A call for change with officiating in the NFL

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NFL,Jeffrey Tomik

The NFL's bottom line has yet to see the effects of replacement refs as fans continue to tune in despite poor officiating.

Some could argue that Monday night's debacle -- the replacement refs ruled a last-second play a touchdown catch for the Seahawks despite replays showing it should have been an interception by the Packers -- even drew more interest to the league with the overwhelming buzz surrounding the blunder.

But the NFL is losing its integrity.

Around the league, players who were not even involved in Monday's game went to Twitter to display their disgust with the call and the league's current situation with replacement refs.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees: "I love this league and love the game of football, but tonight's debacle hurts me greatly. This is NOT the league we're supposed to represent"

Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush: "These refs gotta go I'm sorry."

And Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson: "Com'on can we please get the real refs back. Destroying the game that we all grew to love. WOW!!!!!!"

It's gotten to the point that even President Barack Obama weighed in on Twitter: "NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon. -bo"

The locked-out officials have a result -- one directly affected by the replacement refs -- they need to gain some leverage against the owners.

Frustration is mounting. Players are openly showing their distaste on Twitter and several coaches have received fines for arguing with refs on the field.

But will this outrage cause change? Will millionaire owners actually compromise?

It may come down to the fans who made this league the most popular in America. Watching football on Sundays has become a ritual, and fantasy football has become a social norm. Will the inability of these replacement refs force millions to take a stand against the NFL?

It's not likely.

So hopefully the integrity of the league is more important than the bottom line, but don't hold your breath.

- Jeffrey Tomik

jtomik@washingtonexaminer.com

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