Oakland Raiders: Will Replacement Officials make a Difference to the Raiders?
Jerry Rump – Jun 12, 2012
The NFL has announced plans to bring in replacement officials for the 2012 NFL Season if an agreement is not reached with the NFL’s Referee Association. There are some that have speculated that the move could be beneficial to the Oakland Raiders.
The reasoning behind this speculation comes from people saying that these new referees will not have the long-ingrained bias against the team that is evident among the regular referees.
This sounds more like some wishful thinking if you were to ask me. Breaking this story down bit by bit, this author will debunk the flawed thinking behind all this hype. Let’s start by examining the facts involved in the history of the case.
Fact: The NFL has consistently invented rules or changed the rules during the course of multiple playoff games to prevent the Raiders from advancing and perhaps bringing another Lombardi trophy home. I submit into evidence two prime examples to substantiate my case.
December 23, 1972, Three Rivers Stadium, the date lives in infamy as the so-called immaculate reception took place. Pittsburgh Steeler fans rejoiced as the rules were bent to allow them to advance in the playoffs. Of course, the Miami Dolphins’ went on to defeat the Steelers and complete their undefeated season. You’re welcome Miami!
To this day, I agree with Gene Upshaw that the phone call placed by referee, Fred Swearingen, before ruling in the Steeler’s favor, was indeed made out of fear to ensure the referees’ safety. Because if the play had been called correctly and the Raiders would have taken over on downs and won the game, the referees knew they would not make it out of the stadium alive.
The second point to be made here is one that makes every member of the Raider Nation cringe at the very mention of it, so I apologize in advance.
January 19th, 2002 Foxboro Stadium, the infamous Tuck-Rule game occurred leaving a very bitter Raider team speechless and full of resentment. This one needs no further explanation as we all know it was a fumble!
In both instances, the rules were reversed after they had served their purpose adding more fuel to the conspiracy theory advocates’ fire.
These are two prime examples of referees exhibiting extreme prejudice against the Silver and Black. However, there seems to be some that do not take the facts at point-blank value, so the evidence from last season must be admitted as well.
Starting somewhere around mid-season, announcers began to hint at the fact that the Raiders could break the record for most penalties and penalty yardage allowed in a season. How did these geniuses that cannot conceive one original thought amongst them come to the conclusion that this was bound to happen?
Investigative reporting has recently obtained a top-secret document from the league’s front-office explaining that the commissioner had deemed the Raiders a threat to make the playoffs and that the current efforts had to be doubled to ensure this would not happen. But, there are some strange coincidences surrounding the release of this document.
Sunday Night Football announcer, Chris Collinsworth, had no comment when recently asked about the memo. Now this is extremely bizarre as everyone knows that this guy never shuts up and is a notorious Raider-hater. Coincidence? I think not.
Also strange, are the reports of huge returns for those whom invested with Ump-attire.com, the company that produces the penalty flags.
In fact, this company that makes the dreaded little yellow flags had a banner year as it out-performed Apple, IBM, and Microsoft on the Nasdaq during last year’s 17 week regular season. Coincidence? Again, I think not!
Ok, enough on past and recent history to prove the existence of bias. This is the point where we rejoin the argument that replacement referees will indeed show less bias against the team and in fact, be beneficial to the Raiders in the upcoming season.
Pardon me, while I must take a minute to refrain from laughing. I just cannot see how any self-respecting, card carrying member of the Raider Nation could conceive this as a likely scenario.
How can anyone assume that NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, would ever let this happen under his watch? Even more, why would this bias, which has existed since the inception of the Raiders into the league in 1960, change now just because they bring in some new blood to officiate?
To solidify my argument, I have obtained access to documents that will show the extent to which the NFL goes to ensure that this bias is kept alive and well.
Evidence from Roger Goodell’s personal referee training manual, which I submit into evidence as exhibit B, shows why the Emperor will never allow the penalties called against the Raiders to be reduced. “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.” (Star Wars pun intended.)
The first ten points of the training manual explain my point:
First, it is noted at the opening of all mandatory NFL referee training sessions that the Oakland Raiders have always and will always be on double-secret probation.
Second, no referee or potential referee shall be a former or current Raider fan as this might lead to a conflict of interest. A significant background check will be conducted to ensure that the candidate, nor any member of his family or close associates, may be friendly towards the Raiders' organization.
Third, rumor has it that the late, great Godfather, Al Davis, may have in fact been involved romantically with former commissioner, Pete Rozelle’s wife leading to the long history of resentment by the league’s front-office towards the Raider organization. This explains a lot of the animosity between the two dating back to the days before and after the merger of the AFL and NFL.
Fourth, the league will ensure the hiring of complete buffoons to referee the Raiders games and that said buffoons will continually and intentionally call plays exactly the opposite of how everyone else saw it.
Fifth, the Raiders are to always be penalized more than their opponents.
Sixth, no matter what, ALWAYS find a way to blame it on the Raiders and their fan base.
Seventh, if it looks like the Raiders are about to win a playoff game, the head referee has the ability to redefine or even, invent new and never before heard-of rules, to ensure that the Raiders do not advance. (Ha, I knew it!)
Eighth, when training potential referees, always instruct them to toss Richard Seymour out of no less than two games a year.
Ninth, when Raider cornerbacks exhibit text book technique in covering an opposing wide receiver, throw the penalty flag. (This one explains a lot.)
Finally tenth, under penalty of death, no member of the NFL referee fraternity shall ever admit that they made a bad call against the Raiders as this could lead to a total breakdown of the 50 plus year bias exhibited against the Silver and Black. This in turn, would lead to confirmation of every conspiracy theory ever devised and a complete breakdown of the Man running things. (I knew this was bigger than the game itself!)
So there you have it Raider Nation, absolute proof from the head honcho’s own training manual that no matter what, there will be yellow on the field whenever the Raiders play. It is just one of those things that has to be, kinda like the tides going in and out and Kim Kardashian.
Oh well, it looks like no matter how much we would like it to be otherwise, being a Raider fan means you have to endure watching endless plays that result in frustration and 15 yard gains by our opponents that were not earned.
At least we have one thing we can count on.
Richard Seymour will punch somebody and deserve to be tossed out of at least one game a year! Odds-makers currently have it dead even between Peyton Manning and Ed Hoculi. I’m going against the odds and picking Dan Fouts in a post-game interview personally.
Just keeping it real Raider fans.
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