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Bob McNair on replacement refs: “I can’t see any difference”

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If the NFL’s regular officials won’t get back to work until the NFL owners agree to pay them more, then they may remain locked out for a long time.

That’s what Texans owner Bob McNair suggested when he, along with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, talked about the officials lockout on CNBC’s Squawk Box. McNair said he hasn’t noticed an increase in bad calls this preseason and doesn’t believe the replacement officials are any threat to player safety.

“We have complaints, it doesn’t matter who’s officiating,” McNair said. “And we look back at it as to those calls that we think were bad calls, and we don’t have any more now than we had before. Now, clearly the officials that we have now are not as good professionally as the ones we’ve had, otherwise we would have had the others all along. But in terms of the impact on the game, I’ve been watching it and frankly I can’t see any difference. We have the same situation — we have some calls we don’t like, we have some that should have been made that weren’t made, but we don’t have any more, and the players are just as well protected. So I don’t think that safety is an issue at all.”

Goodell added that when the NFL last used replacement officials, in 2001, they called fewer penalties and got good reviews from players, coaches and fans. Although Goodell and the owners are paying lip service to the belief that the locked-out officials are the best in the business, and that the NFL wants to have the best officials on the field, no one from the ownership side seems overly concerned about the consequences of the lockout.

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70 Responses to “Bob McNair on replacement refs: “I can’t see any difference””
  1. ctattles says: Aug 20, 2012 3:28 PM

    Dude is blind!!! The replacement refs are worse than replacement players!!

  2. fournora says: Aug 20, 2012 3:29 PM

    Another owner siding with the league? Shocker..

  3. granadafan says: Aug 20, 2012 3:30 PM

    Good old McNair, towing the company line in the PR battle.

  4. iamcline says: Aug 20, 2012 3:31 PM

    If he can’t see the difference then perhaps he should start watching the games.

    Sure they aren’t complete imbeciles but there’s times where the flow of the game is just destroyed. It’s almost like they pull straws to see who has to be head referee.

  5. randyschwimmer7 says: Aug 20, 2012 3:31 PM

    Can he actually see at all? I thought he wore tri-focals being over 80 and all. Makes it a little hard to see past your hand.

  6. wayne1693 says: Aug 20, 2012 3:31 PM

    He can’t see any difference because either he has cataracts, and/or he is smokin’ crack.

  7. thebigcaptain2011 says: Aug 20, 2012 3:32 PM

    In other news Houston Texans owner Bob McNair announced he has been legally blind for the last 3 years….

  8. stonecoldsays says: Aug 20, 2012 3:33 PM

    He’ll flip ’em all off regardless! I approve of course.

  9. mavajo says: Aug 20, 2012 3:33 PM

    “Now, clearly the officials that we have now are not as good professionally as the ones we’ve had, otherwise we would have had the others all along. But in terms of the impact on the game, I’ve been watching it and frankly I can’t see any difference.”

    That doesn’t make any sense. If there’s no qualitative or quantitative difference between their performances, then logically the replacements would have to be considered as “good professionally” as the regular ones.

    That’s like saying the old chef was better, but there’s no difference in the new chef’s food.

    Double talk. I don’t care which side you’re one, I’m really sick of these rich bastards talking out both sides of their mouths. But that’s par for the course for rich bastards I guess.

  10. braven4evr says: Aug 20, 2012 3:33 PM

    either he’s being sarcastic or he’s just plain dumb/stupid

  11. jjthesportsguy says: Aug 20, 2012 3:34 PM

    Who told him to say that one, Roger Goodell?

  12. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Aug 20, 2012 3:37 PM

    I am so glad that my team is publicly owned so we don’t need to deal with idiot owners like this.

  13. lifelong says: Aug 20, 2012 3:38 PM

    Where’s the follow up story reporting that Bob McNair has gone blind or crazy?

  14. soia311 says: Aug 20, 2012 3:38 PM

    How can I get a job as a replacement ref? Because I am 100% certain I can do the job well.

  15. imodan says: Aug 20, 2012 3:39 PM

    This is why he OWN’s a team, not coaches one. Bottom dollar, every last penny in profit billionaire who wouldn’t know a bad call if it hit him. What a joke, as are these alleged officials we have been force fed these past couple of weeks. The NFL should be embarrassed by what fans have had to put up with. Just wait till the games are for real and these bozo’s cost a team or two a game.

  16. gatordontplay says: Aug 20, 2012 3:40 PM

    Neither can ray Charles

  17. bigpoppyuno says: Aug 20, 2012 3:41 PM

    McNair says he’s been watching it? What the hell is he watching? He’s an Idiot. The Replacement Refs are horrible. Goodell has to have a picture of him with a goat or something for him to make these comments. All you have to do is look at the Lions/Ravens or the Saints/Jags game to see just how bad they are. Talk about an owner out of touch. He should be forced to sell his team just for being a moron. maybe its time for some young owners of these NFL teams. These old guys have definitely lost it!

