Does the NFL have an officiating problem? A look back at some Week 2 drama

Are NFL refs becoming a problem? On this week's More Than Football podcast, Trey Wingo and Brett Yarris discuss the state of NFL officiating.

During Week 2’s Thursday Night Football game between the Washington Football Team and the New York Giants, Chase Young was called for a controversial roughing the passer penalty. On this week’s More Than Football Podcast, PFN’s Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo and host Brett Yarris talk about why the call became the subject of so much discussion, whether NFL refs have become a problem, and the state of NFL officiating as a whole.

To watch this episode of More Than Football, tune in to the video player above. You can also listen to the podcast in the player at the end of the article or on your favorite podcast platform, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

The referees weren’t the reason everyone was so upset

Wingo believes that Thursday’s uproar wasn’t really related to the call itself. There are controversial penalties every single week, and neither New York nor Washington is exactly looking to compete for a Super Bowl this season.

In reality, Wingo suggests that the furor is indicative of just how obsessed we all are with football. As he puts it, “We are addicted to the NFL in this country.”

Wingo points out that NFL ratings were “through the roof for Week 1,” and asks us to imagine what we would do if the NFL shut down for a year. He believes “we would all lose our collective minds.”

We simply can’t get enough of the NFL — and the league is happy to provide.

The NFL isn’t dying any time soon

Despite the NFL’s success, naysayers constantly predict its demise for a wide variety of reasons. However, Wingo details just how good the NFL is at perpetuating its business. It’s true that the emergence of fantasy football was lucky for the league. Yet, the league has made many other moves in pursuit of profit.

Knowing that big hits and injuries were bad for its image, the NFL made changes to protect players. Then, understanding that “what people really like is points,” the league changed the way the game is refereed to give offenses a bigger advantage.

Clearly, the NFL knows what it is doing. Wingo brings up Roger Goodell as the perfect example. He lets fans hate him — and even boo him publicly — because he knows if they’re booing, they’re watching.

Wingo compares rumors of the NFL’s impending demise to the yearly predictions that Tom Brady is washed up. If you make that prediction every single year, chances are you will eventually be right — but we might all be dead by the time it happens.

The NFL’s moves have paid dividends for the owners

It would be an understatement to say that the NFL’s choices have been extremely profitable over the last few years. To quote Wingo:

“You’d have to really try to lose money as an NFL owner.”

Wingo isn’t even sure it’s possible. Owners can make every mistake, — and often do — and they are still rolling in cash. It is impossible to deny that the NFL is an exceptionally lucrative business. Last Thursday’s controversy only serves as further evidence of just how much we are all invested in it.

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