Mike Pereira

Last month, Aaron Rodgers claimed that the reason NFL officiating has gotten worse is that all the good refs are now on TV because networks will pay more for top officials. Of all the wild things Rodgers has said on The Pat McAfee Show, that was easily one of the more sensible takes he’s had.

Mike Pereira, one of those rules analysts on TV, seemed to go with Rodgers’ point.

At Fox Sports Super Bowl media day, Fox NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira talked to the New York Post and revealed that Rodgers “has a point” about the mass exodus of top officials as they go into broadcasting.

Pereira said, “I liked his logic, but it didn’t apply to me because I was already off the field and in the league office. He has a point. I do feel that officiating is under-appreciated from the standpoint of the league. I think the job I had [as head of officiating] is the second-most important job in the league. I give Roger Goodell the No. 1 job, but I think what happens in officiating and the integrity of the game, I think that position is so important that if you get the right one you should do everything to not let them get away.”

Networks paying more to attract the best referees is certainly a part of the problem, but there’s more to it. For one thing, TV is a more attractive job because you’re not being yelled at by literally everyone when you make a mistake or even a judgment call that changes the outcome of the game.

We’ve all booed and criticized officials whenever a decision goes against our team, myself included. And while it’s easier said than done to keep a level head whenever that happens, we can forget in the moment that these are human beings doing a difficult job. Add the toxicity of social media, and it’s not a surprise fewer people want to be a referee these days. And when the talent pool shrinks, it’s less likely to find quality referees within that talent pool.

The referee position might be rife with criticism, but it’s a very important role in sports. Along with Rodgers, Pereira is also right. Officiating is under-appreciated, not just by the league, but by everyone.

[New York Post]

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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