CHICKS DIG SCARS: I don’t want no stinking asterisk!
Several years ago (well…..maybe more than several), when I was a senior in high school, my entire class decided to skip 7th hour Business Law. We had a substitute teacher that day. The first person to arrive in class stood outside the door and greeted the rest of the class upon their arrival and said, “We’ve got a sub! Let’s all skip!” and miraculously, everyone did, from the jocks, to the goody-goody’s, to the in-between students. We all went to McDonald’s.
Hey, in Burlington, WI in the early 80′s you had two choices: McDonald’s or Hardee’s. And only weenie underclassmen who couldn’t drive, schlepped themselves to Hardee’s.
The sub, an older lady who spoke with a lisp and was abused every time she set foot in a classroom because she was an easy mark, sat in an empty classroom that hour. Years later, after getting a teaching degree and having to take my turn as a sub, I remembered that woman with a sick feeling in my stomach every time the phone rang at 5:30 AM, asking if I was available to sub that day. Did we abuse all the regular subs? No. Certain subs had a great command of the classroom and didn’t take our obnoxious teenage high school bullshit. Others, not so much. We took more liberties with the ones who didn’t. Even the well behaved students pushed the envelope of decent behavior when this particular woman subbed in a class. I even wondered back then, why they continued to call her. She was clearly in over her head in handling high school students, who were larger, quicker, and less afraid of her authority and in lots of instances, flat out didn’t care how bad they were being to her, knowing that any punishment that the vice principal handed out, would be easily worked off, or skillfully talked out of.
Are you starting to see my point here? The same behavior, on a much larger and more violent scale, is currently happening in the National Football League with replacement referees. Most of these refs are division II and division III college referees. Some don’t even have that much experience. They have never seen the speed and the violence that professionals are capable of. They’ve never had this many cameras, or this many eyes, trained in on their every word and every call and are clearly intimidated by the entire environment. They’ve never had to “police” men this large or powerful, who incidentally don’t care if they get fined, because they also happen to be rich as hell. “Go ahead, fine me.” The players are pushing the envelope. They’re taking chances and making cheap shots they’d never make if Ed Hochuli and the rest of the boys were on that field. The players (and coaches) are not being policed properly and are acting like teenagers with a substitute teacher in the classroom. “Let’s see how far I can push this!” Whoops. “Hey, is that Matt Schaub’s earlobe on the ground? My bad!”
Personally, I want Ed Hochuli, flexing and explaining calls in tremendous detail, on my TV immediately. Are you listening, Mr. Goodell? All we’ve heard since pre-season is that it’s going to take a major injury to a marquee player, or having these refs actually decide a game, for them to take notice. Well, it has happened. Your move, Roger. Aside from people in the 206 area code, who are sitting in a Starbucks with their flannel shirts and smiling faces this morning, fans across the rest of the country, even those that dislike the Green Bay Packers, know that what happened last night cannot happen again. Why? Because next time, it’s going to be against their team, or their star player. Karma has a funny way of kicking people later on when they show a little too much schadenfreude. Plus, it just smacks at the integrity of the game we all love. No one wants to see the NFL become the NBA, or worse, the WWE. Apologies to MBL, but football IS America’s past time.
What do I want? I want Goodell to make a statement, admitting that they screwed up. He’s not going to reverse the result of the game. It just will not happen. Bud Selig did not reverse the outcome when Detroit’s Andres Gallaraga was screwed out of his perfect game by a bad call in 2010. Sure, every sports fan was outraged beyond belief, and Jim Joyce the umpire in question who made the call costing Gallaraga that perfect game, publicly apologized and admitted fault, and remains haunted by his mistake to this day. But, the result of the game was not changed. Fortunately for the Detroit Tigers, there are 162 games in an MLB season. There are only 16 games in an NFL season. One loss can affect whether or not a team even makes the post season playoffs. However, if there is a football god, the Packers will host a playoff game. And the opponent with be Petey the Poodle and the rest of the Seahags. At Lambeau. In the cold. Bring your own security detail, Pete.
I also want him to get the owners to the table and resolve their differences and PAY THE REGULAR REFEREES. The Packers may be the only team without a singular “owner,” and thus seem to be at a disadvantage in this situation, but we have over 362,000 “owners” (shareholders), and millions of fans comprising a national fan base which is one of the largest in the NFL. Unless you just fell off the turnip truck this morning, we’re quite a loud, boisterous bunch, and we are not reacting to this situation quietly.
I have also heard experts clamoring for an asterisk by this game. Really? A freaking ASTERISK? That’s going to make it all better? No. It’s going to look pathetic. Because that what it is. It was pathetic when Mike Ditka demanded one in 1989 on a judgement call. You can find just as many fans that think Don Majkowski was over the line of scrimmage that day, as you can find football fans that think he wasn’t. Last night, everyone except for the aforementioned delusionoids in Washington state, know that the end of the game was blatantly wrong. And they also know that next time, it could be their team on the receiving end of a “bend over” call, if the replacement ref situation isn’t dealt with. Last night was not a “judgement call.” It was an embarrassment.
An asterisk? Is punky.
Seriously. I missed Dancing with the Stars AND The Voice for this bullshit? No. Just NO.
By the way, our regular teacher, who we all thought was “cool,” and thus was sure to find our “harmless” prank completely hilarious, laughed his ass off as he wrote 25 separate after school detention notices. It was my only detention in 4 years of high school (which considering my smart ass mouth, is a miracle in itself.) Did we learn a lesson? Nahhh. My 18 year old self thought that an hour in after school detention study hall was totally worth the fun we’d had. Plus, I got to see what detention was like after four years!