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NFLRA lists officiating errors from Hall of Fame game

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Replacement officials returned to the NFL for the first time since 2001, and the NFL Referees Association was paying close attention.

And the NFLRA was taking notes.

And the NFLRA has now publicized those notes, summarizing the mistakes made by the crew assigned to the Hall of Fame game.

“Professional NFL officials are graded after every game,” NFLRA counsel Michael Arnold said in a release.  “Several of the NFL Referee Association’s officials who grade for Division-I college conferences did a review of the Hall of Fame Game working from a recording of the television feed.  Normally, there would be an opportunity to also view the ‘Coaches’ Tape, which provides two views of every play, but multiple costly errors were still evident.  Numerous errors in field mechanics, game administration and even the coin toss negatively impacted the quality of the game.”

The NFLRA then identified 10 significant errors, from the non-call of a Saints touchdown to the failure to flag Cardinals left tackle Levi Brown for holding in the end zone to a failure to call a touchback on a punt downed inside the Saints’ one yard line to a failure to flag a helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless punt returner.

It’ll be interesting to see whether the NFLRA continues to grade the preseason games in which the replacement officials work.

And, yes, the regular officials make plenty of mistakes.  But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the mistakes by the men (and one woman) who necessarily aren’t the best of the best.

If, after all, they were among the best of the best, they’d currently be locked out by the league.

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85 Responses to “NFLRA lists officiating errors from Hall of Fame game”
  1. kingbeason52 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:07 PM

    What a bunch of bitter old guys..

  2. jcroft says: Aug 6, 2012 6:08 PM

    Is there any way to compare this grade to the typical grades of the regular refs?

    “10 costly mistakes” sounds like a lot, but who’s to say that’s not about par for the course, even with the regular officials?

  3. ingloriousmaster says: Aug 6, 2012 6:08 PM

    I personally enjoyed the way last night’s game was officiated. Minute penalities not being called allowed for a more fluid, better paced game.

  4. goldrush36 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:08 PM

    That’s rich. Maybe they can list the thousands of errors they’ve made the past several years. Some with very catastrophic results

  5. champ1118 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:10 PM

    Bitter Much?

  6. reedrobertson says: Aug 6, 2012 6:10 PM

    This is funny.

  7. tbtrojan says: Aug 6, 2012 6:10 PM

    Oh no, they made some errors.
    The number of missed or incorrect calls the “official” refs make can’t be far off that which is amazing considering how there seems to be a flag on every 3rd play now days.
    Between the Refs and GODell pro football is getting worse with each passing season.

  8. gunndlewittlebaum says: Aug 6, 2012 6:12 PM

    This seems quite childish. These officials are rookies and we need to allow them to grow and mature in their positions as we would with any young players.

  9. Arun Krishnan says: Aug 6, 2012 6:12 PM

    No problems with this. The standard of officiating will take a hit when using replacement refs, no problems with the union pointing it out.

    Of course, the fact that they can watch games and point out these errors means they can do the same once their union members are back employed right? Since their primary concern is avoiding errors that negatively affect the game?

  10. dldove77 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:13 PM

    You have to be kidding me. You only have to look at the last NFLRA-officiated game to come up with just as many mistakes.

  11. schmitty2 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:13 PM

    Some could argue that the replacements are no worse than the regular refs

  12. thorobredinc says: Aug 6, 2012 6:13 PM

    of course they are gonna exagerate the officiating mistakes, there is no way they can come out and say they did a good job last night..that wouldnt help their cause at all.

  13. dequan81 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:16 PM

    Maybe I’ve been busy, or just haven’t cared… What’s up with the refs again? What’s their beef?

    I assume the NFLRA would present such a run down on the numerous errors they make – often..

  14. theuglitruth says: Aug 6, 2012 6:16 PM

    No changes…some bad calls, some good calls. Par for the course.

  15. gtodriver says: Aug 6, 2012 6:18 PM


    Some mistakes were made in the very first preseason game of the year.

    Maybe we should go back and review the HOF game from last year and see how the “best of the best” did in their first game of the season???

    Considering that there are rule differences between the college game and the NFL – a certain number of mistakes at the outset should be expected.

    The “best of the best” make plenty of mistakes on a routine basis, even after being in the league for years.