  18. nyyjetsknicks says: Aug 20, 2012 3:41 PM

    Does he realize games are on tv these days?

  19. section128drunk says: Aug 20, 2012 3:42 PM

    proving that the NFL will lie to your face while involved in a labor negotiation exhibit 1056A

  20. silentcount says: Aug 20, 2012 3:44 PM

    It would be easier to tolerate the replacement refs if they’d stop making phantom pass interference calls. That’s what changes the outcome of the game, as was shown in the Saints – Jaguars game. The replays showed the wild pass 10 feet over the receiver’s head and totally uncatchable.

  21. hatasgonnahate says: Aug 20, 2012 3:45 PM

    He was too busy to notice. He was probably counting that $100,000 he saved on the replacement refs.

  22. staff2cj4td says: Aug 20, 2012 3:46 PM

    this is an absolute joke!! the league didn’t want to go into the season last year with scab players, but they will with scab officials?!? the sad part is this whole “locked out/who cares about what refs” situation just cements the fact, that to the die hard fans who by the way make the league possible, it is not the sport we root for or the sport we think it is, it’s simply just another American business ran by greedy owners……..McDonalds, Pepsi, NFL, Facebook, etc…………….all just businesses in it for the money, made off the customer!!

  23. bearsstillsuck says: Aug 20, 2012 3:47 PM

    I’m loving this. I say next we tie the officials up like they’re constantly running a three legged race, blindfold them and teach them to call games with their other senses e.g tasting a holding call or smelling an offsides.

  24. matt14gg says: Aug 20, 2012 3:49 PM

    In all the crap that’s been thrown against the wall in this situation, the biggest red herring is the “player safety” argument. It’s such pandering to say the safety of the players is suddenly in jeopardy because there are replacement officials. This is when you know the water carriers for the referees (Markbreit, Pereira, etc.) are in the tank instead of being objective. You can’t call the penalty before it happens so there is no way a certain group of officials is going to “protect” the players any more then any other group of officials.

    It’s so disappointing to see that guys like Mike Pereira and Jerry Markbreit don’t really care about being objective, as much as they do about protecting the “brotherhood”, though it does clarify some of the explanations they give for terrible calls made every week by the regular officials. It was always apparent they bent over backwards to defend bad calls by guys like Triplette and Hochuli, and now it’s clearer than ever that it’s always been about covering for bad officials because they are in the same fraternity, and that bond is more important to them than the sanctity of the rules and interpreting them correctly.

  25. sdakota says: Aug 20, 2012 3:56 PM

    those statements from Goodell and McNair(lies), are an insult to the fan’s intelligence

  26. Tarkus says: Aug 20, 2012 3:56 PM

    McNair is obviously blinded by the dollar signs in his eyes.

  27. billhicks666 says: Aug 20, 2012 3:58 PM

    C’mon, what do you expect him to say? I bet if you forced him to tell the truth, he’d say he sees a big difference. But he’s an owner, so he’s not going to say anything that puts the locked out refs in a good light in their battle with the league.

  28. MichaelEdits says: Aug 20, 2012 3:58 PM

    If he said that with a straight face, never play poker against him.

  29. steeelfann says: Aug 20, 2012 3:58 PM

    Ha, way to go. Sounds like good business to me.

    Overpaid, over-officious jerks.

  30. trseann says: Aug 20, 2012 3:59 PM

    I love outrage. Keep the scab refs all season so people can shake their fists and keep watching.

  31. torturedraiderfan says: Aug 20, 2012 4:07 PM

    Just proves you don’t have to be smart to be rich.

  32. rodgers419 says: Aug 20, 2012 4:16 PM

    “Goodell added that when the NFL last used replacement officials, in 2001, they called fewer penalties”

    I admire the league propaganda machine. It must have taken some guy in an office a long time to think of a way of positively phrasing that their referee’s were missing calls left right and center.

  33. tjacks7 says: Aug 20, 2012 4:22 PM

    soia311 says:

    How can I get a job as a replacement ref? Because I am 100% certain I can do the job well.


    Do you have any experience reffing little league or lingerie football?

  34. nflcommissioner says: Aug 20, 2012 4:28 PM

    I must agree with Bob. I mean they dress the same. The whistle still sounds the same. Vegas still sways their calls the same.

  35. ninerdynasty says: Aug 20, 2012 4:34 PM

    check back once the refs mess up a call that cost them a game or a playoff spot.

  36. dmartin17 says: Aug 20, 2012 4:34 PM

    They are like any rookies. Need some time to get over the speed of the game and some need to get used to the crowds as well.

