The NFL’s announcement that it will hire up to 24 full-time officials is a good PR move. It gives the league a chance to show fans that it’s trying to improve the quality of the officiating.
But don’t be fooled. Even making all the officials full-time wouldn’t make much difference.
The other major sports have full-time officials — and their officials make mistakes all the time. Remember, they’re human beings. Coaches and players make mistakes all the time. To think officials aren’t going to make mistakes is downright foolish.
NFL officials tend to get more scrutiny than officials in other sports because the regular season lasts just 16 games and teams play only once a week, so fans and the media can spend several days talking about a blown call.
Baseball teams usually play the next day — and the next … and the next — so the debate about a blown call doesn’t last as long.