I always assumed an NFL officiating crew was tight. They could easily bond over shared experiences, laugh over the misfortunes of those unfortunate souls they governed on the field, they could simply be friends. It turns out before 2003, this would have been miraculous to ever play out as such because friendship is built on strong communication, and NFL referees did not have to confer with each other. They didn’t have to talk about what they saw, or contrasting views of a situation, or whether a penalty was warranted or not.
Now, part of why that was the case is the referees did speak to each other to some degree. They wanted to make sure the call was correct, they’d chat, but they did that all out of their own volition. So, it would take a pretty big moment to force the NFL to put in a rule telling adults they had to talk, right?
During the 2003 Wild Card Weekend, the Giants got absolutely robbed. Like, brutally robbed. Like people should have lost their jobs over this, while others definitely did lose their jobs but shouldn’t have. It was an absolute mess and it was pure American Football in all its glory. Oh sorry, I didn’t explain what happened? Well, watch the video. Thanks!