NFL Referees Calling Penalties At Record Levels This Season (2014)
In a rare occurrence, three of the Boldin Beautiful league owners watched the San Francisco 49ers versus the Chicago Bears matchup under one roof on Sunday night. Team owners Josh and Rich alleged that had to wake up early on Monday morning. They did not attend the festivities. Our reaction to the first half was unanimous, “STOP THE F-ING FLAG MADNESS!” It seems like NFL referees are calling penalities after every frickin’ play. The first half was the longest 30 minutes in TV history. NBC Sports Commentator Al Michaels is losing his mind and we’re concerned he won’t make his flight Monday afternoon. The Bears and 49ers combined for 26 penalties for 176 yards during the four quarters. What the f$@k NFL!!! These flags need to stop now.
In Our Heads? Nope.
There was a chance that the combination of primetime commercials and too much alcohol affected our opinions. So, once I sobered up, I did some research. CBSSports.com investigated if referees are in fact calling more penalties since 2006. The article found fan frustrations are real and not bogus conspiracy theories. NFL referees will call over 16 penalties per game according to league projections this year. The 4,139 penalties expected this year will be over 500 more than last season. In a 2014 Pittsburgh-Atlanta game, there were 15 fewer penalties called than in the Oakland-Kansas City game. The Raiders game took 32 more minutes to complete. Imagine the fans watching the Raiders-Chiefs game having 32 extra minutes of play stoppage.
The call referees make most often is pass interference. Yes the NFL has become a passing league, but NFL rules limiting how a defense can be played on outside receivers, all defenders can do is reach and grab. Pat Kirwan calls for the NFL to address NFL referees calling an excessive number of penalties on the field. He writes, “I would like the NFL to address the penalty issues before they really start to lose fans. The league could start with a more direct response from its own office when they know the officials on the field are getting a call wrong instead of telling us on Monday that the call was wrong.”