NFL referees have the responsibility to not only help create a good product on the field, but to also take in the criticism from the general public week in and week out. Being an NFL referee isn't easy. The game on the field moves so much faster than what you see on television. Referees before a play have to monitor illegal procedures on offense, how many men are on the field and offside penalties on defense to name a few.
Then, after the ball is snapped, referees have to watch for holding on offense and defense, clipping, tripping, illegal man down field, illegal forward pass, intentional grounding, hands to the face, facemask, personal fouls, helmet to helmet contact, pass interference, and illegal contact . That's not even close to what they have to look for during a play. Just a few.
In the era of player safety which the NFL has enforced year by year over the last 10 seasons, it has gotten to a point where the amount of rules that referees have to account for has become too much for them to handle. I can't blame them. As fans of sports, we are always critical of refs when games don't go the way we would like them to go. The refs know what they are in for when the sign on to do the job and I get that. But they are human. And believe it or not, NFL refs don't make the rules. The NFL competition committee does.
The NFL competition committee consists of the following people:
- Rich McKay (chairman of competition committee) - president, Atlanta Falcons
- John Mara - owner, New York Giants
- Stephen Jones - owner, Dallas Cowboys
- Mark Murphy - president, Green Bay Packers
- Ozzie Newsome - general manager, Baltimore Ravens
- Rick Smith - general manager, Houston Texans
- Jeff Fisher - head coach, St. Louis Rams
- Marvin Lewis - head coach, Cincinnati Bengals
- Mike Tomlin - head coach, Pittsburgh Steelers
Chris Culliver called for a personal foul for this hit on Greg Olsen. Cost him a pick-six. https://t.co/kHMr05s4nG— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) November 22, 2015