The performance of replacement referees is a sticky topic for on-air talent calling NFL games. On one hand, it’s totally natural for announcers to want to point out mistakes and even criticize the referees for their lack of control of a game. But on the other hand, announcers need to watch their step when criticizing the almighty NFL. Because we all know the suits at CBS, NBC, FOX, and ESPN don’t want the NFL on their back.
For the most, announcers have done a good job dealing with the struggles of the referees. But it all came to a head after Monday night’s Falcons-Broncos.
In what was supposed to be a round-table discussion about the impact that replacement referees are having on games, ESPN’s Steve Young unloaded on the league saying that the league doesn’t care.
Strong, and most likely accurate, words from Young. But how will the NFL feel about one of their partners criticizing them on national television?
Maybe they don’t care about that either.