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November 22, 2008

Fines or Football?

Howdy NFL nation!

I hope you're all as excited as I am about Thanksgiving next week! I know I have a lot to be thankful for, but lately, I am finding it difficult to be thankful for the NFL. The NFL's fine of Mike Martz for his comments against NFL officiating is preposterous. It seems that the NFL now stands for the National Fines Association.

Like every NFL coach, Mike Martz wants his team to win. No official in white stripes should get in the way of this. Mike Martz is widely regarded as one of the most humble coaches in the league, and he was simply citing an injustice that his team faced. He used no vulgar language or malicious slurs. If a team loses, it should be because it played terribly or because the opposing team played better, not because the refs made an errant call. Apparently, the NFL wanted Mike Martz to smile when the refs cost his team the game!

I watched the game on Monday night. The NFL officials originally placed the ball at the 1 yard line, which is why Martz chose a run up the middle. When the officials moved it to the 2.5 yard line and started the play clock, Martz had not time to change the play. Had he been informed of the true position of the ball, Martz would likely have called a passing play. In a game of inches, Mike Martz and the 49ers did indeed get screwed by the referees.

$20K is not pocket change, it is a luxury sedan. The NFL is infringing on the free speech of its coaches. If anything, the NFL should be thankful that Mike Martz pointed out flawed officiating. Now, the NFL can dish out the proper consequences to the official that switched the ball spot as the play clock was winding down. Mike Martz's comments were not vulgar or malicious. He is simply a coach that loves the game of football too much to see his team lose because of bad officiating. If the NFL wants to restore its image, it needs to respect its employees and stop censoring them. If a ref makes a mistake, the ref should be punished, not the coach of the team that pointed out the mistake.

The NFL desperately needs a makeover. Out with the fines and in with the football!

" Above: Mike Martz directing the offense in practice prior to the showdown
between the 49ers and Cardinals

Posted by nqadri at November 22, 2008 10:40 AM

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