When Dean Blandino served as the NFL’s senior V.P. of officiating, his weekly officiating videos were appointment viewing. Now, it’s not clear why the league even bothers.
I bit my tongue on the topic after watching the video disseminated by the league after Week One. Now, with everyone debating the wisdom of the league’s protection of quarterbacks and the accuracy of referee Tony Corrente’s decision that a pair of plays that didn’t look like roughing the passer were ruled roughing the passer at Lambeau Field last Sunday, the second regular-season installment completely fails to address the topic.
Some would say that the league avoided the topic because the league has decided to stay away from calling out officiating errors. Sunday Night Football rules analyst Terry McAulay, who spent 17 years as an NFL referee, explained this week on the #PFTPM podcast that the officials weren’t fans of Blandino pointing out mistakes “every single week.”
“The more he seemed to pile on the less credibility officiating had because here’s the Vice President of officiating going on every week saying, ‘Yep they screwed up again,'” McAulay said. “It affects morale. I know a lot of people really don’t care about that but it is important. It affects that and it affects the credibility of the officiating program in general.”
Of course, given that the league plans to use the roughing call against Packers linebacker Clay Matthews as a teaching tool, Riveron presumably would have been applauding the call. Either way, the omission of any reference to the roughing the passer issue underscores the fact that the league may as well go ahead and omit the officiating video in its entirety. As currently constituted, it’s a waste of time to make it, and it’s a waste of time to watch it.