While the NFL is certainly the only other sport that approaches the NBA in degree of officiating difficulty, NFL officials also have the benefit of replays to cover catches, fumbles, out of bounds, yardage, and now every touchdown & turnover automatically. So they are protected from screw ups there. You are left with having to judge holdings (offensive and defensive), pass interference, and 15-yard penalties. and a few others. They can also prematurely blow a play dead on a fumble. NFL officials have screwed these calls up regularly, and in turn significantly effected the outcome of games. Unlike the NBA, the NFL doesn't have a problem acknowledging when their officials screw up.
Very good point about the review system, that helps NFL refs for sure. But even if they are just left with holding; pass interference, late hits, leading with helmet hits, determining if a WR or CB caught a ball or not, thats still a great deal of stuff to look at every play. They dont get it correct 100% of the time, but in every NFL game I have every watched when there are easily a good 10 plays a game that they show in slow motion and I am really impressed with how the refs made the correct call in full speed.
We actually have seen occasions in the last few years where NFL officiating blunders have been a major story. Had Green Bay come back and beaten the Giants in their playoff game this year, it would have been one of the biggest screw jobs in history on the part of the officials, but the NFL was bailed out of that one.
I think part of problem is how we critique the officials in each league. In the NFL there are maybe 1 or 2 calls that if made incorrectly really can impact the outcome of a game. Whereas in the NBA I think the problem with the officials is the bias towards super-stars or just a consistent trend of giving calls to one team over another.
I believe some officials do stick around too long in both college and the pros. I'd also like to know how exactly the NBA is determining ref assignments for playoff games. I'm not sure their merit system is up to par with that of the NFL or MLB.
I am with you 100%, sometimes the ref assignments just seem 'odd'.
If Marc Davis officiates another Celtics game this postseason, it will be an absolute disgrace. me
Yet the NBA lets that happen all the time.
I think the same thing happened with Billy Kennedy and I forget if it was last year or the year before in the playoffs, but thats a guy that should never officiate a Celtics playoff game again but he has. Ditto with Joey Crawford and the Spurs. The NBA or should I say Stern unfortunately just really doesnt have an interest in fixing these types of issues
Stern is also overprotective of the officials. When Jeff Van Gundy was coaching the Rockets a few years ago and let slip that he was told the officials were going to be calling Yao Ming differently in the playoffs, Stern essentially threatened to ban him (or blackball him) for life unless he gave up his source or retracted. I am not asking Stern to throw officials under the bus when they screw up, but doing something like the NFL where they address controversial calls with something other than a "What, you got a problem with that" attitude would help public relations significantly.
I thought the show that Mike Pereira used to do on the NFL network reviewing all the controversial calls was a great way to handle the situation. He explained calls that were made correctly and misunderstood, but more importantly he would admit when the refs got something incorrect. He didnt throw the refs under the bus, but it was nice to see because it really made me think that they cared about getting the calls right and could admit if they were wrong.