Why official 84 concurred with the official to the right without a conference is now a moot point. The best comment I've seen on the ruling is that if the offensive player comes down with the defensive player who is holding the ball, it is a catch.
There is an economics lesson in professional football's lowering of standards to hire replacement officials, one made by former basketball referee Barry Mano.
"In fairness, I look at the replacements as a group of well-paid volunteers in a failing experiment," Mano said. "What is missing here is the extraordinary value that the regular officials bring to the game from the standpoint of their presence, their management skills and their ability to control the flow of the game. This is all on top of knowing a very complex rule book and knowing all the enforcements.The league had to dip well into the pool of extramarginal providers, as the major college conferences advised their officials that job-hopping would not be looked upon favorably. Thus, the replacement officials include individuals discharged by the Lingerie Football League, a business that wants to signal that its product is Serious Entertainment.
"A whole bunch of decisions had to be made to set the table as it has been set," Mano said. "You put these replacements in very deep water. I mean very deep water. I was a basketball referee for 25 years. I was used think, heck I could go out and work an NBA game. We all sort of think that way. But you know what? It turns out that when you decide to have a cup of coffee in the NFL, that decision can have very serious consequences. I think the replacements are finding that out."
Mano does not see the quality of the officiating improving as the season unfolds with replacements.
Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers offered fans the apology the league would not make.
"Some stuff just needs to be said," Rodgers, who was more diplomatic during his postgame press conference, told [his WAUK Radio] host, Jason Wilde. "First of all, I've got to do something that the NFL is not going to do: I have to apologize to the fans. Our sport is a multi-billion dollar machine, generated by people who pay good money to come watch us play. The product on the field is not being complemented by an appropriate set of officials. The games are getting out of control."Integrity "diminished a little bit" is an accurate understatement, contrasted with Our President's characterization of the deaths of four U.S. citizens as a "bump in the road". That's clearly a greater manifestation of incompetence, and I'm sure there's some lesson to be learned in the attention a blown call in a football game is getting. But some casinos are refunding bets on the Touchception game.
He continued: "My thing is I just feel bad for the fans. They pay good money to watch this. The game is being tarnished by an NFL that obviously cares more about saving some money than having the integrity of the game diminished a little bit."
And all for the want of officials who have the sense to confer before making a ruling on the field.