KABUL – Two days after Monday night’s NFL officiating controversy, in which the Seattle Seahawks were awarded a game-winning touchdown on what appeared to be an incomplete pass, emotional fan reactions are still pouring in.
“At this point, I think we can now all agree the replacement refs have shown they’re unable to officiate at the NFL level”, said Sgt. John Grimshaw, speaking via Skype from Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan. “And that’s only if you’re talking about the blown interception call. People are forgetting that at least 3 refs failed to catch Golden Tate’s offensive pass interference. This whole thing is one giant rolling calamity.”
“It’s insulting to the players”, added LCpl. Jim Schmitt, tweeting from his bunk at Bagram Air Base. “To think that they’re being sent onto the field with wildly unprepared officials; it’s dangerous, and it’s unacceptable.”
The cable news shows also piled on Wednesday, with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton dedicating 60 commercial-free minutes to questioning why the predominantly black replacement refs were forced to wear striped uniforms vaguely resembling prison bars.
Not even the 2012 presidential race has been immune to the story, as both candidates have already weighed in with their initial reactions. Mitt Romney, talking to reporters at a rally in Dayton, Ohio was clearest in his outrage. “This is an issue of real relevance to the American people, and I think it’s one that I will continue to talk about extensively in the days and weeks ahead.” Romney went on to suggest that the NFL officials’ lockout could be “Obama’s ‘Jimmy Carter Moment'” and promised that he would ‘End the lockout on day 1 of a Romney administration’.
But, amid all the anger and vitriol, a few fans have tried to remain optimistic. “I THINK BOTH SIDES HAVE VALID ARGUMENTS! IT’S GOOD THAT WE’RE HAVING A HEALTHY PUBLIC DISCUSSION!” shouted 2nd Lieutenant Brad Bennet from the back of a Blackhawk helicopter, flying through the Korengal Valley. “IT SEEMS LIKE THE LEAGUE AND THE OFFICIALS ARE CLOSE TO A DEAL! GO BRONCOS!”
Negotiations continue Thursday.
UPDATE – 9:58am EST – According to the Associated Press, a deal has been struck that will return NFL referees to tonight’s Browns/ Ravens game. The war in Afghanistan continues its 11th season Friday.