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Hochuli leading the way to get refs ready for 2012

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To truly be a lockout, management must slam the door shut and not open it, in any way.  As a result, we’re told that the locked-out officials have gotten nothing at all from the league by way of information regarding rules changes for 2012 or anything else that would help the officials prepare to work games once the lockout ends.

Still, once the lockout ends the officials will be expected to be ready to roll, immediately.

And so, like the players a year ago conducting lockout workouts in anticipation of the conclusion of the work stoppage, referee Ed Hochuli is leading the charge, we’re told, toward helping the officials prepare for the tweaks in the rules that they’ll be expected to have mastered once they are back to work.

The fact that the officials will be ready to go at a moment’s notice doesn’t give the officials any extra leverage at the bargaining table.  But it’s the right thing to do for men who care about their jobs and who understand the importance of the decisions they make under inherently challenging circumstances.

So keep complaining about the locked-out officials.  And keep assuming that the replacements from the third tier and below won’t be noticeably worse when the real games start.  As they usually do, the locked-out officials are blocking out the sound and focusing on doing their jobs — even though the NFL currently won’t let them.

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38 Responses to “Hochuli leading the way to get refs ready for 2012”
  1. bostontim says: Aug 13, 2012 7:47 AM

    The “Guns” August

    Cheers, BostonTim

  2. bostontim says: Aug 13, 2012 7:48 AM

    Dummy, me. Thats:

    The Guns OF August

    Cheers, Bostom Tim

  3. dmartin17 says: Aug 13, 2012 7:57 AM

    Shocking. The most self centered official is getting his name out in the news…

  4. mike83ri says: Aug 13, 2012 7:57 AM

    I guess we know which side Mike is on.

  5. unkrautsalat says: Aug 13, 2012 8:00 AM

    Time for the real refs to get back on the field. Calling a holding penalty on a returner and calling a team the Arizona Falcons is cute and all that, but when the regular season starts, I really just don’t want to talk about refs. I want to talk about football.

  6. chmba says: Aug 13, 2012 8:08 AM

    Better yet – train the new ones and be done with the old ones. It is worth it to be rid of the 70% who are competent to get rid of the rest of them. Frankly, other than Washington game, other pieces of games last weekend weren’t any worse than usual pre-season games anyway!

  7. gtodriver says: Aug 13, 2012 8:10 AM

    “As they usually do, the locked-out officials are blocking out the sound and focusing on doing their jobs — even though the NFL currently won’t let them.”

    All the members of the NFLRA need to do is sign the contract offer that the NFL has on the table.

    It provides for a 5 – 11% pay raise for each and every year of the new contract.

    In today’s economy – that is an extremely generous offer.

    Most intelligent people would realize that is a very good offer.

  8. tomcous says: Aug 13, 2012 8:10 AM

    Fans pay a lot of money to watch this game!

    NFL needs to pony-up here & put a decent product on the field!

    End the stand-off & deliver the best product possible …

    So much of us are suffering from the economy, lost jobs etc. The Millionaire/Billionaire Club should take note of the Paycheck-To-Paycheck group!

  9. trseann says: Aug 13, 2012 8:12 AM

    So keep complaining about the locked-out officials.

    ————————————————————

    I do as I’m told, Mike. The locked-out officials blow.

  10. ordinaryday6 says: Aug 13, 2012 8:17 AM

    This is a huge problem, and from the sarcasm in this article, I guess no one is taking it seriously. If you have a problem with the real refs, just wait til we have refs who don’t know what they’re doing in real games.

    It’s 100k per team, right? Pay the men. The Browns just sold for a billion dollars, and they suck. 100k is nothing to these people. To sacrifice the quality of our game for what amounts to pennies for these ridiculous billionaires is pathetic.

    Is there a petition we can sign or something?

  11. sixjak says: Aug 13, 2012 8:17 AM

    Everyone in this league, the owners, the commissioner, the players along with their shortsighted CBA arrangement and the officials are doing their level best to turn the NFL into a joke.

  12. pkrjones says: Aug 13, 2012 8:24 AM

    As GTO pointed out, they’ve been offered a 5%- 11% RAISE over the previous contract… how many of US have seen that kind of raise, lately?

    Per game they’re already making double (or more) than the “other sports officials” who are working 82+ games/year in the NBA, or 162+ in MLB. Sign the contract offered and get back to work or go away (quietly).

  13. eagleswin says: Aug 13, 2012 8:38 AM

    To bad the NFL can’t do to the officials what the MLB did a few years ago when they overhauled their umpires. The problem is that once a ref is in the “club”, it is extremely hard to get rid of him. Just because you are a ref in the NFL doesn’t mean you are the best ref for the job. It just means that short of getting caught with a bookie, it doesn’t matter what your performance is, you’re union baby.

    Hochuli would be one of the first ones to go.

  14. tdk24 says: Aug 13, 2012 8:41 AM

    I’m behind the scab refs 100% as long as they promise to never, ever, feel the need to call the tuck rule, ever!

