With advanced technology, viewers are able to see every mistake referees make at practically the snap of a finger.
In officials' defense, their job is tougher than ever, considering players are faster and stronger, leading to many more bang-bang plays. However, that doesn't prevent every ref from being dissected under a microscope.
Despite the criticism and fresh off a few questionable calls in both conference championship games, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took a moment to defend his referees.
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Goodell, whose been commissioner since 2006, says officiating has never been better.
“I don't think it's ever been better in the league,” Goodell said at his annual Super Bowl week news conference. “There are over 42,000 plays in a season. Multiple infractions could occur on any play. Take that out or extrapolate that. That's hundreds if not millions of potential fouls. And our officials do an extraordinary job of getting those.”
Players, coaches and media alike have been critical of officials perhaps more than ever. But every close play is scrutinized with new and improved replay angles.
Goodell did add that officials “are not perfect, and officiating never will be. We’ve also had obviously replay and other aspects that help us address those issues to make sure they’re not something that we can’t correct on the field.”
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Officials came under fire last week by an anonymous NFC defensive head coach for calling a late hit that set the Kansas City Chiefs up for a field goal to send them to Super Bowl LVII.
The coach said Patrick Mahomes flopped and blamed the NFL for not making their officials full-time employees.
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“That is what the owners want, $40 million skill players flopping on the ground,” the defensive coach told The Athletic, “drawing fouls from chemistry teachers, medical device salesmen and the like.”