There’s a trend in the NFL right now, and I don’t like it. It’s not a new trend. But, somehow, it seems to have gone a bit more mainstream than it’s ever been allowed to in the past.
This trend is to blame the officiating for a tough loss.
Fans have been doing this since the beginning of organized sports. I can remember some of my first sports memories growing up as a kid, sitting in the bleachers behind the third base of my hometown Great Falls Dodgers (the AA farm team for the L.A. Dodgers.) My mom’s boyfriend used to take my brother, my mom and I to games in the summers. He wasn’t much of a vocalizer, but the family that sat next to us sure was.
(Note: Understand that this is a PG blog and thus, I can’t put what he actually said.)
“Come on, Blue! Are you blind?”
“Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? If that was a strike, I’m a monkey’s uncle.”
You get the picture. As we’d leave the stadium, it would be a steady stream of expletives on why the bad officiating cost the Dodgers yet another game.
Football isn’t the only sport where it’s okay to blame the ref. Anybody remember the Montreal Screw Job where Bret “The Hitman” Hart lost the title when referee Earl Hebner rang the bell without Hart submitting to the “sharpshooter?”
It’s all sports. Wait…what do you mean professional wrestling isn’t a sport? Those guys are athletes! Wrestingling’s not fake!
Sorry. I digress.
However, what should never be done, but what is happening more and more, is players publicly complaining about bad officiating.
This weekend both the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks lost games. After those games, two of the biggest names in the league, Adrian Peterson and Richard Sherman publicly addressed the media, not just complaining about the refs, but saying they changed the outcome of the game. Peterson took to his Twitter account to express his outrage.
Wow talking about bad officiating & the worst fan base I’ve ever experience! They threw snow balls the entire 4q like lil kids. Smh
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) December 8, 2013
Sherman, on the other hand, took to the microphone — as he usually does — and had this to say following the Seahawks’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers Sunday afternoon.
“We didn’t project it to be this way. We expected to blow them out, but they got the benefit of a few calls tonight throughout the game, and that helps you especially on third down. We will see them again, and it will be a different result.”
Both of these players were involved in games that came down to the wire. Both games were separated by one score. And both games came down to big plays by their opponents where there was no penalty called.
The Vikings were a part of what was probably the craziest two minutes of football I’ve ever seen. They lost after the Baltimore Ravens drove down the field with :45 seconds left and scored the winning touchdown with less than :05 on the clock. There were no penalties called for either team on the game winning drive. The Seahawks saw their narrow lead slip away when they allowed running back Frank Gore to slip through their coverage and scamper down the field for a 51-yard gain, setting up the 49ers for the game winning field goal. There was no penalty called on either team on that play.
Despite that, both of these “professional” athletes blamed the refs for losing.
So what does that have to do with the Chiefs?
Anyone who has watched a Kansas City Chiefs game in the last five years will notice something that happens on nearly every snap when the Chiefs are defense. Watch #91. Tamba Hali is held nearly every play. Sometimes it’s more discreet than others. Sometimes the offensive lineman has Hali in a head lock. But it happens on just about every play.
It’s hardly ever called.
When the Chiefs were on their three game losing skid, a lot of things were said. The defense was blamed for not getting to the quarterback. The offense was blamed for not putting up enough points. The coaches were blamed for not calling the right plays. But here’s the difference between the Chiefs and a lot of these other teams. While they all have their own personalities and egos and everything else that goes along with being millionaire twenty-somethings who play a game for a living, they never once blamed the refs for their losses against the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers.
They could have, but they didn’t.
What makes these guys different? Andy Reid has told them to go out and be themselves. He’s given some of the longer tenured Chiefs on this roster more freedom than they’ve had in years under the Scott Pioli/Todd Haley regime. But that freedom hasn’t turned into stupidity or diarrhea of the mouth like some of these other teams have displayed.
The bottom line here is, the Chiefs look inward at their recipe for success as well as why they’ve fallen in defeat. Instead of assigning blame — warranted or not — they’ve assigned accountability instead. This, along with other factors of this Chiefs team is why I believe they’ll continue to trend upward.
What do you think, Addicts? Is it okay for these players to publicly speak out on the officiating of the game, warranted or not? Or should these keep their mouths shut and just play football?
Sound off below. As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!