  15. eagleswin says: Aug 13, 2012 8:43 AM

    unkrautsalat says:
    Aug 13, 2012 8:00 AM
    Time for the real refs to get back on the field. Calling a holding penalty on a returner and calling a team the Arizona Falcons is cute and all that, but when the regular season starts, I really just don’t want to talk about refs. I want to talk about football.

    ————————————

    Right, because people don’t talk about the refs during the regular/post season as it is. How about when the lions forced that turnover in the playoffs and the refs made 2 errors on the same play? How about the refs spotting the ball 5 yards forward from where it went out of bounds in favor of the 49ers? … etc. How about that ref that acted like he had money on the Steelers in the Seahawks/Steelers superbowl? Blowing call after call in favor of the Steelers? Is he still reffing?

    Yea, the regular refs are super, never influence a game with a call, never make mistakes.

  16. cooklynn17 says: Aug 13, 2012 8:55 AM

    I hope the regular officials get back real soon, all except Bill Levy of course. I mean really these replacements make Ed Hochuli’s famous botched fumble call in San Diego a couple of years ago look awesome compared to these idiots.

  17. theboysofdallas says: Aug 13, 2012 9:00 AM

    If every team put out $100,000 this situation wud be fixed

  18. greatminnesotasportsmind says: Aug 13, 2012 9:04 AM

    Suns out, guns out

  19. eagleswin says: Aug 13, 2012 9:10 AM

    cooklynn17 says:
    Aug 13, 2012 8:55 AM
    I hope the regular officials get back real soon, all except Bill Levy of course. I mean really these replacements make Ed Hochuli’s famous botched fumble call in San Diego a couple of years ago look awesome compared to these idiots.

    ——————————–

    Right because we should compare rookie refs in their first preseason game unfavorably to similar mistakes with ones made by tenured refs in games that count.

    Who would you expect to make more mistakes? Rookie refs in their first preseason game or veteren refs well into the regular season?

    My question is this, why are the rookies being hounded in games that don’t count while the vets are being forgiven for making rookie mistakes well into their careers during games that do?

  20. joetoronto says: Aug 13, 2012 9:18 AM

    Ed Hochuli, a man of too many words.

  21. tlyons4 says: Aug 13, 2012 9:24 AM

    So I assume if the NFL continues using the replacement officials they’ll be getting paid less than the locked-out officials, and that money saved on paying the officials will be passed along to me, the ticket buyer, right?

    Oh, it won’t? The money saved will just go to line the owners’ pockets? Well then, if I’m paying top dollar to watch the best of the best on the field I want the best officials out there, too. If the NFL owners feel like they’re OK with putting a sub-standard product on the field while still charging top dollar then I don’t see the point in continuing to support them with my ticket money.

  22. nygmenruleny says: Aug 13, 2012 9:26 AM

    I’ve watched a couple of games like many of you. In my opinon, the replacement refs have been worse than the regular refs (and I didn’t think that was possible). They are missing obvious calls and just look confused and overwhelmed. I for one want this finished so the game is what is talked about, and only occasionally is the blown call leading the discussion.

  23. jaxbeachjagfan says: Aug 13, 2012 9:30 AM

    Let’s all stop using the “holding on the returner” call as an example. I was at that game and it was simply a matter of calling the wrong jersey number. This has happened a thousand times before and will happen a thousand times more.

    Now, that touchback at the 4 yard line is a different matter.

  24. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Aug 13, 2012 9:32 AM

    Actually, Hochuli has just been leading the officials in pushups.

  25. wallio says: Aug 13, 2012 9:44 AM

    I think its funny, that on here, ESPN, Fox, and a few other blogs, the writers (who I bet are union) are horrified at the replacements, and you go down to the comments and the general public, you know the people that go to games and spend money on the sport, don’t care at all! What does that tell you?

    Fact: these “third-tier” refs aren’t that bad.
    Fact: as the lockout goes deeper, the replacements will get better.
    Fact: the “real” refs turned down a massive pay raise.
    Fact: writers everywhere can’t accept any of the above.

  26. realitypolice says: Aug 13, 2012 9:54 AM

    The dispute over the NFLRA has nothing (or at least little) to do with the size of the official’s year to year wage increases.

    It has to do with how their pension fund is managed. They want their retirement payments guaranteed, not tied to the performance of the stock market, which is what the league has proposed. Tying it to the market means that league has to contribute less and the refs have to rely on stock profits to make up the difference.

    In this economy, I can see where that might make them skittish.

  27. trulyurkidding says: Aug 13, 2012 9:59 AM

    Fact: these “third-tier” refs aren’t that bad.

    **No serious fan would accept this level of incompetence that we have seen in Pre-Season Week 1 from these replacements. The calls made or not made can be subjective discussion, but to have 5-6 fatal officiating errors with them not correctly implementing the rules in a single weekend is a travesty to the game. Let me know when your team loses because some replacement ref grants the opponent an extra down and they score to win the game how that will work out for you.

    Fact: as the lockout goes deeper, the replacements will get better.

