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NFL admits Browns got fourth timeout

After Cleveland wide receiver Josh Cribbs suffered an injury in the final play of Monday night’s Ravens-Browns game, PFT’s Mike Florio pointed out that there wouldn’t have been time for that play if not for the officials giving the Browns a fourth timeout.

Now the league has admitted the mix-up: In the second half, the Browns called four timeouts, and the officials allowed Cleveland to have all four of them.

In this video at NFL.com, NFL Network’s Rich Eisen asks head of officiating Mike Pereira bluntly, “A team in the NFL got a fourth timeout. How did that happen?”

Said Pereira, “Well, I mean, it happened because we as a group — as a crew — failed to record. . . .  Everybody on the field basically forgot to record the penalty — I mean, the timeout — and the scoreboard did, too.”

Although Pereira mentioned that the scoreboard erroneously showed Cleveland having an extra timeout, he said he wasn’t trying to blame the stadium scoreboard operator.

“All our fault,” Pereira said. “It’s not the scoreboard operator’s responsibility, it’s our responsibility to record all timeouts and we’re going to initiate a change over these situations. When a team uses all their timeouts we now — the referee has to go over and tell the head coach. . . .  These types of administrative things should never happen, and we accept responsibility.”

It’s good that Pereira accepts responsibility, but it’s amazing that the mistake happened in the first place. NFL officials have tough jobs, and everyone makes mistakes from time to time. But it doesn’t seem like too much to ask that all officials be able to count to three.

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43 Responses to “NFL admits Browns got fourth timeout”
  1. midnight green says: Nov 19, 2009 10:37 AM

    The Brownies couldn’t score a Touchdown if they had ten timeouts….

  2. shinsnake says: Nov 19, 2009 10:39 AM

    “But it doesn’t seem like too much to ask that all officials be able to count to three.”
    That’s a stupid way to put it. Can you count to three when you counted to two over an hour ago? Most times yes, but I’m not sure even I would be 100% accurate in that scenario.

  3. Omnipotent_1 says: Nov 19, 2009 10:44 AM

    NFL using that fuzzy math again !!
    If they would just give each official a Tootsie Pop, counting to 3 would not be a problem.

  4. momar3000 says: Nov 19, 2009 10:45 AM

    NFL refs don’t have a hard job! They constantly make mistakes that are terribly obivous and they cannot get fired! Why would they try to become better? Why would they care if they make mistakes, they aren’t going to be fired!
    Its almost like working for the Auto Industry, its all the Unions fault. Why do a good job at work when you are guarenteed a job.
    “One day, we’ll form a union and get the fair and equitable treatment we deserve! Then we’ll go too far, and get corrupt and shiftless, and the Japanese will eat us alive!”

  5. Florio-is-a-tool says: Nov 19, 2009 10:45 AM

    Copying the quality of NBA officiating will not make the NFL more popular. Something has got to change – maybe find referees who can think? The NBA gave up on that aspect a long time ago…

  6. I♥Patriots says: Nov 19, 2009 10:46 AM

    These refs really need to get their sh#t together. The Pats sure could have used a fourth timeout on Sunday. Just as shocking…Pereira admits that they were wrong.

  7. eaglealan64 says: Nov 19, 2009 10:47 AM

    “When a team uses all their timeouts we now — the referee has to go over and tell the head coach. . . . ”
    Wow, in the British Amateur game we have been doing that for 20+ years. Seems pretty basic.

  8. momar3000 says: Nov 19, 2009 10:47 AM

    shinsnake
    Its their job to count to three over an hour…..

  9. lukestrass says: Nov 19, 2009 10:47 AM

    this is crap…”we accept responsibility”….what does that even mean?
    this officiating is at an all time low and nothing is being done about it…these refs are taking over the game
    look to see a bunch of makeup calls in dallas this weekend….i bet the redskins get get called on three times as many penalties as dallas….mark my words

  10. ZombieRevolution says: Nov 19, 2009 10:48 AM

    “After Cleveland wide receiver Josh Cribbs suffered an injury in the final play of Monday night’s Ravens-Browns game, PFT’s Mike Florio pointed out…”.
    You know PFT is quite angry when someone else takes credit for a PFT originated story. Florio was tipped off on this story by a league source, because he was too busy blogging to notice what many fans had detected when it happened.
    In the end- the NFL officals were not professional. Just like all the misspellings, typos and rank speculation our favotite lawyer now paid to be a professional writter makes on a regular basis. Right Mr. Bradshaw- still alive?

  11. Frank Burns says: Nov 19, 2009 10:51 AM

    Cue Drama Queen Suggs in full neckbrace, waving arms and shouting “forget the timeout, look at me! me!”

  12. Brewster says: Nov 19, 2009 10:55 AM

    Well at least they came clean and acknowledged the mistake after removing written evidence of the offense from the play by play on their website.
    And no, it’s not too much to ask of someone to count to three and get it right 100% of the time in situations like this. Review the current procedure for tracking time outs and change it. Counting to three and verifying you’ve counted to three is not that complicated.

