clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chiefs-Rams will have “all-star” officiating crew, per ESPN

New, comments

Adam Schefter called the move “unprecedented.”

NFL: AFC Championship-Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots
Clete Blakeman
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL botched the international showcase of Monday Night Football; it won’t when it comes to officiating.

The Monday night matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Coliseum will feature only officials that are considered “all-stars,” per Kevin Seifert of ESPN.

Referee Clete Blakeman will work the game with only two members of his regular crew, umpire Ramon George and down judge Dana McKenzie. The other five officials -- including Jim Lapetina, who will handle replay -- were plucked from four other crews.

This is a process the NFL usually uses for playoff football. Seifert’s fellow ESPN reporter, Adam Schefter, called the move “unprecedented” on Twitter.

I find this move makes all the sense in the world.

While Chiefs-Rams is not a playoff game, it ought to be, at least when it comes to to the television ratings the game should draw.

There are so many reasons for that: two 9-1 teams increases the likelihood of high-quality football, national fans will want to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes, the return games for Sammy Watkins (if he plays) and Marcus Peters, and at the same time, no competition, as it’s the final game of the week.

With so many eyes watching, the last thing the league wants is the game to be decided by the zebras.