First of all, let me be clear that is not intended to be a screed against the officiating in the last two USMNT games, shaky as it’s been. Thankfully, Donovan banged it home just as I was typing this, so my blood pressure is not as dangerously high.
I’m curious in what sport and level do you think the disparity between the level and officiating is greatest? In other words, high school officials generally aren’t all that great, but overall, the coaches, players and speed of play aren’t exactly elite, either. I try to think of the decisions of officials as part of the playing surface, just like goofy bounces off of boards or turf coming up when a receiver cuts. However, when decisions are consistently bad, it’s really infuriating.
For me, international/professional soccer and college hockey have the absolute worst relative officiating. I can’t think of any other sports where I’ve been closer to stroking out because of refs. It’s even more egregious in soccer since goals are at such a premium, and an official’s call/no-call can directly impact the result of a game.
On the other hand, I generally think NFL and NHL refs are pretty good. Certainly, mistakes happen, but that’s inevitable. It’s the frequency that’s the real issue.