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WEEKEND OUTLOOK

Silver lining can be found in NFL’s ‘Replacement Gate’

Matt_ExaminingSports

All is well again. The “real” NFL officials are back.

The three weeks with the replacement officials did not go over well with coaches and fans, with the tipping point coming on the final play of Monday’s Packers-Seahawks game. The Seahawks won on a very controversial call as Golden Tate ripped the ball away from a Packers’ player on the ground after an apparent interception. The officials ruled Tate caught the ball, and that unleashed a tidal wave of anger from players, coaches and fans.

I do not think it was a coincidence that two days later the NFL owners and the league’s officials reached a new deal.

The positive for me out of the messy situation is that I believe fans and coaches now have a greater appreciation for officials and the job they do.

I admit that I would never want to be an umpire or official. It is a tough job. We saw over the last three weeks just how difficult it is.

It was great to see the “real” officials get a standing ovation before Thursday’s Browns-Ravens game. It much-deserved show of support for a group that rarely gets any praise.

Now on to this week’s prep football picks:

Tippecanoe over Bellefontaine

Bellefontaine is facing a difficult task this week. The Chiefs were dealt a tough loss last week against Indian Lake and now have to embark on a long bus ride to face a Tippecanoe team that has destroyed everybody in its way.

The Red Devils have very few weaknesses. They have elite talent on both sides of the ball. Tippecanoe 34, Bellefontaine 14.

Indian Lake over Graham

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