Something odd struck a few officiating observers during the surprise onside kickoff to start overtime in the Rams-Seahawks game. Beyond the fact that an onside kick was attempted and beyond the difficulty in enforcing the proper penalties, something was clearly not adding up.
After the possession and enforcement were set, I called a former official about the decision that was made on the kickoff for clarification. In the discussion, I said, “it looks like they reversed their decision because someone got in their headset and told them.” This official, who had yet to see the play, said “I’m sure someone guided them. How do you get from [the kickoff being kicked] ‘into the ground’ to ‘didn’t touch the ground’ by discussing it?” ...
See the whole article here, courtesy of footballzebras.com.
Kicking Back Comments: This is a brilliant insight and frankly a real problem. As we know from our sport, with products like RefTalk, we are now subjected to outside information all the time. I expect with MLS "leading the way" (cough)
with video replay that we will see more interference of referees decisions and "input" (cough - cough) from folks other than the referees inside the field.
Now some would rightly say that I am a purist and I would agree, but there is a larger issue at play here and it has to deal with the consistency regarding the officiating. There may be times that a 3rd party dispassionate view of things may be warranted. Goals are a good example. Either it crossed the line and was between the posts and under the crossbar - or it wasn't. There is no gray here - only black and white.
Beyond that, sorry folks, is gray, and should not be up for debate by anyone except those inside the field. Why you may ask? Well my answer is both simple and complex all at the same time.
They are the only ones who can truly feel what is going on at any time and need the freedom to manage that emotion how they see fit.
For any referee who thinks it's all about "the rules" ... think again.