The 'bad' NFL referee call in the 'Monday Night Football' game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers puts a spotlight on those among us whom we elevate as truth tellers and judges.
Some outrage mattered more than most.
“Terrible,” chimed in President Obama.
The referee’s call that gave the Seahawks a winning touchdown was almost like hearing that the Supreme Court had ruled the sky was pink. Or that NASA had announced that the moon was made of cheese. Or that the United Nations had decided to let Cuba join its Human Rights Council. (Actually, it did.)
Truth isn’t a relative concept to sports fans, just as it isn’t to most everyone else. They demand that those who officiate a game make decisions based on objective facts. They expect their referees to be neutral, observant, trustworthy – not biased, sloppy, or arbitrary.
Yet referees, like baseball umpires or Olympic judges, have it rough in the era of instant replays and YouTube. Their mistakes are magnified while their good calls are not appreciated. Athletes, too, know better these days how to break a rule with stealth in order to win. Games are faster. Fans are more alert to“unfair” calls.