  16. blackandbluedivision says: Aug 6, 2012 6:19 PM

    It’s easy to review every tape and judge which calls were not made as opposed to live action…first NFL game…for everybody.

  17. 305phinphan says: Aug 6, 2012 6:19 PM

    I thought the replacements did just as good calling the game as the regular refs would. It’s funny to see them pointing out all of the mistakes but the question is would they have caught it if they were out there.

    I’ll never forget the Steelers/Dolphin game a few years ago when Big Ben fumbled before he broke the plain for a TD and Miami recovered the ball in the endzone. One ref called the play a TD and blew the play dead so Miami was never credited for the fumble recovery.

    Is that the officiating the NFL is missing by not having these guys in there reffing the game?

  18. vbe2 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:19 PM

    How about someone grab games from last season and “grade” them?

  19. taxlaw26 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:19 PM

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  20. dowhatifeellike says: Aug 6, 2012 6:20 PM

    Does this mean we get to publish a list of all NFLRA ref mistakes going forward?

  21. bigperm33 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:20 PM

    I get the point but can you imagine the outrage from officials if another group detailed all the errors they make in games?

  22. daysend564 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:20 PM

    When I’m sitting on my couch, I’m way better than the refs on the field.

    This is the preseason, for a group of people that have never worked together before. It will take some time to get game ready.

    As every year, preseason games are not just for the players. They are also for the referees to get back into the flow of the game.

    Heck, when they used to take the all star team into playoff games (not units), there were gobs of errors made. That, after officiating 16 regular season games and 4 preseason.

  23. blackbelt4d says: Aug 6, 2012 6:20 PM

    And to keep things consistent, I’m sure we will see the same sort of public release evaluating game officials in the event the NFLRA has referees in NFL games once again.

  24. flyerscup2010 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:20 PM

    I can’t say I don’t really support the NFLRA in this…but man, if THEIR officials got graded each week on the job they do officiating games, I don’t think they would like it. Because it wouldn’t be very pretty.

  25. montsta says: Aug 6, 2012 6:22 PM

    Raise your hand if you would give an A-grade to the guy trying to take your job. Nobody? Anybody? Yeah me neither.

  26. stercuilus65 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:23 PM

    What a butt move. When they start making public reports from their mistake laden games the day after then maybe they could talk…
    Regardless the games would be better if they “missed” a few more inconsequential calls and actually called a few more blatant critical ones they always seem to miss.

  27. therealhulkhogan says: Aug 6, 2012 6:24 PM

    The NFLRA is a joke brother! A Real American doesn’t try to tear down others. The replacement refs are training, saying their prayers and eating their vitamins! Whatcha gonna do NFLRA!

  28. justintuckrule says: Aug 6, 2012 6:25 PM

    Goodell is such a hypocrite. When will slurpers realize its all about the $$ to him. He could care less about player safety. To wit, Goodell rather nickel and dime the unionized refs that are best suited to identify the (ridiculous) defenseless player than a replacement ref could. I hope the concussion plaintiffs jam this little nugget up Goodell’s _____. They can say, hey look, “Goodell cares so much about player safety that he has hired absolute amateurs to officiate player safety. If he cared so much, he’d spend some of that 9B on qualified refs. NFL did the same thing back in the 80’s when the choice came down to better (moderately costlier) research or risking the $$ on players not getting hurt”.

  29. ninerdynasty says: Aug 6, 2012 6:25 PM

    i could go on and on in mistakes made by the “best of the best” last year.. i guess now they know how we as fans feels about their dumb/no calls.

  30. randomguy9999 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:28 PM

    ill bet the replacement refs, coming from college games, under the heat of NFL football, will start making some major mistakes…

    just work it out NFL… these guys are making NFL tip money even if you give them what they want….

  31. bayouranch says: Aug 6, 2012 6:29 PM

    Im sure there were mistakes, but im also sure the real refs want their jobs back and will exploit the non calls.

  32. jackericsson says: Aug 6, 2012 6:31 PM

    I hope this full disclosure weekly game review continues with the regular refs. They miss plenty too.

  33. mrbiz8505 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:31 PM

    This is probably on PAR compared to any game last yr…

  34. pmontague92 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:32 PM

    I did not watch the game yesterday, but I certainly recall Ed helping (ok, winning for) my Broncos with a HORRIBLE call against the Chargers on the Cutler fumble. Did any of these calls singlehandedly cost a team the game?

