Our American nightmare is over. Usually referees in sports are some of the most hated people on the planet but they became heroes because of a powder keg of built up fan frustration that finally blew up this week in Seattle. The "real" officials are now ready to go and Gene Steratore's crew will referee tonight's game where the Browns will visit the Ravens. But with the regular officials back, what will that mean for the Redskins?
First off, Mike Shanahan's face will be a lot less red. Some calls actually helped us out against the Saints, but then there were all kinds of debacles in Week 2 and 3 with the Rams and Bengals. There was the whole goal line sequence that lasted forever in St. Louis, the Janoris Jenkins hit, and then the confusion at the end of the Bengals game. Most of all the coaches and players will no longer have to babysit the referees which should bring a bit more focus and maybe even tranquility to the sidelines. I found, personally, that there was a bit of angst watching games the past couple of weeks because you were always looking for a referee screw up rather than paying attention to the actual play on the field.
In terms of the players, we should see a heightened level of respect and hopefully less of the squabbles we saw throughout the Rams game. But with this renewed sense of respect players should likely tread softly. I have a feeling the "real" referees may be looking to set an example here in the next couple of weeks so players need to avoid bonehead hits and focus on playing football. A normal DeAngelo Hall weekly jabbering session may turn into an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty rather quickly this week, especially when going up against another trash talker in Vincent Jackson.
Its time to put all of this to bed. Yes, the "real" referees are going to screw up. Yes there are situations where you are going to be irate. But the best thing is we no longer have to worry about incompetence and unprecedented media coverage on the REFEREES! It's time to sit back, relax, and confidently watch some football....starting tonight!