NFL refs will make NFL fans stop watching the league faster than anything else. The topic of concussion issues in the NFL is a big deal and it is something that parents will talk about with their kids when it comes to playing football from here on out. But those discussions about concussions will change the sport slowly because there will always be football players who are ready to replace another in the near future. NFL refs will do more damage in the immediate future if the quality of officiating doesn't improve.
People always talk about how players and coaches can't worry about the refs and just play their game. Logically, that isn't true if refs are deciding the outcome of games at crucial times with horrible calls.
People talk about how blaming the refs is an excuse. I disagree because a good amount of the time, players and coaches can't game plan their way out of a botched call. Especially if there is little to no time left remaining in the game. Week after week after week the topic about the refs deciding games is always near or at the top of the headlines during this 2015 NFL season.
The NFL is slowly turning into a bad product. Some of that has to do with the constant rule changes that the NFL goes through year after year which makes it seem like the officials are overwhelmed at times. Some of it also has to do with the fact that some of these referees are not good enough.
From the Baltimore Ravens vs Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions vs Seattle Seahawks, Ravens vs Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins vs Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders vs Tennessee Titans and Ravens vs Miami Dolphins I could go on and on about the games which have been highlighted due to officiating and it has gotten out of control. But the NFL seems content with the way things are.
The NFL makes a lot of useless apologies to teams during the week about a bad call. I don't think the NFL knows what an apology means. When you say, "Sorry about that" in the real world that means you will fix things so that the situation won't happen again. That is if you are truly sorry which the NFL clearly isn't.
Fans have demanded for referees to be full time refs rather than part time refs. In that situation, it takes two to make a deal. The NFL Referees Association much like a players union has to look out for the best interest of the people they are representing. The NFL has tried to make officials become full time employees but there are differences between the two sides in terms of financial security for referees.
At the end of the day, fans of all 32 teams are getting real tired of seeing penalty flags when there shouldn't be any. Fans are getting real tired of seeing non-calls being ignored. We get it. The refs are human and they are not going to get every call right. But the level of incompetence that we are seeing on the field is so bad to the extent where you would think the officials are the replacement refs we saw early in the 2012 season. You would think it was their first time being a ref in an NFL game.
It's just bad. If a team loses, then that's fine. It happens. Other than a tie, there will always be a winner and a loser. But when you see teams lose due to bad calls more often, that is when any sport will be viewed as a bad product. The product in the NFL will become unwatchable as the years go on if things don't improve.