  35. papasmurfbell says: Aug 6, 2012 6:33 PM

    Hey lets go look at officiating errors in the playoffs and the SB. They are in stride at that point but still can’t do their job.
    1) Polomaou picks off Manning carries the ball for about 4 steps and drops it. The Squealers get it again and the officials say it was an incomplete pass even after review.
    2) Darrell Jackson pushes off in the endzone negating the TD. I think it is Chris Hope is molesting him all the way down the field until he is pushed off but that is ignored.
    3) Last yr Brees was hit and fumbles the ball. The defender had a clear run for a TD but the ball was ruled incomplete. After review it was given to the Lions but the offense could not get the score.
    4) At the end of the Giants 49ers game The snap was botched by Trey Junkin, and holder Matt Allen picked up the ball and heaved it downfield towards offensive guard Rich Seubert. Seubert was basically tackled on the play, which should have resulted in a pass interference call.

    However, the refs considered Seubert an ineligible receiver and called the incomplete pass the last play of the game.

    5) Raider Broncos game and Rob Lytle fumbled the ball to the Raiders. The zebras said it was a no fumble giving the Broncos another shot. The scored and took the lead bearting the Raiders.

    So Why would the Zebras cast stones at new zebras when they can’t do the job either?

  36. buffalosaint says: Aug 6, 2012 6:34 PM

    I’m not saying that the experienced guys are perfect but I’m going to come back to all these comments after the season starts and your team gets screwed out of a win by poor officiating. In my opinion using scab officials when the difference between the two sides is as close as it is shows you the character of the guy in charge.

  37. sailbum7 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:34 PM

    I do not see these replacement refs as being any worse than the regular crews. This is nothing more than the refs union trying score points to bolster their cause. The truth is the regular refs make just as many mistakes, so I do not see this having that much of an impact on the league overall. Every team has stories of being the victim of a bad call, benefitting from a non-call, etc. It is all part of the game – a part you would like to see kept to a minimum, but part of the game none the less.

  38. bjamesa says: Aug 6, 2012 6:35 PM

    For years we’ve asked for transperency with the NFL Refs and now they want to grant that transperncy… with scab refs? Forget that! I don’t want the NFL Refs back until they agree to do interviews with the media after the game explaining any call that is questionable. I want the Refs put in the spotlight if they make the wrong call, not hidden and protected by the NFL Shield. Give me a break!!!

  39. tdshouldbeinthehall says: Aug 6, 2012 6:37 PM

    So what they are saying is there is no difference.

  40. bearnmind says: Aug 6, 2012 6:38 PM

    Remember when football was just about the game and not about unions, alleged bounties, the commissioner, and felonies….???? It seems so long ago.

  41. thegreatgabbert says: Aug 6, 2012 6:39 PM

    Speaking of women, did anyone catch the Olympic semi final between U.S. and Canada in women’s soccer? Amazing game, one of the best matches I’ve seen in any sport ever, regardless of gender. Those gals are TOUGH.

  42. realitypolice says: Aug 6, 2012 6:40 PM

    If they are trying to make the case that they are superior to the replacements, they’d better come up with a heck of alot more than 10 mistakes per game. I don’t think I’ve seen an NFL game in 20 years that had much less than 10 mistakes.

  43. dannythebisforbeast says: Aug 6, 2012 6:41 PM

    So refs can criticize refs if a player or coach does it he’s fined. Haha. I would part of their new contract publicizing their grades or mistakes. Maybe then they will improve. On another note its completely insane that the multimillion dollar NFL does not have full time refs at this point

  44. udontknowjacku says: Aug 6, 2012 6:42 PM

    They could call holding on every play, why would they add that one? I thought they did a good job last night, I’m sure they were nervous and will get better…

  45. folkcrusader says: Aug 6, 2012 6:44 PM

    I look forward to the NFLRA providing the same exact public scorecards for regular officials when they return to work this fall.

  46. sixburghrules says: Aug 6, 2012 6:46 PM

    It is always easier to critique this AFTER the fact! The real refs are no better than the replacements.