    They will get better with time.

  37. nineroutsider says: Aug 20, 2012 4:42 PM

    Maybe the league will have to use these replacements refs for a few regular season games and they hose the Texans for a game and that game costs them a playoff birth. Will he see a difference then?

    None of us like refs, but wow are they bad and many times worse than the crews we know and hate. Get it fixed now!

  38. mvp43 says: Aug 20, 2012 4:42 PM

    The league will not budge on this issue. They’re prepared to go all season with the replacements. Yes, they’ll blow a few more calls here and there but they’ll get better every week. The NFL is willing to suffer through these growing pains in order to prove their point. As far the concern about more injuries……..I don’t see it. Injuries will occur in every game no matter who he refs are.

  39. tbtrojan says: Aug 20, 2012 4:51 PM

    I can’t wait for the “real officials” to come back.
    NOT because they are better, they too suck, but because I can’t wait to read a breakdown on each ad every little mistake the “best refs in the world” make.

    Might wanna open up a whole new site for that one due to the hundreds of reports that will be flooding in.
    Just last year we could have had full breakdown on the Saints being awarded a TD in the 4th qtr of the game against the Bears, Sproles was clearly out of bounds at the 1 yard line. Why shouldn’t the replacements call a touchback from the 4 if the worlds best officials call a TD from the 1?

    The none call of a facemask by DeAndre Levy on Joe Webb during the Vikes game against the Lions, that wasn’t a biggie, it just helped cause a fumble on a 1st & goal from the 1 with 9 seconds left in the game, Vikes loses the game by 6 points. Not to say the Vikes would have won if the worlds best officials had got the call right but they should have had the chance.

    Their was no flag called on Trent Cole of the Eagles when he flipped the Seahawks Russell Okung, leading to him tearing his tricep and missing the rest of the year, getting the worlds best officials back is all about player safety right? The $7500 fine Cole was handed would say a flag should have been thrown.

    How about the TD catch by the Giants Jake Ballard against the Packers which the worlds best officials said was out of bounds (reviewed it and still said it was out), photos of the game clearly show it was a TD, The Giants instead got a FG so it’s only a 4 point difference, that wasn’t an issue it’s not like the Giants lost 38-35, oh wait…

    How about the Eagles Cowboys game where Vick on the Dallas 12 throws the ball to Jackson at the Dallas 9 who drops it, the worlds greatest officials ruled it a backwards pass and therefore a fumble, it gets better, Dallas recovers the “fumble” but the ref trys to award the ball to the Eagles at the Dallas 17 where Anthony Spencer recovered it. Now shouldn’t that be either Dallas ball at the 17 if they insist it’s a fumble or just an incomplete pass and thus it goes back to the original LOS?

    I could go on but you get the drift. These replacements are no better or worse than the real officials, they both suck equally.

  40. fmwarner says: Aug 20, 2012 4:51 PM

    He’s either stupid or a liar. Neither one is a very good look.

  41. mikesmajormojo says: Aug 20, 2012 4:52 PM

    Of course he doesn’t but the fans who pay to see the games do. Why mess with a good thing esp now that the NFL and NFLPA have a new agreement? Pay the refs already and bring back some consistency before you start losing fans and significant players to serious injuries.

  42. 86chawk says: Aug 20, 2012 5:05 PM

    It is obvious the Texans don’t have a vision plan.

  43. hedleykow says: Aug 20, 2012 5:06 PM

    McNair’s commentary is legitimate rape of professional NFL officials, the integrity of football, and of football fans everywhere.

  44. mikespimpin says: Aug 20, 2012 5:12 PM

    Honestly I like the replacement refs. It feels like they aren’t calling as many ticky-tack fouls. For example, it seemed like with the old refs, and clean BIG hit, but clean, would still draw an Unnecessary Roughness flag. These refs I think let the players play. At least IMO

  45. chachooga says: Aug 20, 2012 5:20 PM

    Bull just last night it was a moronic fiasco at the goal line with replay IND vs PIT

  46. geniusfan says: Aug 20, 2012 5:38 PM

    Have the replacement refs blew a Super Bowl yet?

    Oh that’s right Bill Leavy did that but the regular refs never make any mistakes so he must of been drunk or something when he said this:

    Oh and for those who think it was a fluke and Leavy would correct his mistakes being that he and the other officials are so great well….

  47. hrmlss says: Aug 20, 2012 5:50 PM

    Mr. Magoo.

  48. raider17 says: Aug 20, 2012 5:59 PM

    HaHa, I hope they never come back! Maybe the Raiders can get a fair shake! We been through countless players and God knows how many coaches, yet we lead the league in penalties every year? Yeah right! They’re biased! Owners don’t budge!

