NFL Officiating Sucks, But - If The Index Card Incident Is Any Indication - At Least It Sucks With Conviction
Let us not discuss the absurdity of using folded sheets of looseleaf to haphazardly make millimeter sized measurements to decide a game whose result could theoretically have multi-million dollar ramifications. In fact, let's not even discuss the physical impossibility of a football having reached a first down marker if some two-ply index card can be fit between both the football and the first down marker.
Instead, I ask of you to consider the firmness with which a professional official casually busted out an office supply to deliver a completely non-sensical judgement call. If only for one second, the certainty with which Gene Steratore signaled for a fresh set of downs persuaded me into thinking "oh yeah, that makes sense", and I refuse to believe I'm the only one.
Now, that personal ruling was quickly flagged, challenged, and overturned by my own dumb brain, but an NFL referee armed with what was soon-to-be trash reminded us that the best way to win with a losing argument is to make it with conviction. Granted, the visual evidence of a television broadcast doesn't exactly help that argument, but you can't tell me that the definitiveness with which he followed that protocol didn't temporarily make you feel like you were stupid for questioning the legitimacy of it in the first place. I couldn't even tell you my own birthday that confidently, yet Gene Steratore was so impassioned in thrusting his arm forward that you would have thought that he, himself, broke three consecutive tackles in getting the ball to the last link of the chain. That assertiveness - as well as one-to-three too many adults beverages - is all it took to leave me feeling momentarily Half Baked into agreement...