It seems like an eternity since we all had to watch a bunch of low-level college referees check off another box on their bucket list. But after just two weeks, fans are certainly happy to be back to the normal.
This may come as a shocker to some, but there is no redoing of the first few weeks of the season. Just ask the Green Bay Packers. Even though it was only three weeks of circus calls by the replacement officials, the entire 2012 season will be remembered as the year of the ref.
What is the NFL going to think if at the end of the season the Packers end up one game out of the playoffs, or if Arizona beats out San Francisco by a game for the NFC West title? What will fans think about the integrity of this season? Will it even matter who wins or loses from here out?
Some fans may say that it doesn’t, but I think that a 16 game season means a lot more than a few blown calls over the course of the beginning of the season. Don’t take this out of context, because I certainly feel that what happened during the replacement ref era will somehow play a part in the outcome of this season, but I also think that what happens during the rest of the season will undoubtedly overtake most of what happened.
The Packers may bring the week three Monday Night controversy back to the table if they don’t make the playoffs, but if they put themselves in that situation it’s not going to be because of that one play. It’s going to be because they let the Seahawks sack Aaron Rodgers eight times in the first half of that game, or simply because they have a new offensive coordinator that can’t figure out how to run that high power offense.
Regardless if whether or not fans are frenzied, the season will play on. Looking back on the first few weeks of the season I’m positive some may not care about the rest, but a true football fan will look beyond the few uncontrollable aspects and enjoy cheering on their favorite teams.
Everyone must remember what happened this season and never take referees for granted. They may look like a bunch of Foot Locker employees running around out there, but after witnessing what it was like for the first three weeks, players will think twice before trying to dispute a pass interference call now.