  47. calibear831 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:46 PM

    I have a feeling that these guys r going to make a terrible call thia season that’s going to decide the outcome of a game

    . Just watch!

  48. jc327 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:47 PM

    They should publicize the grades from last year’s HOF game to compare if they want to be legit. Otherwise, sounds like sour grapes.

  49. austin2720 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:48 PM

    I thought the refs were great and didnt call every little borderline penalty. It was nice to actually watch football and not the refs trying to steal the show.

  50. sixburghrules says: Aug 6, 2012 6:50 PM

    You could probably call holding on just about every play.

    A punt downed inside the 1 yard line is NOT a touchback.

  51. geefan1 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:53 PM

    NFL should respond by releasing 2011 season grades for the striking officials and provide a list of the 10 worst refs…

  52. phillyphan72 says: Aug 6, 2012 6:55 PM

    Hey it’s the preseason for those guys to.Givem a chance,as soon as they blow a call against my Eagles I’ll be pist by hey the regular refs did it all the time

  53. 1phd says: Aug 6, 2012 6:57 PM

    You guys are hilarious. If this isn’t resolved, just wait until the regular season games when they start blowing important calls against your teams. You will be down on your knees howling that the locked out officials be allowed to return.

  54. demolition510 says: Aug 6, 2012 7:00 PM

    When this gets sorted out and they are back at work, I hope they list all their errors after each game too!!!

  55. bamboozle99 says: Aug 6, 2012 7:08 PM

    If we’re gonna roll with these guys, might as well make holding legal, no way the first game of the pre-season filled with replacement players was as clean as it looked on paper.

  56. NoWearMan says: Aug 6, 2012 7:14 PM

    I have not yet taken the time to read all the previous comments. If I touch on something that’s already been mentioned (and I know I will), I apologize.

    First of all, the preseason is the opportunity for everyone to get into regular season shape, players, coaches, and refs. Let’s give these new refs more than ONE meaningless preseason game to get into the flow. I am sure that some of the mistakes that the players made “negatively impacted the quality of the game”.

    What I REALLY want to know is if the NFLRA is going to be putting out these “error lists” once the “real” refs get back on the field. Doubtful, and thereby somehow hypocritical or at least blatantly lame.

    Editorial note….I love the NFL and I live and die with my favorite team, every week of every year. That being said…..all this lawyer CRAP that is going on these days with the Court Jester De Smith to the Fiddling Emperor Roger Goodell to now the attorney from the RA…I can see myself in the relatively near future starting to “tune out” the NFL.

  57. ddarlak says: Aug 6, 2012 7:14 PM

    It’s not about the money, Goddell wants full time refs, which is what is needed for this game. First step is to break the union and then he can start building his in-house referee machine. Current ref’s are good, but the NFL needs great. They should be a full time position and eventually – they will….

  58. lolo376 says: Aug 6, 2012 7:14 PM

    All the officials from yesterday’s game have to do is publicly apologize for some missed calls, after all, isn’t that what the regular officials do when they f something up? Lol

  59. dwoofer says: Aug 6, 2012 7:19 PM

    I’d rather have inept refs than biased ones.

  60. bobnelsonjr says: Aug 6, 2012 7:20 PM

    Unlike the audience of the losing team on Sunday whining about calls, no they get to complain about the calls on both sides.

    They are in a tough position when the selfish players union will not support their strike.

  61. NoWearMan says: Aug 6, 2012 7:22 PM

    Now that I have read the comments, I apologize for saying pretty much the exact same thing that most of you have already said. (but if course, i said it better)

  62. edhochuli says: Aug 6, 2012 7:29 PM

    How pretentious. I’m sure they called as good a game as these bums do on any given Sunday.

  63. larrybrown43 says: Aug 6, 2012 7:31 PM

    Stay strong NFLPA refs!!!! Union yes!!!! Wages in this country have not gone up in 12-15 years due to the brainwashing of corporations and Faux. However, CEOs and upper management salaries, plus bonuses, have climbed exponentially.

  64. mattolikesthevikes says: Aug 6, 2012 7:34 PM

    Maybe these official can give my Vikings a break. Take a breathe packers fan, I’m just kidding around.