    **And Roseanne Barr will do a better job next time singing the National Anthem.

    Fact: the “real” refs turned down a massive pay raise.

    **Surprise here but the facts are being manipulated by the PR spin machine. Everything I am reading states it has nothing to do with the compensation and everything to do with the reduction in the pension. I believe almost a 50% reduction in the current benefit level for each official- my question is why is the NFL picking this fight with the officials?
    Fact: writers everywhere can’t accept any of the above.

    **This is a situation about egos. Both parties need to park their egos at the door and work this out for the good of the game. Although, I do side with the officials as there is no reason they should be asked to take a 50% reduction in benefits when the league is thriving economically. The NFL is not American Airlines!!

  28. mancave001 says: Aug 13, 2012 10:10 AM

    Honestly, I don’t care if they EVER come back. I’ll take the mistakes of the rookies…they’ll improve.

    The officiating in the NFL is a disgrace and seems to get worse every year. It’s totally overactive and affects the outcomes of games. I’m sick of holding calls on every third play. I’m sick of calls on the defense like “inducing a false start.” I’d rather have less “qualified” refs who call call less. They will learn the ropes. In the meantime, we get to watch the players play.

  29. vikingamericann says: Aug 13, 2012 10:37 AM

    eagleswin | Aug 13, 2012, 8:10 AM CDT

    You are idiot. Obviously you have let your hatred of unions blind you to the incompetence of scabs. Furthermore, your hatred has allowed you to side with the people who are robbing you blind.
    The NFL steals tax dollars, yet you say nothing,
    The NFL charges $15000 for PSL kicking out long time season ticket holders. You say nothing
    The NFL pays no rent for stadiums gets a cut of sales and parking you say nothing

    The NFLRA ask a bigger cut of the money you scream with outrage. Know it or not, if you empower business over the people who run it it effects you too.

  30. jcdavey2011 says: Aug 13, 2012 10:39 AM

    i thought hoch deserved to be fired for such a blatantly moronic call in the denver sd cutler fumble game, so hopefully that finally happens……

  31. bkh405 says: Aug 13, 2012 10:55 AM

    Replacements also flubbed a fumble call in Rams/Colts yesterday and failed to review the play at all.
    I’d take a couple more holding calls if it means the right team retains possession at the end of a play.

  32. ssh991 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:07 AM

    Mike, I’m disappointed your writing sympathetic pieces for the locked out officials. It’s their own greed that caused the lockout. They work for the NFL, it’s not the other way around. If these guys are arrogant enough to think that 1. nobody else can do what they do and 2. that they deserve full pensions on top of making 6-figures for a part-time job then the NFL should be done with them and I hope they hire the replacement officials on a permanent basis. The locked out official’s greed makes me sick. Pretty soon the locked out officials will realize that the replacements, with a little training and preseason game experience, can do the job just as good as they can.

  33. FinFan68 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:10 AM

    theboysofdallas says:
    Aug 13, 2012 9:00 AM
    If every team put out $100,000 this situation wud be fixed
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Using that myopic thought process: If every player put out $2000 this situation would be fixed. Especially since many players are complaining (publicly-against the wishes of their employers) about the replacement refs.

  34. devrick says: Aug 13, 2012 11:22 AM

    With Hochuli leading the way, the refs will be ready to jump right in and get the calls wrong.

  35. pb420 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:26 AM

    See ya Ed. You can take your youth-size medium shirt with you. The replacement refs are no worse than the locked-out officials that have made far more infuriating and ridiculous calls. Time to tell these spoiled, greedy malcontents that they are not bigger than the game.

  36. sb139422 says: Aug 13, 2012 11:31 AM

    Damn unions. Hopefully Romney and Ryan realize that unions monopolize the labor market and disband them all and revoke all collective bargaining rights

  37. broncosaddict says: Aug 13, 2012 2:40 PM

    Regardless of the why the referee’s are locked or what the problem is, I have yet to see the current referee’s call anything or do anything that has not been done by the “professional” ref’s on countless occasions.

    The only thing I’ve seen is people taking every little mistake and making it seem like the previous crop of officials never did anything like that.

    I only see upside to the current officials. They are basically at the same operating level as last years officials. As they gain experience and more knowledge of the rule book, I would expect them to only get better.

    What would really have been awesome is if all the people (Mike P, announcers, media in general, etc) who are slamming the current ref’s for every little mistake they make, had held the old officials to the same standard last year and the years before. Since they are so concerned with the “credibility” of the game and such it would have made sense. At the very least it would give them credibility for the “concerns” they suddenly have.

    If/when the old ref’s work things out with the NFL, it will be interesting to see how tolerant these same people will be when the “Pro’s” make a mistake.

  38. edhochulisbiceps says: Aug 13, 2012 9:37 PM

    Football is getting ridiculous with all of the play reviews and intrusive officiating. Ed talks more than the guys in the booth, he can’t just state the penalty, he has to go on and on and on, just s_t_f_u.

    Officials are becoming too big a part of the game. I feel like I’m watching court proceedings half the time I’m watching a game. Let the players play f_f_s.

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