27. NFL Referees
Where would society be without NFL referees for everyone to collectively gang up on? We haven’t seen a collective group of people this universally hated since before Nickelback became an ironically cool band to listen to.
The stripes’ idiocy soared to new heights in 2021 though with the implementation of the taunting rule. The most iconic moment of this new edict came in Week 9, when the Bears took on the Steelers.
After a huge sack in a pivotal moment of the game, Chicago linebacker Cassius Marsh “motioned” toward the Steelers’ bench. That’s it. That was enough for referee Tony Corrente to toss his yellow laundry. Corrente tried to defend the call with this limp comment: “Keep in mind that taunting is a point of emphasis this year. I saw [Marsh] run toward the bench area of the Pittsburgh Steelers and posture in such a way that I felt he was taunting them.”
To respond in referee language: After further review, that’s some bullshit. All Marsh did was take a few steps toward the Pittsburgh bench and glare at them from about 20 yards away. He didn’t even strike a pose. He literally just stood there and bounced slightly like he was in a Bella Poarch TikTok video.
Of course, that’s just one of the bad calls the league’s officiating corps has made this year. They also called Raiders tight end Darren Waller for taunting after he spiked the ball near in the Chargers’ general vicinity.
And it’s not just touchy taunting penalties! Referees allowed the Ravens to kick a game-winning 66-yard field goal against the Lions in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens after missing an obvious delay of game penalty. They robbed Dak Prescott of a rushing touchdown in his team’s game against the Eagles in Week 3. Then, they robbed the Cowboys QB of another rushing touchdown in Week 6 against New England. Prescott fumbled the ball on the very next play in that New England game, by the way.
We’ve only scratched the tip of the ref-tomfoolery iceberg, and yet we haven’t even begun to get into the roughing the passer penalties yet. Yeah, it’s been a horrid season for NFL officiating.