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Here Come Da Judge
charlie’s inside corner
In civilized societies we call them the judge. They mete out justice. In football games we call them referees. They make sure that both teams play by the rules. Comedian Flip Wilson made the line “Here Come Da Judge” famous in his comedy routine. In football it’s no laughing matter. “Here Come Da Judge” is coming too often, they’ve become too big a part of the game.
Pittsburgh Steelers’ coach, Mike Tomlin, says, “Penalties are part of the game. I’m not concerned that the officials aren’t being fair, I am concerned that football is going to lose its’ popularity due to the constant interrupting of the flow of the game.” Tomlin is correct and it is not just an NFL problem, it is a problem in the collegiate world as well. Any place that has a television camera, any place that has televised replay and review, has put a hammerlock on the flow of the football games. Fortunately, fans of high school football do not have that problem. Yet. How long until high schools, at least the bigger ones, will ask for cameras to “review” plays?
Some coaches and officials say that you can call a holding penalty on nearly every play. It seemed like they did last Saturday as Kansas kept breaking big plays and escaping the shadow of their goal line at a crucial juncture in their loss to Kansas State. Three straight penalties sealed the fate of the luckless Jayhawks.
Statistics show that , at least in the National Football League, the number of penalties called in a game has not changed much over the last fifteen years. What has changed is the emphasis of those penalties. The emphasis has shifted to making it easier for the offense to score. Protect the quarterback and protect the receivers. Limit what the defense can do and you increase scoring. The NFL thinks that is what fans want: more scoring. I don’t think so. They just want good football and more points doesn’t necessarily translate to good football!
One need go no further than these comments from Neal Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports, as he comments about television ratings for NFL games: “I’m, glad the league has turned the corner. The top teams are very exciting (think scoring more points) and there are plenty of high-scoring games.” College and NFL teams can shout “It’s about player safety” all they want but the heavy emphasis on these new rules is to increase scoring not protect the players.
So the next time you are settled in your favorite chair, watching your favorite team, and “Here Come Da Judge” to toss a flag or to stop action while they review a play and discuss a possible violation, remember: All of this is about ratings and popularity. Besides, just think how many more bathroom breaks, how many more times you can get to the refrigerator, and not miss any action. Really. It’s all about you!

— Remember Tim Tebow, the quarterback who couldn’t find a place in the NFL? The NY Mets say he very well could be on their major league roster in 2019, after an impressive season in AA and AAA baseball this past season.
— A battle of unbeaten giants of 8-Man football occurs Saturday afternoon when St. Francis visits Central Plains in Claflin to see who will play in the State Championship game. Home team gets the edge: Central Plains 36, St. Francis 20.
— Only 2% of high school athletes go on to play Division I sports but that hasn’t stopped parents from spending over $4 Billion a year on personalized training and coaching for their kiddoes!
— Phillipsburg and Hoisington have a rematch in the 2A State semifinal round. Phillipsburg jumped on the Cardinals with 41 unanswered points by halftime the first time they met but this is a stronger Hoisington team now. This one will be closer but Cardinals can’t close the gap. Phillipsburg 39, Hoisington 20.
— “Don’t tell your problems to people: Eighty percent don’t care and twenty percent are glad you’ve got them!” — Lou Holtz, former head football coach at Notre Dame

Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at