Guys and gals, I've been doing some serious thinking about our CFL refs. I'm NOT posting this to defend the boys in zebra stripes but to offer a different perspective.
I posted a thread some time back inviting opinions about CFL refs and NFL refs. I was particularly interested in hearing from avid fans of both the CFL as well as the NFL rather than from those like myself who only watch the NFL occasionally. The responses were quite interesting. Some felt that the NFL refs are superior the CFL refs and that they are better trained. They felt the NFL refs were more consistent when making calls.
On the flip side others felt that NFL and CFL refs were pretty much on par. They talked about games they saw where the NFL refs blew calls that had an effect on the outcome of the game just like in the CFL. They felt that some NFL refs were just as bad/inconsistent as some CFL refs.
Personally I have seen CFL refs get booed and almost verbally crucified for certain calls and when the replay was shown, the refs were right all along! It seems some fans will scream up and down regardless of whether the call was right or not if it goes against their team.
This thread is not about rehashing what your thoughts are about NFL vs CFL refs so please do not go there. Do that on the other thread. What I want you all to respond is to the following:
!. Some of you have been following the CFL for decades. In your opinion do you believe the refereeing has deterioated? Could this perception be due to the benefit of camera angles and replays rather than the quality of the refereeing?
- Given the speed of the game and what sometimes results in impossible angles to get a clear view of the infraction etc. is it just possible that the game of football is simply a very very difficult game to officiate? Replays can vilify a ref's call. It can also exonerate him. Before jumbo screens and high tech replays that can zoom in on an image, the fans pretty much accepted the call- the only ones who disputed were those sitting closest to the action.
It is number two that I'm most interested in. Often when a play is under review the replay shows several different camera angles. The refs do not have the benefit of seeing a play from different angles as it unfolds. They also must make a split second decision as they see the infraction or the play. And yet, even under such pressure and with a partisan crowd calling for a ref's head, the evidence upon replay often shows that the ref was right all along. In other instances the replays were inconclusive. INCONCLUSIVE! What does that mean in football? It means that even with the benefit of several different camera angles the play/infraction was so difficult to assess [even with high tech] that we need to rely on the unaided human eye and human interpretation to make certain calls. However, this requires the human element and the human element sometimes simply gets it wrong because of the speed of the game and with so much happening.
Yes, there are time when the refs have screwed up a call. They know it, the players know it and everyone else knows it but really....... does it happen that often. I know everyone of us can provide an example or two of when that has happened but I'm wanting us to look at the larger picture.
I'm just wondering if the "problem" with our refs isn't an issue of competency but more an issue of the nature of the game.
I remember before they introduced a second ref on the ice in the NHL there always complaints about missed calls and stupid calls. Years ago the NHL put another ref into the game. Yet still today things get missed. You have two refs, one on either end of the ice and yet we see all sorts of stuff missed.
Maybe the CFL refereeing can be improved. Then again maybe it doesn't have to be because there will always be the human element and as it has often been stated: no two people see an accident the same way.