In case you were wondering what happened to that officiating crew that badly botched a series of calls (and non calls) in the closing seconds of the first half in the game last week between the Bills and Seattle - nothing.  The NFL revealed that the crew headed up by referee Walt Anderson will be downgraded, but there will be no further action.

So what does that mean for the Bills and their fans?  The crew whose incompetence probably cost the Bills a game gets off scot free.  No fine.  No suspension.

Barry Mano, the editor of Referee Magazine, says the NFL is mindful that fines and suspensions are usually used as punishment and a way to satisfy fans.  But in the end does it improve officiating?  Usually not.

Officials are graded on every call they make and don't make.  At the end of the season their grades determine which officials are assigned playoff games and which ones aren't.  So with word that Walt Anderson's crew was downgraded, their grades for the Monday night game involving the Bills were pretty low.  So I would be really surprised to see that crew work the playoffs.

With all the officiating errors this season the call for full-time officials is getting louder.  But with 17 7-man crews plus five swing officials you have to wonder what all these officials would do when they're not officiating games.  No matter how much you study the rules, it all comes down to how and when calls are made on game day.  Would full-time officials improve the game?  I'm not convinced of that.


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