I love football. It is so much better than things that are not football, it is ridiculous. But, much like all things in this crazy world, football is not perfect.
You may think I am going to reference things such as the long instant replay process, or the amount of commercials that flood us during a game or the safety issues.
All of those are legit issues. But there is something out there that tears at the fabric of the fairness of the game. Something that is simply unjust and can poison the outcome of a play.
That thing is pass interference.
Aw yes. That constantly harped on call that can win or loss a play. Almost every pass has some sort of interference to it, be it by the defense or the offense. So when the flag gets thrown, who knows right from wrong?
Well, the ambiguity of the pass interference will always exist to some degree, so I am not here preaching that I have a solution to this mess. But let me offer a few issues I have with the way it is legislated.
First off, over 80% of PI calls are on the defense. Even though by football definition when the ball is in the air, both sides have an equal right to the ball. Yes, that is by definition. Yet it is mostly the defensive player that gets called with his hand in the cookie jar. So the way this call is legislated on the surface is simply not fair.
Secondly and more importantly, the biggest problem with PI is that there is only one yardage penalty for it; spot of the foul. So what that means when two players go for ball and bump into each other, 80%+ of the time when the flag is thrown, the offense gets the ball at the spot. This mostly happens on long throws. So that means the penalty for PI is 40+ yards on the defense. What? That is completely not fair. Simply put, the punishment does not fit the crime.
There are other passing calls that are totally unfair. A holding on a defensive back is 5 yards and an automatic first down. What? An automatic first? What the fuck is that? Earlier this season, Denver had Carolina late in the game pinned back on a 4th and 23, yet Carolina got a first when a 5 yard penalty was called on an innocuous hold by Chris Harris. This continued the drive and set up a potential game winning field goal. Not fair!!
A side effect to the highly punitive PI call is that referees are more hesitant to call it late in games. For example, this past weekend Richard Sherman interfered with Julio Jones on a 4th and 10 heave. It was left not called. Why not? Well, other than the fact I and 70,000 other at the Clink on Sunday were yelling their head off, the ref did not want to make a call to decide a game on 50/50 ball that was thrown carelessly in double coverage. That would have been a 35 yard penalty for that shit pass. I pretty much guarantee if there was a 15 yard option like in college, the likelihood of a correct call would have increased greatly.
Referees rarely want to decide games with a call. Look at Super Bowl 47 or look at any late game shot in the NBA or look how the strike zone shrinks on a 0-2 count. And I do not blame them. The way pass interference and defensive holding calls are punished puts way too much emphasis on the refs judgment call. Again, I can’t say this enough……..the punishment does not fit the crime.
So fix this NFL. Now. Make this game more fair for the defense, the offense, and the refs.
And while you are at it, move the extra point back in. Later on that………..