  13. EdgarSnyder says: Nov 19, 2009 10:56 AM

    pereria is a fricken tool!
    the refs suck lately.

  14. Laxer37 says: Nov 19, 2009 10:56 AM

    If a mistake is made and nobody is watching the game did it really happen?

  15. eaglealan64 says: Nov 19, 2009 10:57 AM

    Actually they have always gone over to the HC for time outs – they are also going to do it for CHALLENGES now.

  16. Bill In DC says: Nov 19, 2009 11:05 AM

    Isn’t it a delay of game penalty for calling an extra timeout, similar to throwing the review flag when you don’t have one *cough* GB Dallas *cough*

  17. leatherneck says: Nov 19, 2009 11:07 AM

    Hey, can anybody imagine the NBA or Major League Baseball doing an “Official Review” video series every week?
    That would be hilarious. The umpires are just a joke in baseball. In almost every game there is a highly questionable if not wrong call.
    Then there’s the NBA. There’s traveling on almost every play of the game. Plus there was at least one crooked referee.
    For all the mistakes the NFL officiating makes, at least there is a challenge system that works, and at least the officials do a good job most of the time and are honest.
    The NFL is forthright about officiating. They are always doing something to improve the accuracy of calls made on the field. This is one big reason why the NFL is the best sports league.

  18. The Coop says: Nov 19, 2009 11:15 AM

    Just be glad this didn’t happen in a game that mattered, like the amazing “Fifth Down” play in Colorado many years back.

  19. No_Man says: Nov 19, 2009 11:19 AM

    @shinsnake: I think the bigger issue is not that one man lost track of his count over an hour, but that an entire crew did so…
    One man = excusable mistake
    Nine men = inexcusable systemic incompetance

  20. PFTiswhatitis says: Nov 19, 2009 11:33 AM

    The Pats could have used that extra timeout against the Colts.

  21. shinsnake says: Nov 19, 2009 11:39 AM

    momar3000 & No_Man
    I agree and I didn’t mean to sound as though I was defending the refs. I just think the writer of the article phrased it very stupidly, as though they can’t even count to three. I realize it was made to try and bring humor to his article, it just wasn’t humorous. Believe me, I watch the Bengals play the Steelers twice a year, I know how bad the refs suck.

  22. Pablo0620 says: Nov 19, 2009 11:46 AM

    The Ravens and Browns played on MNF?

  23. Deb says: Nov 19, 2009 11:47 AM

    @leatherneck …
    I take back any negative thing I ever said about you on CFT. No_Man and shinsnake are right–these are systemic mistakes speaking to systemic incompetence that must be resolved. But they are operational & human mistakes, not deliberate acts of dishonesty. You are a rare man of intelligence and discernment among a sea of whining insane conspiracy theorists. Thank you.

  24. Bleed Green says: Nov 19, 2009 12:00 PM

    so disgraceful. officiating has gone severely, steadily downhill.
    plus jerry jones pays them off every week, even for games the boys aren’t in. that’s my theory. jj and al davis.

  25. stetai says: Nov 19, 2009 12:05 PM

    Let me send a message to the NFL as a fan, and I believe many more would agree with me:
    If there is a blown call, for the rest of my life I will remember how my team got screwed by you WAY MORE than I will remember that 2 minutes of my life you could’ve taken to review the play, and done the right thing.
    This “slowing the pace of the game” BS is exactly that, BS. If you want to leave a legacy Goodell, then fix this broken Instant Replay. Do the righ tthing.

  26. SkinsFanInNebraska says: Nov 19, 2009 12:28 PM

    The refs suck “lately”?? NFL game officiating has been substandard for years — even decades maybe.
    I thought perhaps after poor officiating affected the outcome of the Super Bowl a few years ago they might do something, but no.
    As long as the NFL is willing to put its multi-billion-dollar product in the hands of a bunch of part-timers, there is not going to be any improvement.

  27. I♥Patriots says: Nov 19, 2009 12:39 PM

    Maybe the NFL should think about going to a system similar to college football where every play is reviewed. Slowing down the game for the sake of making the correct call would be the right thing to do. Every team has been on the receiving end of a bad call, but when it changes the outcome of the game it is a serious problem that needs to be addressed; not things like games overseas. Goodell is the worst commissioner ever.

  28. jibfest says: Nov 19, 2009 12:52 PM

    Its almost like working for the Auto Industry, its all the Unions fault. Why do a good job at work when you are guarenteed a job.
    —-@ Momar, I completely agree. The auto industry workers getting paid $25 to drill a bolt in, same people that voted for Obama. Had to repay them for voting for him, que the auto bailout.

  29. JPeezy says: Nov 19, 2009 12:58 PM

    Pathetic. The league has wanted to see the Browns be a winner for years and they always get all of the calls. This just proves it. Lerner is in the officials back pockets. Fortunately for the rest of the league the Browns are pathetic, even with getting bad calls for them every week.

  30. Deb says: Nov 19, 2009 1:22 PM

    @I Love Pats …
    But have you noticed college games being slower than pro games? I haven’t. I think they’re faster.
    You don’t have to sit and wait for this under-the-hood nonsense. The replay official is already on top of it. The college system seems to work better AND faster.

