Okay, so the replacement officials are officially out of here. Thursday night's game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens was officiated by actual NFL officials. In a way I'm glad to see the real refs but a part of me will miss the replacements. I know what you're thinking but hear me out on this before you hammer on me.
In a weird way I liked the replacement officials and the only time I ever hated on them was when they messed my Giants over in week one. But I'm past that now. Let me share with you why I liked the replacement refs. Here's what I have:
The unknown: Wasn't it fun not knowing what the replacement refs were going to call or not call? Like you never knew what was going to happen next. The element of unpredictability (that's a big word) was added to what was already an unpredictable game. Don't you think?
For example, the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks game. Wasn't that all kinds of fun to witness? I don't know about you but I couldn't quit watching my Twitter. I know that there were a ton of horrible calls while the replacements were calling the games, but you have to admit that you never knew what was going to happen.
Bigger and better hits: Didn't you think that defenses benefited from the replacements? There were all kinds of big hits that weren't getting called. It kind of reminded me of old school football. I've seen a ton of highlights from back in the day when you could give someone a Goldberg Spear or a clothesline and get away with it.
Let's be real here for a second. Some people tune in to football just to see someone getting de-cleated. It's kind of like NASCAR. I hate NASCAR and you couldn't pay me to watch it. But I will tune in from time to time just to see if there's a wreck. I'm not alone on this. Other people feel the same way. Big hits and football are totally synonymous. Big hits are part of the game and we got a little bit more of that with the replacements.
Controversy: Anything that stirs up controversy is worth a watch, yes? That's why we have reality television. If something is controversial, you know you're going to tune in. The replacement officials really added that element to the NFL.
How many times did you find yourself at work talking about a play, or a game that should have been called one way or the other? I surmise more than once. But wasn't that fun? To debate? To critique? About how the replacements were ruining the game of football. Look, I did my fair share of it too. But when you take something as great as the NFL and add more controversy than it already has, it's a good thing.
To sum it all up, I'm an NFL purist, and I like to see the game played the way it was meant to be played. But that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy the little taste of anarchy and chaos that the replacement officials brought to the glorious game of NFL football.
Dylan Davis is an avid New York Giants fan and has grown up on New York Giants football. He's seen his G-Men win four Super Bowls and can't wait to see them win four more.
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