Friday, February 28, 2014

A double Battle of Alberta and the NFL adds another ref

From where I sit it looks like it's a unique day in Edmonton...


The Oil Kings and Oilers are playing a Battle of Alberta double-header. It's not just that Edmonton and Calgary are facing each other twice in the same day on the same ice, it's the massive difference between the four teams. Both the Hitmen and Oil Kings are battling at the top of their conference, while the Flames and Oilers are two of the worst teams in the NHL. What strikes me about this is that while, the Oil Kings and Hitmen are at or near the top in attendance, they are playing no where near capacity. Both the Oilers and Flames are constantly playing to full houses with almost a guarantee of disappointment. To top it all off the WHL tickets are massively cheaper. A pair of lower bowl tickets to either team are about 45 dollars. You can't get in the door for that in the NHL. Hockey fans in both cities need to realize the highest quality of hockey isn't always in the NHL.

The NFL is looking to add another set of eyes to their officiating crews...


The eight man referee experiment starts next pre-season and I'm expecting it to be added fully the year after. The athletes are getting ever bigger and faster, making life increasingly difficult for the refs. At the same time, training must play a big factor. It's all well and good to have more people watching for infractions. However, if they aren't properly trained and don't fully understand the rules, what difference will this make? The past couple of season we have seen some flagrantly blown calls. And it's not just the play being missed, but the refs flat out getting the rules wrong. It wouldn't matter if there were a dozen officials on the field, if they don't know the rules it won't make any difference. All that being said, they still get the calls right the vast majority of the time. With the speed of the game it's amazing that they pick up on the fly, what many of us can only see on slow motion replay.

At least that's how I see it...and I sit in the cheap seats.

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