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Referees: NFL vs. other major sports

With the NFL in hibernation for another couple months, fans generally take that time to watch other non-football sports, mostly because we're all sports fans, or if you're just a football fan, it's because nothing else is on. And the one thing all sports have in common is bad officiating.

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Bad calls, bad refs, "bias," it's something every fan has seen and likely used as an excuse for a loss in a close game. Referees, umpires, officials, race stewards, whatever the sport calls them, they have likely entered a fans radar at some point and not in a good way.

Throughout the history of the Bears there have been bad calls; The Replay Game comes to mind off the bat or the 2004 Lions game when the Bears should have had a touchdown with 1:26 left. There are others, of course, but it's something seen in every sport.

Why just this week many watched the Chicago Blackhawks overcome a bad call by the officials in the waning seconds of a tied game when they called minor coincidental penalties that disallowed a go-ahead goal.

And earlier this spring Bulls fans watched Nazr Mohammad get ejected following an altercation with Lebron James, whom many thought was the real aggressor.

It's not just Chicago sports either; baseball has had plenty of bad calls this year and who could forget the replacement refs and their blunder last fall?

Living in Indiana I have been hearing almost non-stop about the calls going against the Pacers and the bias the refs and NBA have for the Heat.

Whether real or not, people seem to believe referee bias is real.

So I ask you, the fans, 1) Is there really referee bias or is it just a convenient excuse for when your team loses? 2) Which league has the worst officials? NBA, NHL, NFL or MLB? and 3) Should refs be held more accountable through penalties, fines, suspensions or other league action?

I think that there are bad calls, no doubt. That is indisputable, but I'm not sure there is a real bias, I think much of that is just the perception of the fans. I personally have a diverse group of people I follow on Twitter and I know I can watch fans on opposites sides of the same game say that the refs are against their side.

I think that the NBA probably has the worst officials and that the NFL has the best. The replay system greatly assists the NFL refs and that system has become contentious in other leagues when they try to implement them. MLB umps have the hardest job, with very little replay assistance and everything is eyeballed.

Lastly, I do think there needs to be better accountability for refs. Coaches and players get fined for speaking out against them but when the refs make a boneheaded call, all fans get is a written apology two days later and maybe a "this official won't call a playoff game this year." They need to consider making refs available to press and/or some kind of suspension system where they have to sit out a couple games or go through a refresher course after X amount of bad calls.

Now, what's your take?

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