The NFL once was the ultimate gridiron struggle, but in recent years it’s become more of a contest to see who can get the zebras to give them the biggest advantage. We’ve all seen the offense line-up on 4th-and-short with no intention of snapping the football; rather it’s all about which yardbarker can draw the opposition offsides. We’ve all seen the receiver who rather than making a play for the ball decides to mug for the cameras and the referees, begging for a penalty. The sad, but simple fact is that the NFL is now all about penalties, and pretty much everything about penalties is bullshit.
Watching penalties in the NFL is a lot like getting a speeding ticket when you’re in the middle of having a great day. You have legitimate reasons for enjoying yourself, but some assbag with a badge has to yank you to the side of the road because you’re going 33 in a 30. It’s not you were blatantly breaking the law; you didn’t blow through a school cross-walk at 85 mph and turn some kid into a hood ornament. You were just jamming out to Rush’s “2112″ and trying to mind your own goddamned business; but you ran into Officer RadarGun who has a quota to meet and his wife refused to give him blowjob before he left the house that morning, so he’s going to ass-rape you instead.
In the NFL, Officer RadarGun is personified by the likes of zebras such as Ed Hochuli, Gene Steratore, and that black guy whose name we can’t remember. The difference here is that in the case of the NFL, the bullshit nature of the enforcement of the rules isn’t the fault of nit-picky enforcers incentivized by straight-up quotas. Think about how the NFL would look like if it referees were expected to call at least 6 holding holding penalties per game.
As ridiculous as that sounds, the NFL is really all about finding ways for the refs to employ some form of game-stoppage strategy. If you doubt that, stop to consider all the ways a referee can stop a football game colder Hilary Clinton taking a cryogenic sitz bath. But rather than dwell on that, we are here to look at penalties and the three reasons why most of the calls made in the NFL today are complete bullshit; the reason behind the calls, and the shit that comes from the people against whom the calls go.