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| December 22, 2014

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Ace of the Mace: Too Little Too Late

Ace of the Mace: Too Little Too Late
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Hallelujah the referee lockout is over!  After a miserable three weeks of football games filled with disastrous calls from the replacement refs, football as we know it can return.  All it took was the worst call the league has ever seen for National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell to finally wake up and get a deal done.

We can thank Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate for that.  If by some miracle you haven’t heard yet, the Green Bay Packers lost a controversial game to the Seahawks on Sunday, Sept. 23.  On the last play of the game, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary pass to Tate that was indisputably intercepted by Packers cornerback M.D. Jennings in the endzone. However, the replacement refs saw things differently and gave Tate the touchdown and robbed the Packers of win as the Seahawks walked away with a 14-12 victory.  That was the wake-up call Goodell needed.

The league announced on Sept. 27 at 12:30 a.m. that the lockout was over.  Goodell came out and publicly apologized for the lockout but honestly, it’s too little too late.  There have already been three weeks of football that have been tainted by absolutely terrible calls.  There is no way to make things fair except for maybe putting an asterisk next to all of the games during the lockout period.  It was probably the biggest embarrassment that the league has ever seen and Goodell should be ashamed that it happened under his watch.

What should really irk people is the fact that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers came out and apologized for the product that the NFL was producing before the commissioner even did.  It was a stand-up thing for Rodgers to do and it is something that Goodell should have been doing all along.  To his credit, he did support the replacements refs who really got some unfair blame placed on them.  Sure they made terrible calls, but they really weren’t qualified to do the job and they were trying their best.  Goodell at least had the sense to back them through this entire travesty.

The point is that Goodell has now had two lockouts under his watch, which may have been unavoidable, but his apologies have come a little late.  He should have been telling fans all along that while he supported the replacements, he was also sorry for the product that the NFL was putting on the field the past three weeks.  People pay good money to attend NFL games and they don’t deserve to get the show that the NFL has recently put on.

By: Ben Decowski

Sports Editor

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