Bengals: Why Use The Best Refs If It Doesn’t Matter?

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Sep 18, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) shakes hands with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin (R) after their game at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) shakes hands with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin (R) after their game at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Bengals suffered another heartbreaking loss to the Steelers. Once again, officiating helped decide the outcome, in the final moments of the game.

It’s hard watching it happen again. Seeing the Bengals lose another game to the Pittsburgh Steelers is painfully discouraging. But, at the same time, it’s something that Cincinnati faithful have become used to. But, why? Why does the NFL seem to not give a rat’s patootie about the team in stripes? Is there a secret boycott that fans don’t know about? 

I was told it was down even by the officials on our sideline

I’ve heard about the effects of color-blindness on people. The ailment can cause those who suffer with it to miss out on life’s wonders. Maybe the refs officiating the Bengals and Steelers matchup should have been tested for the dreaded disorder. Once again, many football purists—myself included—are seething over another blown call. Oh, you didn’t hear about it? Evidently, your address must be 301 Cobblestone Way (look it up). 

Did Tyler Boyd fumble or did all of America have a mass hallucination about his knee touching the ground? Please, excuse all the questions. But, I’m just trying to rationalize where fans should be on this issue. Boyd caught the football, went down to one knee, and “then” had the pigskin pop free. The ageless one, James Harrison, was draped all over the kid when it all went down. Isn’t that textbook down by contact? Guess not. 

What’s the use of looping a replay and using the best refs, if it doesn’t matter? Those diehard Stilluh fans are rallying around the victory already. The quips range from “payback” to “stop acting like crybabies.” Real Bengals fans will just ignore the Ma and Pa Kettle mentality of them Yinzers.

So What’s Up?

What can’t and shouldn’t be ignored is the one-sided nature of the calls. There were so many holds on Bengals D-linemen, Tango music should have been playing over the loudspeakers. Some of the infractions were so obvious, Bengals players offered snide remarks. Andrew Whitworth was outspoken about the calls. 

More from Bengals News

"“I think when the NFL gets a look at  the tape they’re going to be shocked at how many holds the Steelers got away with. Good lord, I saw a couple of complete, turn-around takedowns.’’"

Honestly, Big Whit, they won’t do a thing. No, wait. The NFL will review the tape, conceive a new rule that softens the issue, and move on. Things will be handled just like the AFC Wild Card game. League officials will issue extended insight. The last two games have been handled by the league’s “best” officiating crews. Maybe Marvin Lewis should ask for the semi-pro refs next time. Was there really any difference? 

This is not some sniveling, butthurt plea to have last Sunday’s game replayed. That’s asinine and totally irrelevant. But, it is a strong plea for closer scrutiny of what happens when the Bengals and Steelers are considered the game of the day. 

Bengals: Why Use The Best Refs If It Doesn't Matter?
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports /

The world doesn’t revolve around the Steelers. Conversely, fans get tired of seeing the same thing happen when these two teams play. This isn’t the WWE…or is it? How many times will a purist tune in, knowing the outcome is biased? Ut, oh…that sounds like the start of a Yinzer joke.

The Truth Hurts

Even if the NFL claims there’s no clear evidence, the Bengals get no respect. Year after year, games are decided by razor-thin decisions that could go either way. Yet, most of the time Bengals faithful are on the losing end.

Coach Lewis said it best when asked about the Boyd decision.

"“I was told it was down even by the officials on our sideline. They didn’t see it that way overall, so that’s all that matters.”"

The Bengals played with cool heads under the adverse and hostile conditions. There were no fights, finger-pointing or child-like rants. The league took away their edge…the fire. But, the world won’t understand that. All that was on display was another Bengals loss.

Next: More Problems?

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