  31. I♥Patriots says: Nov 19, 2009 1:39 PM

    @Deb…
    You are absolutely right. As soon as the play happens, the guys in the booth are looking at it instantly. The college system seems to be very successful.

  32. TFBuckFutter says: Nov 19, 2009 1:41 PM

    “It’s good that Pereira accepts responsibility, but it’s amazing that the mistake happened in the first place.”
    What is “amazing” about this?
    I find it perfectly reasonable that even the refs aren’t paying attention when the Browns are on the field.

  33. r_u_shtn_me says: Nov 19, 2009 1:45 PM

    Are NFL officials required to take drug tests?

  34. thekillerkeller says: Nov 19, 2009 2:02 PM

    Let’s just face it, NFL officiating has been horrible at best the past three years.

  35. Unnamed Source says: Nov 19, 2009 2:17 PM

    Did anyone ask why the NFL tried to cover its mistake by removing the 4th timeout from the playlog on nfl.com?

  36. DerekLutz says: Nov 19, 2009 2:50 PM

    @Deb and I Love Patriots
    Have you actually seen some of the horrific officiating in college football this season? The SEC fined Urban Meyer $30k for commenting on bad calls and his team has benefited most from the refs bad calls.
    The Iowa/Indiana game was the “poster child” for bad officiating this year – even the NFL guys on Fox were commenting on it the next day.
    The SEC and Big 10 are rife with incompetent officials. Their replay system is just as bad if not worse than the pro version because it robs teams of momentum on the field with its constant stopping of play and they still gets lots of calls wrong.

  37. bearsrule says: Nov 19, 2009 2:59 PM

    Its almost like working for the Auto Industry, its all the Unions fault. Why do a good job at work when you are guarenteed a job.
    —-@ Momar, I completely agree. The auto industry workers getting paid $25 to drill a bolt in, same people that voted for Obama. Had to repay them for voting for him, que the auto bailout.
    Why don’t you two lovebirds go find a political blog or go rent a room. This is about football, Nancy.

  38. John Cittebart says: Nov 19, 2009 2:59 PM

    The Browns’ opponent should have been keeping track of the Browns’ timeouts used.
    With all the freaking assistants roaming the sidelines, one would think that there is someone to keep count of everything!
    Challenges, timeouts, number of players on the field, etc.
    If this is a novel idea, I’m for hire!

  39. kiera620 says: Nov 19, 2009 4:48 PM

    not much to “admit” to either it happened or it didn’t and it obviously happened…lol

  40. moral-authority says: Nov 19, 2009 5:13 PM

    Can the NFL get refs under the age of 50?????????? NFL officiating is the only job availible when you retire! Peep soccer or tennis. No disrespect, but the eyes & instincs are much better when you’re younger. Let’s face it the guys can’t get up & down the field, and certainly miss A LOT of calls.

  41. Deb says: Nov 19, 2009 8:46 PM

    @DerekLutz …
    I’ll admit I’m not a big college fan–only watch SEC football. Of course, that means I’m well aware of the officiating problems in college ball this year.
    I’m not saying the college guys apply the replay system correctly, just that it’s a good system and I don’t think it slows the game to the degree the NFL system does. Having a replay official eliminates the need for field officials to go through the under-the-hood drama that takes so much time. And replay officials aren’t being asked to overrule their own calls. Some people have a hard time admitting they screwed up. Plus replay officials in booths could, theoretically, have access to a computerized rulebook for quickly double-checking regs–something they can’t do on the field. Since that’s their only responsibility, they wouldn’t be likely to try to review unreviewable plays. Just makes more sense on a lot of levels. But full-time, properly trained officials working in well-practiced crews is the most essential change the NFL needs to make.

  42. Richm2256 says: Nov 19, 2009 9:56 PM

    leatherneck: Then there’s the NBA. There’s traveling on almost every play of the game.
    Might want to bust open a newspaper there, letherneck.
    The NBA legalized traveling this season. You can pretty much run with the ball from mid-court and they won’t blow a whistle.

  43. eagleswin says: Dec 2, 2013 7:12 PM

    dwarftosser says:
    Dec 2, 2013 5:50 PM
    The regular officials miss as lot of calls, but you guys thinking they aren’t any worse than the replacement officials are just insane. At least the real refs aren’t giving teams 4 timeouts in a half, or calling unsportsmanlike conduct when a coach calls a timeout, or giving a team 27 yards on a 15 yard penalty… and they can tell the difference between an interception and a touchdown.

    ——————————-

    In 2009 the regular NFL refs gave the Browns 4 timeouts, look it up. They told the chain gang it was first down when it was a 4th and 1 last night. They missed an obvious call when Tomlin should’ve gotten an unsportsmanlike penalty for being on the field.

    Dude, There’s at least 20 egregious things they missed or screwed up this week alone. Also, that greenbay interception/TD call you are whining about? It was confirmed by the league representative at the game before the next play was run. Accept that and move on.

    The reality is that the media created an unfounded hysteria regarding the replacement refs and some gullible people bought it.

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