Fans waving the white flag on orange rags

This week's reporter column looks at controversy with officiation rules in the CFL.

The outcry is being heard around the country and the chorus of complaints about the amount of orange being tossed on the carpet have become deafening.

For those of you that aren’t fans of the Canadian Football League (CFL) then you likely are totally confused right now, but don’t stop reading as you might catch on quicker than you first believed.

As for the rest of you, you’ve already began ranting and raving especially if you bleed green and white about the allegedly abhorrent demonstration of the officiating being supplied so far this season.

(Note: being an official at the minor level for several sports, I’m not criticizing my fellow striped colleague nor disagreeing with the opinions being tossed around that improvements are needed. What I am against is the ‘conspiracy theories’ being levelled out there. Sorry, but this isn’t an Oliver Stone movie.)

While there has been, and will continue to be, objections and dissatisfaction with the way officials interpret and apply the rules, the protests and criticism from the CFL’s fans, players and team management have ramped up this season to nearly epic proportions.

In fact, it’s gotten so bad there has been some calls through social media of fans asking for a boycott until things improve, a virtual surrender or raising of the white flag against the throwing of orange flags, if you will.

Now, the uprising is nothing new there was a huge outcry several years ago when the number of penalties dished out per game forced the league to bring in the command centre to review plays and eventually to introduce the challenge system on some penalties.

And I believe that’s where things have started to go horribly wrong, too many eyes with different levels of judgment, angles, slow-mo replays and all sort of technology have caused the officials to not only second guess themselves or not worry about whether or not they’ve made the right decision all because it’s likely to be either confirmed or overturned upon review.

The problem, in turn, has now become one of questioning the officials both on and off the field which makes the situation even worse.

I’d much rather go back to the period when replay for football only took into account plays that meant something such crossing the goal line or was it a catch instead of plays like pass interference or roughing the passer that are based on judgment, are completely subjective and where video can sometimes distort the real time action.

Sure the game is fast, players are bigger and sometimes things are missed, but the game’s been played like that for decades and the officials along with their mechanics, positioning and rule knowledge have changed and will continue to as they adapt to make themselves better.

And, like most other fans feel, the CFL needs to clean up their act to not only bring back the integrity to the game, but also to maintain the old and current fan base plus attract new young fans by giving them an entertaining product that doesn’t take three-plus hours a game filled with several 10 to 15 minute delays for someone to review a play.

But that is…just an observation.


Just Posted

Environment Minister clarifies misconceptions in Bighorn proposal

Minister Shannon Phillips speaks to concerns around the Bighorn Country

Three Ponoka men and one youth charged in assault case

Police obtained a search warrant and located drugs and sawed-off shot gun

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

New market opens in downtown Ponoka

Makkinga Market had a soft opening showcasing many of the different foods in store

Ponoka council challenged on payments on new building

Resident continues worries the town is paying over $94,000 per month on something it may never own

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Pro-immigration rally planned for Red Deer on Saturday

Rally taking place outside Red Deer City Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Bower Place expansion plans underway

Red Deerians can expect Sunterra Market and Marshall’s

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan, crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Judge to deliver verdict in British sailor’s gang rape case

The alleged gang rape took place at a Halifax-area military base in 2015

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Most Read