Football is a tough sport. There’s no way around that, but lately, it doesn’t have the same feel to it.
Whether you are talking about the NFL, college football or high school football, much too often the referees make questionable calls that alter games. Not only that, it deviates teams from playing full speed.
At any moment, a player could suffer a brutal injury. Just over the past two weeks, I’ve seen two players get carted off, one with a lower back injury and the other with a broken leg.
Those are ugly scenes, but you play football without the thought that those type of injuries can happen to you. Even as a reporter standing on the sideline, if you are tweeting or not paying attention, you could take a hit and get hurt.
Watching football is something that has changed over the years simply because everyone is so concerned with the safety.
Safety is important, but there isn’t much that can be done to stop two players running full speed at one another. Football is supposed to be a gritty sport filled with trash talk and explosive plays.
The game is evolving so quickly at all levels and that is a good thing. But, it hasn’t worked out that way for all leagues.
The NFL continues to struggle with deciphering what a catch out, figuring out pass interference calls and not allowing players to celebrate when they score touchdowns. Let the guys have fun, isn’t that why the fans are in the stadium and watching on television for.
In the NCAA, the matchups are mostly shoddy but even with that the officials struggle with pass interference calls and other flags on the defensive side of the ball. As bad as the referees can be in the NFL, they are that much worse in college.
Watching a high school football game is pretty intense when you have two very good teams. Matchups are uneven yes and the crews calling the games are for the most part uneven, but plays are made. This is where rules should be explained in depth so the players don’t make the same mistakes, but that rarely occurs.
None of this a knock against the referees at any of these three levels because I comprehend how difficult it is to call a game. However, there are plenty of things they can do better to make the game more fun. That’s the core of this commentary and I think we can all help it make it that way again.
Sports in general, are fun to play and watch. Football is the feature sport in the United States and all over the world simply because a long play can occur in the blink of an eye. Hockey is fast, basketball is quick, but when a running back or wide receiver breaks a big run there’s not much that can compare to that.
As safety continues to be at the top of our minds in football, the fun aspect is likely going to take a backseat. But I’m here to say that football is always going to be that sport is brutally exhausting on and off the field. The training is not enjoyable at all, but the games need to be.
Much too often do we see flags thrown on kickoffs or punts, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties tossed out quickly, etc. It’s time to let the questionable calls go and time to let these guys play.
Let’s make football fun again.
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.