I’m guessing most Pittsburgh Steelers fans were thrilled to see Mike Tomlin unload on the NFL and its officiating after more ridiculous calls coming out of the Atlanta Falcons game, one that resulted in T.J. Watt receiving the lamest fine ever.
But those in the league office were none too happy about what Tomlin said and he too was hit with a $25,000 fine. NFL officials were happy to see him punished for his critical comments, according to this article from NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero.
“Are we glad to see the league take a response like that? Yeah.,” NFL Referee Director Scott Green told Pelissero.
Green did admit though his refs aren’t perfect and pointing out mistakes are fair.
“But we’re not saying, ‘Hey, we never make a mistake.’ We make mistakes. (If) you want to point out our mistakes, that’s understandable.”
I guess he means they can’t come from the NFL’s inner circle, a strange hypocrisy.
To be fair to Tomlin, I don’t think his comments were directly critical of the refs. It cast a wider net to a league that is creating these rules, putting emphasis on ones like roughing the passer, and putting the officials in a difficult spot. They’re calling the game they’re told to call, regardless of if they agree with it.
That’s the point Green tried to make, shifting the blame to a league office constantly changing rules and making life difficult for everyone on the field, the zebras included.
“The issue from our standpoint is: We call what we’re told to call. It’s how well is that being interpreted? And how well is that being presented to us? To the extent that they’re trying to get video out, when you start making changes in the season — obviously, I’m not saying that shouldn’t be done, but it does require adjustment and it seems like we’re doing some adjusting this year.”
So to recap: the league keeps messing with rules, confusing refs, and angering players and fans. The most successful business in sports still seems to struggle with the most basic concepts.