CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 13: Head coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions yells at referee Jon Lucivansky #89 during a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 37-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
There have always been bad calls in the NFL, but the 2011 season has seemed to have set a record for the number of complains about officiating from week to week. It seems as though you can't watch a game without seeing some blatantly missed call, especially when the Detroit Lions are involved.
In response to all of the bad calls, fans have called for changes to be made with officiating, as well as the rules. While it seemed like nothing would change, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on Sunday that the league is going to consider making some referees full-time employees next season.
''Consistency is exactly what every club wants, and I think every fan wants. You want consistency in the way rules are applied,'' Goodell said. ''We are contemplating this offseason taking some of those officials from the field who are now part time - they have other jobs - and making a certain number of them, let's say 10, full time.''
While this isn't much, it would be a step in the right direction. The fact that a league as popular as the NFL doesn't have full-time officials is a joke, especially when you consider how many bad calls are made. Of course, bad calls won't disappear even if the league does hire some full-time officials, but hopefully the move would at the very least provide more accountability.
(Side note: Goodell made the above comments at a fan forum in Baltimore on Sunday. Earlier in the season at a fan forum in Detroit, he claimed that officials get 99 percent of the calls correct. The fact that hiring full-time officials is now under consideration indicates to me that the 99 percent number was either fake or misleading, because I doubt the league would be in need of a change like this if that was an accurate statement.)