  65. Stiller43 says: Aug 6, 2012 7:34 PM

    Watched the game. Didnt seem any different than normal

  66. omegaichiban says: Aug 6, 2012 7:36 PM

    and i support papa smurf

  67. nomoreseasontix says: Aug 6, 2012 7:48 PM

    I’d put money on the fact that they didn’t find any more mistakes than usually take place in a game officiated by the usual corrupt zombies…

  68. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Aug 6, 2012 7:51 PM

    Maybe the NFL should give them whatever they want as long as the refs agree to having their own performance independently graded and publicized.

  69. andrewfbrowne says: Aug 6, 2012 7:58 PM

    At some someone in the league, the refs or the NLFPA has to say, “We have seen the enemy and it is us.” They are killing the game. I am getting tired of it.

  70. Dusty Grey says: Aug 6, 2012 7:58 PM

    In response the NFL would like to introduce into evidence the video of Superbowl XL.

  71. hawkforlife says: Aug 6, 2012 7:58 PM

    Uh, Seahawks get an apology from a ref in the SB and these clowns think a preseason game is a reason to slam the replacement refs. What a joke.

  72. jredshoes says: Aug 6, 2012 8:00 PM

    If the real refs were there I’m guessing the 10 errors would have been 11. Ed Hoculi and friends are in a pretty big glass house to throw stones. That’s why Mike Perreria got such a good job on Fox.

  73. whodeytn says: Aug 6, 2012 8:02 PM

    You could probably call holding on just about every play.

    A punt downed inside the 1 yard line is NOT a touchback.

    Ah yes, a true Steelers fan.. Ignorant and arrogant!

    The ball was downed inside the one, but should have been called a touchback. Brainiac.

  74. zaggs says: Aug 6, 2012 8:02 PM

    “And, yes, the regular officials make plenty of mistakes. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the mistakes by the men (and one woman) who necessarily aren’t the best of the best.”

    Yes, but the NFLRA won’t release grades on the “real” refs ever. So their grades now are just pure hypocritical BS.

  75. covercorner says: Aug 6, 2012 8:06 PM

    The NFL is GREEDY.

  76. dfwbillsfan14221 says: Aug 6, 2012 8:10 PM

    It’s interesting that posts like:
    “It’s easy to review every tape and judge which calls were not made as opposed to live action…first NFL game…for everybody.”
    Get all “thumbs up” and 0 down but when someone says “Andy you have my deepest sympathy” people hit that Thumbs Down button. Something just seems wrong there…

  77. dbara43 says: Aug 6, 2012 8:18 PM

    Personally I kind of enjoyed a game without 15 flags a half. The way teh regular refs call it you’d think they were being paid by the number of throws.

  78. yojoemama says: Aug 6, 2012 8:21 PM

    The league is so darn cheap. They make over $6 billion in revenues each year and they won’t throw in a few bucks more to the officials.

    So we the fans (the customers), who generate that $6 billion, have to deal with the poor quality of scab officials. Smh.

  79. narrabeen23 says: Aug 6, 2012 8:31 PM

    Wait? So the new refs didn’t rush to call a helmet to helmet hit on a defenseless player when given the opportunity???

    That settles it, I like these new guys.

  80. diehardraidersfan says: Aug 6, 2012 8:48 PM

    I have no problem with the publicly listing all the mistakes from refs.

    As a matter of fact, since the “real” officials find this so helpful then this should be a part of the new agreement when it gets done.

    The grades of every official and the mistakes made in each game should be made public and the refs should be made available to reporters to answer questions about their decisions.

  81. j98me2 says: Aug 6, 2012 10:06 PM

    I am sure I am not the first to say this.

    Can we get a list of NFLRA Ref mistakes from every game just like they did here.

  82. adm272012 says: Aug 6, 2012 11:42 PM

    Isn’t this the same group that cries and whines when the fans/media point out there mistakes after every game?

  83. savannahrose44 says: Aug 7, 2012 8:14 AM

    Sour grapes coming from bitter old men.

  84. grandpoopah says: Aug 8, 2012 6:23 PM

    The NFLRA better be careful with this. If anyone ever starts putting their “real” referees under the same microscope, the results won’t be pretty.

  85. ravensd says: Aug 9, 2012 5:14 PM

    Let’s list the officiating errors from Super Bowl XL

    The Seattle Seahawks

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