Ask Gary: Should NFL officials be full-time?

by Gary Shelton on November 12, 2016 · 1 comment

in general

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Saturday, 4 a.m.

With all the money they have, shouldn't the NFL hire full time officials?  Maybe if these guys could spend more time training/learning the rules, there would be less non-calls/or blown calls?  Your thoughts?

Lisa Brown

Every few seasons, the NFL runs into a slate of controversial (wrong) calls, and this argument comes back again. This time, it came from New Orleans coach Sean Payton, who seems incredulous that the league hasn't gone to full-time officials long ago.

The explanation from the league is that many of their better officials have full-time jobs in industry or education, and that they would leave officiating. I don't know about that. I'd want to do a survey to see just what the impact would be.

The other argument by the league is what the officials would do during the week to make them better. Conditioning? Film? Rules?

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Me? I'd prefer a compromise. Say, you make your top two crews full-time. Have both work on Sunday and one work on Monday and the other on Thursday. That way, they're calling two games a week and working three on the other aspects. If it improves the officiating, I say you expand the pool. If it doesn't, then you punt.

My personal opinion is, yes, it's about money. For a league that has its own ATMs, the NFL is notoriously cheap. You say the officials wouldn't have enough to do during the week? How about the commissioner? What does he do on the average Tuesday?

If you had a couple of crews of full-time officials, you would at least have the appearance of trying to do something to make things better. At this point, doesn't the league have to try something?

The Chicago Bears are second worst in the NFL in points scored. The Bucs should beat them easily, right? RIGHT? 

Howard Powders
The only people the Bucs beat easily are the Bucs. On the whole, Jay Cutler isn't what you want in a quarterback. But he's a bully; he can shred a weak secondary. The Bears are coming off a good win against Minnesota.
The Bucs will be in a game (like the Rams and Raiders) that can be won. But I wouldn't think it will be easy. I think the Bucs have to keep the ball by running it and with Jameis Winston throwing to Mike Evans. That might not be easy. The Bears have the No. 12 defense in the NFL.
Chris Archer says the Rays need to spend more money on payroll.  So is what he is really saying is “the reason I was 9-19 is because the rest of the team sucks?"
Scott Myers
Ha. Archer wasn't very good, and obviously, he should have started by saying "Well I know of one starting pitcher that needs to keep the ball on this side of the fence." But let's be honest; even if Archer had been 14-14 in his 28 decisions, the Rays wouldn't have been close to competing.
To be honest, I think Archer has a point. The Rays need to score on more plays than the solo home run. They need to run the bases better. They need to play better defense. But it shows you that when an athlete's game is insufficient, no one wants to hear what he thinks is going wrong. Archer was a deficit this year; not an asset.
Of course, if we were waiting for guys who had good years to speak up, we'd be down to one or two voices. Evan Longoria. Brad Miller. Kevin Kiermaier. Alex Colome. Maybe Logan Forsythe. It isn't exactly a chorus of voices.

How do you think Chris Archer's remarks are  playing in Sternberg World?

Jim Willson
I think it's probably getting a pronounced shrug. Hey, most players want their team to spend more money, especially the teams that don't. I'm sure Sternberg is thinking "I wish we sold more seats so we could pay more money." Or "I wish we had more in TV revenue."
Honestly, I don't think it's going to shame an owner into saying "Wow. Maybe I'll double the payroll and buy our way into the playoffs." Every year, there are employees who want the Rays to spend more money. They've resisted.
Many people seem less than thrilled with Jason Licht.   How much more time do you think that he should be given to turn the Bucs around?
Jim Willson
Jim, I think the Bucs need to give leadership more time. One of the problems with the team's production is that they 've changed too darn often. Now, maybe the problem is that they fire coaches too fast, or maybe they don't take enough care when they hire them to begin with.
I'd tie Licht to Dirk Koetter. I'd either give them both another year, or I'd can them both. Like I said before, they've run through too many coaches to quickly.
Remember this, though. Tough finishes have always been the death of Bucs coaches. Tony Dungy lost in his last playoffs. Jon Gruden had a bad finish. Raheem. Schiano. Lovie. I know this: If I was Dirk Koetter, I'd try to find me a streak where I showed progress in the second half of the season.
The Rays have given Matt Silverman’s top assistants important sounding titles and even calling one of them a GM. But if you add all of their baseball knowledge together it wouldn’t fill Theo Epstein’s baby finger tips. Do you think the Rays would be better off hiring the best baseball mind they can find to run their baseball operations just as the Cubs did with Theo Epstein? Obviously they wouldn’t pay as much for their guy as the Cubs did but isn’t it time to admit this management team is taking the team down the wrong path?

 Larry Beller

The Rays had someone who was close to Epstein when Andrew Friedman was here, but as he left for the Dodgers, that window of opportunity was closing. Silverman hasn't been nearly as good at rebuilding the team, no doubt.

But I don't think the Rays are going to go out and pay a proven mind (even if it isn't Epstein), They don't spend nearly enough money to throw big bucks at a guy who doesn't play.

Remember this: Epstein has proven himself in Boston and Chicago, but you're talking about two big payrolls. If you can't afford big names, and if you don't have a solid farm team, then can you win?

To sum up, the Rays are a failure. That goes for the team on the field, and that goes for the front office. Can they turn it around with such a cash deficit? We'll see.



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