with the National Football League. The league is championing this "cause" of making the game safer and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that (other than the fact that some believe it's simply so they can push the eighteen-game schedule agenda), except the fact that the rules are getting crazy.
Quarterbacks are protected to the point of being apparent high-value assets, important to national security. Defensive players are penalized for taking the same field as Tom Brady, while guys like Alex Smith are pummeled day-in and day-out with staggering repetition. The lack of consistency in those kinds of calls are the absolute worst. Obviously, every referee is going to be a little different, it's all about judgment calls, but there's so much deviation from game-to-game that it's borderline ridiculous.
When the 49ers played the Seahawks, there was a call on Madieu Williams, who hit the receiver he was defending right in the shoulder with his shoulder. The receiver went up for the ball, was tackled by another 49er, and was hit hard by Williams on his side. It was a perfectly legal hit, albeit a fierce one, and it saved a big play. Williams went shoulder-to-shoulder, and the receiver's head was not touched at all.
Yet not one ... not two ... but three referees threw yellow flags onto the field. How bad are you at understanding the rules that three out of the group think what they saw was an illegal hit? I know everybody in the pressbox knew it was legal without a replay. Everybody on Twitter knew. So why couldn't the referees tell?
Because they're either not trained properly or the league is telling them to go outside of the rules they themselves have defined so the league can appear safer. I really don't care which you happen to think it is, but the fact that it was three refs still blows my mind. It needs to be fixed. That's all. Rant over in that regard. I'm not out to get the referees, they have a tough job and at the end of the day, the 49ers won the game and the call didn't change much.
I'm just, right now, a concerned fan and writer who is worried about the direction the game is headed.