The John Review – Week 12

Estimated reading time: 4 minute(s)

“You suck! You suck!”

That was the chant from the entire stadium as the refs left the field this past Sunday. The 63,000 Bills fans did not feel their team had gotten a fair shake against the AFC’s elite San Diego Chargers.

They were not unjustified.

There were too few questionable calls that went Buffalo’s way. I understand I’m biased, but hear me out. The calls were so bad, as I walked back to the bus after the game I said to my friend, “I haven’t seen officiating that poor since the Super Bowl.” Then a random guy walking near me said, “You know it was the same guys right?”

I didn’t know that, and I was as unbiased as it got when it came to the Super Bowl. Let me give you an idea of the circus that was this past Sunday’s officiating: Chances are if you’re reading this you’ve had your ear talked off by the various bad calls, I want to highlight a basic call that was done in the worst possible way.

On the last play of the game, the Bills attempted the onside kick. After that play there was a long pause to see who actually had the ball. The official decided that the ball touched Sam Aiken’s foot on the 38 yard line and that it was San Diego’s ball. At first he said it was Buffalo’s ball, then said that was his mistake and said it was really San Diego’s ball then pointed definitively in the direction that would indicate it was Buffalo’s ball before another ref corrected him and he changed and pointed in the proper direction.

My point is, if you can’t keep track of which direction each team is going in, and who kicked to who, how can you expect to make the finer, more demanding calls, like pass interference when Josh Reed goes flying on his face before the ball gets to him and the defender has his head down and really has no idea where the ball is? You can’t.

Perhaps when you make as many mistakes as were made in that game you should be officiating something a little slower, like a shuffleboard match at your retirement home in Florida, instead of NFL games. I watched you blow the Super Bowl, I watched you blow this past week’s game, do everyone (except for Shcottenheimer and Cowert ) a favor, and retire.

Granted, the Bills are not without fault. The offense failed to produce in the first half against the Chargers defense, and their juiced up star, Shawne Merriman. My advice to JP (PP as we have now lovingly dubbed him) is if he would like to stay in Buffalo (and let’s face it, no other team will give him the chance we have) then he should stick around this off-season and practice throwing footballs in his back yard in the worst possible weather until he’s more comfortable than he is in the sun. BBR_Dave pointed out this week that Jim Kelly used to have his best days in this weather and that was another reason playing in Buffalo was so intimidating.

Speaking of which, I’m starting my official “Super Bowl in Buffalo!” campaign. When you think about it, name one good reason the Super Bowl can’t be in Buffalo? “Uh, Buffalo in February would be really cold and snowy.” Would be the most popular response. Well to that I say, quit being a childish little sissy and at least pretend like you’ve got a pair.

Football is a cold, grind it out, bad weather, show your true toughness kind of game, and no stadium represents that better than the Ralph. One could make the argument that the community was too cheap to put a roof on it, but I like to make the argument that domes are for sickly people and little girls. Only girly teams play in domes, and I’d rather be a bad manly team than win the Super Bowl as an embarrassing girly dome team. And if you’re a dome team in a fair weather city… how sad for you, I hope somebody much manlier slaps you purple.

Domes are the worst thing to happen to football since the New England Patriots Visa commercials (five layers of protection, bite me Tom Brady). Fans of dome teams sit around and politely debate the size of the flat screen TV to put in their guesthouses, while fans of much manlier teams chant, “you suck!” at incompetent refs, and collectively call Shawne Merriman a word represented by a member of the equine family.

So join me in the fight to bring the Super Bowl to Buffalo. If it is truly supposed to be a contest between the two toughest teams in the NFL, it should be held in the toughest stadium.

If you want a more detailed review of the game itself you should (if you haven’t already) check out this week’s show. Greg was nice enough to let me be a guest and give a more detailed review of the game itself. Plus (whether you want to hear me or not) you should listen to the show anyway because it’s a good show. Next week I want to be talking about a win against the J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! Jets!

Go Bills!

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