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NFL likely to reconsider referee officiating process this offseason

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has long had an issue on its hands when it comes to the referee officiating process. It’s undeniable at this point. While the regular season often coasts along with several smaller hiccups that raise eyebrows, once the playoffs arrive, any potential mistakes an NFL referee makes is only magnified. This is not only thanks to having millions more spectators on hand to witness the blunders for a team’s biggest test of the season but also because there is only one game on at a time instead of a handful.

This past weekend’s NFL Championship Round featured its fair share of controversial calls. Perhaps the most notorious was when the Kansas City Chiefs received an extra third down thanks to referee Ron Torbert’s game-clock error, which ultimately didn’t matter much since the Chiefs ended up punting on that same possession (albeit worsening Cincinnati’s field position).

Yet still, these high-profile mistakes by the assigned NFL officials can end up impacting teams’ wins and losses, which in the cases of players, coaches, and coordinators, can end up costing them expensive bonuses or, even worse, their jobs.

Many would agree, the NFL has an officiating problem, which is what retired NFL punter turned media legend Pat McAfee wanted to discuss with Ian Rapoport on his ‘Pat McAfee Show‘ podcast.

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Specifically, McAfee brought up the notion that football fans are growing more and more skeptical over the league’s handling of their referees, with some even going so far as to suggest the NFL could be “rigged” in a way.

But Rapoport acknowledged that the NFL is well aware of these allegations, and the trusted insider fully believes the league will be having “significant discussions” on how to remedy the ongoing referee issue throughout the NFL.

Rapoport goes on to mention a collection of possibilities the NFL may consider, from finally making the decision to hire full-time referees to making much larger investments into the training protocols required to become a league official, and much more.

Ultimately, we don’t know what the NFL may be plotting to try and correct the perceived referee problem, but it’s safe to say, every football fan and participant is on board with getting things right. We’ll see how much progress, if any, is made over the offseason.

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