NFL fans like me have had to witness a slew of sloppy, dirty, controversial NFL games this season.
But don't just blame the replacement refs.
Blame the players and coaches too.
Coaches and Players Acting Like Spoiled, Tantrum-Throwing Children
NFL coaches and players have clearly decided to use the replacement officials as a flimsy excuse to act like spoiled, tantrum-throwing children.
If NFL officials are on-field parents, then the replacement refs are babysitters who have been asked to maintain discipline while mom and dad are away for a few days.
The children (coaches and players) have decided to act like brats to the babysitter.
When kids treat a babysitter disrespectfully it says far more about the children and parents than it does the babysitter.
NFL coaches are behaving like petulant children, stubbornly sassing back to the babysitter with, "That's not how my mommy does it! I'm telling my mom!" nearly every time they disagree with a decision.
NFL players are going out of their way to start on-field skirmishes, like a bully of a big brother mercilessly picking on his little sister, just daring the babysitter to do something about it.
Grow up, kids.
Your behavior is embarrassing.
Bill Belichick Needs to Be Put in Timeout
Last night's Baltimore Ravens' 31-30 victory over the New England Patriots is a classic example.
The Patriots lost to the Ravens because they were outcoached, plain and simple.
After the Patriots took a commanding 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, Ravens' coach John Harbaugh adjusted. He sped up the offense. He got Joe Flacco in a groove. He turned up the defensive pressure on Tom Brady and company.
Bill Belichick, meanwhile, stubbornly continued to feature a completely ineffective running game which produced just 77 yards on a whopping 34 attempts (2.3 YPA).
So how did Belichick respond to getting outcoached?
Like a temperamental toddler after the babysitter told him he cannot have ice cream for dinner.
An angry Belichick stormed after an official, berating him as he tried to grab the ref after the Ravens kicked the game-winning field goal. In the postgame press conference he tried to blame the refs instead of taking responsibility for his own inability to match Harbaugh's superior in-game adjustments.
You need a timeout, Bill.
And this is not to single out Bill Belichick - he is simply the most recent example. The NFL today fined Denver Broncos head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio for verbally abusing referees. The league is reviewing the conduct of Belichick, Harbaugh, and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan for potential penalties for mistreatment of officials.
Brandon Spikes - Pottymouth
Belichick was not the only Patriot crying himself to sleep last night.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes reportedly sent a Tweet from @Brandonspikes55 which read "Can someone please tell these f&^%ing zebras foot locker called and they're needed Back at work !!!!"
Somebody get the Lifebouy soap ready - Spikes needs to get his mouth washed out!
Yes, the refs made mistakes in this game (as every ref does in every game), but one of the main reasons the Patriots lost was because Ray Rice destroyed New England's front seven.
Rice ran 20 times for 101 yards, galloping right through Brandon Spikes and his defensive teammates.
The temperamental Spikes recorded just four tackles - two solo and two assisted - against the Ravens.
Instead of cursing the officials, perhaps Brandon Spikes should try - I don't know - maybe tackling Ray Rice more often?
Bad Babysitters Plus Spoiled Children Equals Disaster
Yes, the babysitters are inexperienced and overwhelmed with their responsibilities.
This is also true - the children are behaving like spoiled, bratty kids looking for the slightest excuses to throw temper tantrums at short-term, rather powerless babysitters.
Mom and dad (the veteran officials) will hopefully be home soon.
But unfortunately for mom and dad, their spoiled kids will continue to whine, cry, and throw temper tantrums, just like they are doing with the babysitter.
Because that's just what bratty children do.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Panthers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles:
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Bill Belichick