It is Monday, and The Rational Middle is curious; if a Grand Design is revealed in the mundane goings on of daily living, what does the following say about the Designer?
- I have brush to clear and burn.
- The weather pattern proceeds in the following manner; days of rain to saturate the brush followed by a couple of dry days to make the brush ready to burn. Inevitably, on the third day (the burning day), it is either raining again, or so windy as to preclude burning without risking your neighbor’s house.
I bet you thought I was going to talk about God’s will and politics, didn’t you? But I’m not…
I am, however, more than a little curious about something more critical to our nation than politics; the state of referees in the NFL. Do you remember when replacement refs were going to ruin the game? Can you cast your thoughts back far enough to recall the euphoria and optimism attendant to the arrival of real game officials? If so, maybe you can answer the following questions:
- Who let a replacement crew onto the field during the 49ers-Rams game Sunday? It had to be replacements, because those beacons of player safety and on-field jurisprudence (the real refs) wouldn’t have allowed 1:12 to run off the clock during a stoppage in play.
- How come, when a replacement ref lets a holding call slide, commentators complain about the no-call, but when a real ref lets it go, it is the real guy “letting them play”?
- For a bonus question, let us consider the wildly inconsistent and monumentally stupid collection of color commentators in our current national pastime. The barking and over-caffeinated studio guys are bad enough, but the color commentators are supposed to provide real insight; they literally draw a check to watch the game and speak with intelligence on what is happening. Sunday, Ian Dark spent 5 minutes hyping David Akers as “the one guy you want to see in a game-winning situation”. Only when Akers shanked the medium distance game winner, did Dark decide to reveal that Akers had missed 6 attempts already this year. Phil Dawson (otherwise known as one of the few Browns who doesn’t suck), kicks from all over the field in all weather, and hasn’t missed that many in his last three seasons combined.
Color commentators leads me to television itself. For-profit TV has left the building. We now have something like 100 channels with a majority of their programming derived from reality shows. It is not, by the way, because people like reality shows more than scripted television, it is because the combination of tolerably mediocre ratings and incredibly cheap production costs makes the genre an economic winner for cable networks. Which is a shame, because these shows highlight the most pathetic elements our great nation as to offer, and foreigners of a recent generation might not know the real America from Hillbilly Handfishing.
The Rational Middle is listening…