I would venture a guess that most people don't remember the names of NFL officials unless they do something funny or entertaining during a game. Some of us are old enough to remember the hilarious "giving him the business" call made by referee Ben Drieth when a fight broke out during a Bills/Jets game in 1986. Or Red Cashion, who enthusiastically exclaimed that a penalty resulted in a "First dowwwwwwwwwn! ".
But then there's the other kind of referee...the infamous kind. The kind that at the very mention of their name, fans of certain teams freeze up and stare deadpan into the past, imagining what could have been.
It's not always officials, though. Sometimes it's a player who fails to perform during a key playoff moment - or moments. Players like Lin El...Lin Elllll...Lin...
I just can't.
No, the majority of the time, the real form of The Destructor isn't a red-and-gold-wearing millionaire. It is a black-and-white Zebracentaur who comes to steal our joy and shove those overpriced nachos up our nose. Helpless we watch as they continuously remind us how poor the NFL's employee vision insurance is, and how quickly the urge to shirk common sense spreads like the Rage Virus to each official, until our heads are in our hands, knowing the fun is over for the next six months.
All kidding aside though - The most infamous official in Kansas City history - Carl Cheffers - has jacked up a lot of important games for the Chiefs and other teams over his 14-year career. I wrote about this just after the 2016-2017 season Chiefs-Steelers playoff game known for the phantom holding call on Eric Fisher during a 2-point try that would have tied the game. In SuperBowl LV, Cheffers was also the lead official when several lopsided calls were made against the Chiefs during only the 2nd quarter, which Mahomes & Co. in a hole that Tom Brady and the Bucs D knew how to sustain. If you thought your reaction to the calls was nothing more than a product of your own fan bias, that was not the case. Several articles, including this one from the Washington Post and this one from Yahoo Sports called out Cheffers and his crew for almost handing the Bucs a handicap that would change the way the Chiefs played in the second half.
But this little rant isn't about the past - it's about the present and the future. I think it's high time we tell the NFL as a whole that the greatest fanbase in football will not spend good money to watch what is now starting to become known widely as "another WWE." No, the NFL isn't rigged, and the hits are definitely real, but the outcome rests with individuals not participating in the contest. Cheffers and his crew have shown over the years that they cannot call accurate and consistent games when the magnitude is high - especially in the playoffs.
Please respond in the comments below and indicate if you would like me to start a petition to keep Carl Cheffers out of Chiefs games. Please understand, any petition will most likely not work; however, it could send a message to the local news outlets and the league office that we want every last penny's worth of the 10 BILLION dollar industry that we pay into every year.
For some reason during the Patriots 20-year run the calls often seemed to go their way, but that doesn't mean they were the best team on the field. And just because the calls don't go the Chiefs way doesn't mean they aren't the best team on the field. We just need the NFL to hear that we aren't calling the games "fixed," but that the officiating crews need to be.