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An Open Letter to Carl Cheffers from Chiefs Kingdom

Dearest Carl,

I am a few days late on this, but seeing as the hubbub of Monday night's game has still not subsided, this article is not dated and completely justified. Shoot, it was justified even before this game, but we'll get into that. Let's have a little bit of a critic's corner on your officiating though shall we? It's long overdue. You are an NFL official after, your position garners a lot of judgement and criticism. However, as a former referee myself and fully knowing what the environment is for sports officiating at all levels nowadays, take this letter as a wakeup call. I do not criticize officials very often, or at least I try not to. I don't blame them for losses, I believe I am firm and fair in my judgement just as you all should be, and again, I have a whole article on the officiating climate in American sports on this website. However, given the egregious and unsettling track record of not just Chiefs games, but NFL games in general, I have a few things to say...

First and foremost, it was clear from the get go that if anyone was going to get the calls that night (at least at first) it was the Raiders. The Chiefs have long been a team you have struggled with officiating correctly, even dating back to the 2020 Super Bowl, however trouble with your officiating does not stop with us. You have a severe tendency to be flag happy and call ticky tac, sometimes even phantom flags. Is it attention you seek? Because you got it in the form of negative attention from every team you've had an impact on, which in all your years of officiating is a lot. Referees should not EVER have an impact on the outcome of the game, however I have seen it time and again with you. Let's get back to Monday though, the roughing the passer penalty is not entirely your fault. The league's rules on it are unclear and need a lot of ratification and clarification, much like a few other rules in the NFL rules book. HOWEVER, not calling/calling phantom pass interferences on both sides, not taking Mahomes's safety into account when he took some fairly gnarly hits, missing blatant holds (No not the one on Crosby, though there were a few ones you missed for the Raiders too), having to constantly explain penalties you called, and not taking ANY sort of official command of the game all stand out brightly. Arrowhead is extremely intimidating, we always have been I get it, but as a referee you should do your best to make sure the crowd does not get THAT out of hand. The voice crack was all that needed to happen in order for me to make a proper judgement there, you were intimidated into making multiple make-up calls and were no longer in control. Make-up calls don't cut it, officiating the game consistently and fairly FROM THE GET GO is the only way you prevent that from happening. You have been an official for how long and you still don't know that? Nonetheless an official who's refereed the SUPER BOWL? NFL officiating is officially broken if you are truly one of their best. Go back to the drawing board, learn how to do your job properly, and don't get in the way of fair contest. The Chiefs are 1-5 against the spread in the last 6 games with you as the referee, that has a probability of happening of 9%. You have a direct impact on the game, and that is not your job as the official. You are there to manage and keep the game clean and fair, not to control the outcome and be the TV face. Fix it.

This is not meant to be an attack, you're a human being and make mistakes. We all do, but being that ignorant to your mistakes to where you are doing them on a consistent enough basis, to where even casual fans notice, is a big problem. You are not the only one in the NFL with this problem, but as a Chiefs fan, we notice more than anyone when someone is actively doing things to screw our team over. Intentional or unintentional, whether it be with us, with the Bills, with the Packers, or even the Raiders, it needs to be remedied now. Otherwise, if I'm Rodger Goodell, I'm looking deep into your track record with justified skepticism and weighing potential career defining options for you. Get it right, or get lost.


Chiefs Kingdom

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