Do we need referees at all?
If you grew up with sports, this is a ridiculous, even incomprehensible question. Really, though. Can't we all just get along?
Children are hilarious, and instructive. My children, for example, believe that their basic needs(playing Nintendo and watching Television) are somehow more important than my own basic needs(eating and playing the banjo).
This is trollop. Wait, I just looked that up, and that's not the right word, though it seems like it should fit. Doesn't it seem like "trollop" should mean "hogwash"? Well, it doesn't.
It's hogwash, then. Or malarkey. My almost-lost point here is that while children speak the truth, it's their truth, not the real truth. Similarly, growed-up-men need an impartial observer to say whether or not something really happened, even when the result is obvious. Somewhere, we lost the ability to see the truth. Or we never counted it important in the first place.
Anyone who's ever played any game anywhere knows that while girls and women seem content to enjoy the experience, boys and men totally screw it up for everyone. We watch as our children assemble to play a game and the girls create some beautiful fantasy world to experience while the boys begin by assigning points to activities and drawing boundaries to stay within and you can't go there that's "out".
Anyone who has ever played any of these games also knows that most calls are obvious. It's clear that someone's out of bounds. It's easy to tell whether or not that was a "catch" 95% of the time. Was that fair? In our hearts we KNOW - but we still look to the referee to tell us, because operating in that world, the world of rules and boundaries, means it's just as important that those rules and boundaries are accepted and agreed upon by the others playing. "Fairness" becomes less valuable than a positive completion, yardage gained, points scored. Especially when we have this impartial rube that is responsible for our fairness. Not us. Heaven knows, we can't be responsible for THAT.
In a perfectly fair world, the Seahawk would have set the ball down and said "yeah, that was an interception, nice catch dude." OF COURSE that's ridiculous. It's preposterous. It's anathema. Isn't it interesting that our idea of fairness in sports means that such a level of fairness is stupid?
(Of course I won't bring up the rest of the questionable calls in that game. It's certainly not my point to argue that the Seahawks should have lost.)
We don't expect fairness. We expect people to abide by our lame rules as cooked up and agreed upon and oh we have to appoint one guy as the rules checker because we can't do that ourselves, that would be biased.
Perhaps instead of asking how to handle referee union negotiations and aren't those NFL owner fatcats idiots and our whole season's in the crapper because of that stupid call and I will hunt down your family you suck ref! ... Perhaps instead of these things we should begin to question the value of fairness and how we come to determine "fair."
(...or perhaps we should really be solving world hunger instead of talking about one guy who did the wrong thing in a game involving the skin of a pig?)
In short, we need referees because we're whiny babies who can't let go of our testosterone-fueled fantasies of triumph long enough to be, how do you say in your language, "fair".
Yes, it would be nice if any professional in any sport EVER was held responsible for douche-iness, but that's not a part of being a professional, now, is it. Heck no it isn't. They're players, not role models, right?
I think I'll go play with the girls now.