We all misremember things from time to time.
I’m sure you’ve misremembered to read my column at some point and I can’t get too upset considering I misremembered to write one worth reading this week.
Roger Clemens once told Congress that a former teammate who accused him of using PED’s “misremembered things” while former President Bill Clinton simply misremembered that Americans, and Congress, are too smart to fall for semantics.
NFL fans are not above misremembering things either.
We’re just two weeks into the season and so many have dragged replacement officials through the mud, that it’s taught us just how easy it is for fans and the talking heads to misremember the fact NFL referees were never really all that good to begin with.
Which is of course why we have replay.
The sudden love and unforeseen empathy America has for the formerly faceless NFL referees is not unlike the time Sally Jones dumped you in junior high.
The ethereal Sally Jones, whose stunning hair was more long and flowingly beautiful than anything man had seen since Secretariat, and who left you so crushed you became convinced there’d never be another like her and that the times you shared during “talk time” in homeroom were more precious than anything you’d ever know again.
You’d gone so low that the decision to quit life altogether was a simple one and then the first period bell rang and you moved on.
Still the blathering, incoherent reaction you had to Sally’s “Did you know I’m dating Kate’s cousin Ricky? Check Yes or No” note is not unlike the reaction America is having to the lockout of NFL officials.
One good thing to come of all this is the fact fans who for so long had berated the real NFL officials are finally admitting the existence of a competent referee.
Which is of course straight out of the Bizarro World and something Roger Goodell is undoubtedly pasting in his scrapbook.
The truth is when it comes to replacement officials I expected much worse.
In fact, given the speed of the NFL game, I expected to see something along the lines of a tribe of Kalahari Bushmen trying to referee a football game.
Yes there have been problems, but by and large they’ve not been that bad.
What did one expect to see after the league scrambled together an army of men who weren’t good enough to referee at this level to begin with and put as much lipstick on them was possible in a month before throwing them to the dogs?
Asking these guys to call an NFL game is the equivalent of asking a nine year old who’s just mastered flying his remote controlled airplane to pilot the space shuttle.
It’s like handing an M-16 to a middle school hall monitor before asking them to eradicate Mexican drug runners from the border region.
The truth is officials are a necessary evil. And the human being, while albeit sophisticated and well engineered, is still littered with flaws.
And it doesn’t matter if they blow a whistle for a living or sack your groceries, everyone makes mistakes.
The difference is some of us are fortunate enough to make them in a place and time that sees them go largely unnoticed.
And while there may be a small difference between stacking canned goods on top of a loaf of bread and blowing a call that decides a game upon which millions of dollars is riding, is it not the nature of human beings to forgive.
Or is it forget?
Either way, the NFL replacement official wins.