NFL Plummets to Comical Lows With Hiring of Jim Schwartz as Officiating Consultant


Those sounds you heard? It wasn’t just fireworks, parade noises and fly-overs during a Memorial Day weekend of celebration and remembrance.

It was laughter.

The state of Michigan in addition to serious football fans everywhere had to let out a collective cackle when it was revealed that former Detroit Lions’ boss Jim Schwartz would be assisting the NFL officiating department as a consultant for 2015.

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Schwartz, remember, was the coach who once taunted referees with a “learn the (bleeping) rules” catcall in Minnesota, only to prove he didn’t have a basic understanding of the rule-book himself.

During his time in Detroit, Schwartz’s teams routinely pushed the envelope with cleanliness of play. The coach saw multiple players fined and in trouble with the law. There was a rogue element about the Lions under his leadership that only dissipated during the 2014 season with the hiring of Jim Caldwell.

Now, Dean Blandino wants Schwartz to assist him regarding matters of officiating? It could be the most hilarious decision the league has made in some time.

That’s saying something considering their checkered past.

Coming off a season which featured big officiating gaffes, multiple scandals and a belief that the shield lacks credibility, the league needed to take steps to make officiating more transparent while making rule changes to mitigate future diasters. They needed serious minds to help them.

Hiring Schwartz is no upgrade from the groupthink box that has become the NFL. It only adds to the charade that has become the league offices, even if Schwartz has a minor role in assistance and decision making.

Hiring Schwartz is no upgrade from the groupthink box that has become the NFL.

Instead of picking Schwartz, the league should have tabbed a former coach with credibility to assist officials. They should have positive personalities in charge as their deans of discipline and officiating.

At the very least, they should give the illusion change is being made as a bridge between the teams and officials.

Now, the league’s on the hook with Schwartz, a combustible personalty who made plenty of enemies and is best known for his fist pumps amid stretching the boundaries of NFL law.

Well done Mr. Blandino. The divide between teams and the officiating office has likely only grown as a result of this decision, if only by inches.

Unfortunately, it’s become funnier to witness than sad.

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