LOL, we crossed again. Problem is I am on a telcon while I am doing this.
No, they didn't say fuck player safety. Not directly, although I see where you are coming from and if you subscribe to their logic, that is the result (we implemented these rules benevolently, solely for player safety, oops, we may screw up the big show to the extent we are mandating our officials call the penalties, so let's pull it back).
The inconsistency problem occurs when officials are given "interpretations" that differ drastically from previous interpretations. MLB has done this with the strike zone for years. The interpretations on a lot of things are minor adjustments, but every now and then they are huge changes (hockey with interference calls in the neutral zone, for example).
I don't disagree with a lot of your position about the stance they should have taken. It may be too late now, who knows. I have problems with a lot of what they are doing from a consistency basis. Among the things on the list:
- If a head-head hit is bad on a QB or a "defenseless" receiver, why is it any less bad on any other player?
- Where is the line between hitting a defenseless receiver and a defender playing the ball?
- Given the number of flags we have seen on legal hits, should those be reviewable? I don't like the idea of reviewing penalties, but if the league has adopted a "shoot first and ask questions later," and the response is we get flags whenever a receiver or QB's head moves, whether it was hit or not, there has to be a mitigation.
- When the flags fly and there is disagreement among the officials about what happened, how does that get sorted out? I have never seen one of these calls pulled back, even when it was in error and there appeared to be some disagreement.
All good points. And I wouldn't have a problem if what you are suggesting is the case, in that the league admits that they were too aggressive at implementing these rules and that the SB was their way of pulling back. But the minute my team is flagged for a hit like the one on Crabtree and there is a flag, I'm going to be pissed. The other thing we could be looking at is just the difference from crew to crew as this officiating crew for the SB have thrown one of the lowest amount of penalty flags all season, which would then bring up the question, "IS THIS WHY the LEAGUE SELECTED THEM TO DO THE SB?" I wonder if there is a way to look up to see which officiating crew threw the most illegal hits flags this season.