Officiating has been quite a headache for most fans of any sport. Whether it is the NBA, Soccer, or MLB, some calls do not just sit right with most people these days who are avid fans of these leagues. Roger Goodell and the NFL are no exception. There have been questionable calls and a lot of missed whistles made throughout the league on a nightly basis. The NFL officiating drew concern from Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he did not get the desired answer that he was looking for.

Back in 2022, a lot of changes were introduced by the NFL in terms of officiating the game. It helped Roger Goodell's league expedite the process of reviewing calls and making sure that they were accurate. An added bonus to it was that it was faster than most officials in the league. It was called the NFL's replay assist and the help was quite evident during the first few runs.

Eventually, Mike Tomlin had an issue with the calls that were being made along with other NFL head honchos. He barged in and asked the referees a crucial question to which he did not get a substantial reply, via Kalyn Kahler of The Athletic.

“As one crew member recalls, Tomlin asked who in the league office was responsible for answering his questions about officiating decisions and who made the final decisions on replay reviews. “I have no idea,” the official told Tomlin that day. ‘I can’t tell you who’s the boss or who’s not. It’s been so secretive, and they’re just not very forthcoming,'” they wrote about the Steelers head honcho.

Roger Goodell and the NFL did not literally have someone in a room within the league office that Mike Tomlin could talk to. Instead, the NFL's replay assist was outsourced to guys in New York. They were reviewing the footage during the time of the incident. So, there was quite literally no one that the Steelers head honcho could turn to and question about the calls made during his games. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the issue of funding within the league.

Steelers HC uncovers a symptom of a way larger problem in the NFL

Jan 15, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts in the in the second half against the Buffalo Bills in a 2024 AFC wild card game at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
© Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, Tomlin does not know because the rest of the referees are either prevented from talking about the situation or do not have any idea who the person in charge is too. The NFL does have an improvement plan going on to solve a big conundrum. Their NFL Referee Association, which is the union of their officials, is underfunded. Scott Green, a former official in the league, vividly outlined the problems that they were facing.

“The officiating department is totally underfunded and understaffed. We have a clinic the first week of June and we still don’t know who’s in charge. We’re changing every two or three years. By the third year, when the guy’s vision should really start to materialize, they're gone. They are not paying enough attention upstairs to what it takes to actually run an officiating department,” Green declared.

A step towards better officiating in Steelers games and a better experience for the rest of the NFL is better officiating. Hopefully, the league is able to attain it.