From the Sidelines

McMullen: Mike Pereira misses the boat on full-time officials

29 DECEMBER 2013: The NFL logo during a regular season NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
(Icon Sportswire)

You should have learned a lot about indoctrination and how harmful it is on Election Night in America as emotion overruled logic for many as it generally does every four years in this country no matter which side of the aisle you call your political home.

The panic “progressives” are feeling this morning after Donald Trump pulled off the biggest upset since the Miracle on Ice is the same sense of dread “conservatives” faced when Barack Obama won two different cycles.

So a quick word of advice to the inconsolable this morning, cancel the plans for Canada and step off the ledge, you’re going to be just fine. The inertia of the behemoth called the U.S. Government is its own form of checks and balances.

Enough of the civics lesson, though, this is about the NFL and another form of indoctrination.

As the former head of officiating in the league turned media pundit on FOX, Mike Pereira often takes issues with poor calls on the field, but push him a little too hard on trying to improve the system and Pereira reboots to his default setting as the former leader of a terribly flawed group.

The idea of full-time officials gained some steam recently when New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton advocated the idea and Walt Coleman and his crew soon followed with a Keystone Cops routine at the end of the first half in Seattle’s “Monday Night Football” win over Buffalo.

Pereira has no issue calling out Coleman and Co. for their egregious handling of Richard Sherman’s unabated offsides run at Dan Carpenter, but push too hard on changing the status quo and Pereira retreats to what he’s been taught, namely that there simply isn’t enough work to do in the offseason to justify full-time officials.

Pereira further asserts that if you actually pulled the trigger on the idea, you would lose some of the best Zebras to their actual professions because they would no longer be able to double dip.

“I can’t fathom what a side judge would do all week to get better and make better calls on Sunday,” Pereira told MMQB.com. “Read the rule book? Watch a lot more tape?”

For starters, players get better by repetition, so how about placing that side judge at every offseason practice for a particular team, be it rookie camp, OTAs and minicamps, all the way through training camp, coupled with that extra studying?

That accomplishes two things, it sharpens the official’s skills with extra reps and also helps the players better learn what is being asked of them.

That seems obvious.

And as for the Zebras who don’t want to give up their day jobs? Enjoy practicing law Ed Hochuli. Get ready to put that Doctorate of Dentistry back to work Mr. Anderson.

Despite now making a living by pointing out all the mistakes on game day, Pereira is still more official than journalist, more idealogue than innovator.

“We have maybe 19 games a year for our officials. Look at the accuracy rate. It’s pretty damn incredible,” Pereira asserted, although there was no indication if he had the actual NFL talking points on his lap. “There’s maybe 155 plays a game, with 10 significant decisions to be made on every one. And what’s the accuracy—maybe 96 percent?

“There’s going to be mistakes. I think the officiating right now, overall, is excellent. I don’t want all these new officials that would come in all at once. What it comes down to for me is whether full-time officials would really improve officiating, and I don’t think it would.”

Welcome to the wonderful world of indoctrination.

-John McMullen is a national football columnist for FanRagSports.com and TodaysPigskin.com. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @JFMcMullen — Also catch John each week during the NFL season ESPN South Jersey, ESPN Southwest Florida, ESPN Lexington, KDWN in Las Vegas, and check @JFMcMullen for John’s upcoming appearances on SB Nation Radio, FOX Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio as well as dozens of local radio stations across North America.

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