    Al Davis Forever!!!
    Just Win Baby!!!

  49. annes22 says: Aug 20, 2012 6:37 PM

    Obviously Mr McNair doesn’t watch any games, or is blind. The games I have watched have had some terrible calls. Please bring back the professionals, these guys are amateurs or worse. When the season starts for real, they are going to cost a team because they are making horrible mistakes.

  50. boiler72 says: Aug 20, 2012 6:39 PM

    Um … I was at the Packers game on Thursday night and the 1st quarter alone took 50 minutes, because these bozos had to huddle together for three full minutes to decide how to call the penalties. This is worse than high school, these refs are pure, useless garbage.

  51. mattolikesthevikes says: Aug 20, 2012 7:10 PM

    Dude can’t see.

  52. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Aug 20, 2012 7:21 PM

    In other news, McNair is a big Todd Akin supporter.

  53. glen1904 says: Aug 20, 2012 7:23 PM

    these owners are out of controll coluding in uncapped year and the come out still saying winning a championship is all that matters? BS!

  54. glen1904 says: Aug 20, 2012 7:31 PM

    trouble with my L key but know this, they don’t care about winning or having the best refs or bad calls or player safety or anything other than being good enough to keep the seats full AND THEIR BOTTOM LINE. PERIOD! THE NFL IS A JOKE! They need to just come out and admit it and hire Vince McMahon as the commissioner. I’m making the switch to Saturday Football day for me Sunday is for golf/fishing for me now

  55. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 20, 2012 7:37 PM

    “I can’t see a difference either.” Sincerely Stevie Wonder

  56. rexryanschoolofpodiatry says: Aug 20, 2012 7:37 PM

    The real refs blow calls just like the replacements. The only difference has been how long it takes for the replacements to decide what to call. Like others have said, they should get better as the season goes.

    Last year in the Lions/Packers game in week 17 the refs ruled a Titus Young TD catch out of bounds, instead of ruling it a TD and allowing for official review. Since they called it an incomplete pass it was not reviewable. Replays clearly showed it should have been a TD. The Lions went on to lose that game by less than a TD. If the Lions had won that game it would have altered the playoff match-ups and perhaps the outcome of the playoffs.

  57. mintberrycrunch1 says: Aug 20, 2012 7:39 PM

    The old refs were beyond horrible, worked part time, and had no accountability. The league wants to change this for the better and some of you fans are against this? All we wanted was accountability and the NFL is asking for more crews FOR THIS EXACT REASON and yet some of you complain. Un freakin believable.

  58. mojosmagic says: Aug 20, 2012 7:43 PM

    He would make a great replacement ref. blind as and stupid to boot.

  59. mintberrycrunch1 says: Aug 20, 2012 7:44 PM

    I keep seeing the comment “these refs will cost a team a game”.

    Why do i keep seeing this? I need someone to explain it to me, because every single year i watch refs cost teams games (the “process of the catch” anyone?). Old refs cost teams games. New refs cost teams games. <—–those look the same to me.

  60. grandsonofcoach says: Aug 20, 2012 7:47 PM

    Um. Let’s see according to McNair “no increase in bad calls”…but “not as good professionally”. One would naturally assume quality of calls is how you would evaluate a ref professionally. McNair must have some other way to judge professionalism…perhaps hair style or how neatly pressed their uniforms are

  61. texasdyack says: Aug 20, 2012 7:47 PM

    whats funny is half of the people commenting here dont know the difference between bob mcnair and bud adams.

  62. vikingsvoice says: Aug 20, 2012 7:53 PM

    God he’s old…But he does have a bit of a point. Not like the original refs didn’t make dumb errors every game.

  63. tiedyeguy says: Aug 20, 2012 8:02 PM

    i am getting awfully sick of the union bashing by Goodell and now ultra liar McNair.

  64. txbossman says: Aug 20, 2012 8:38 PM

    Lets remember the Superbowl crew couldn’t get the coin flip right.

    All of the crotch rot that is going on right now is that these replacement officials are going though lots of growing pains.

    “It’s preseason for the officials too”

    How many times have you heard that one? But now, all of a sudden, it’s an inexcusable mistake to run off some seconds, or whatever.

    Meanwhile, the regular refs can hang their hat on what? Nothing.

    The NFL Refs have no investment in the game and are now holding it hostage. Guess what? It’s too big. Replacement refs are as good as the NFLPA, plus, they actually WANT the job.

  65. captainloaded says: Aug 20, 2012 8:42 PM

    Is there any chance the mistakes are being amplified by the media because they are replacement refs?

    Ask any San Diego fan about Ed Hochuli.
    Ask any Steeler fan on why they call heads or tails before the coin is even tossed.
    Vinny Tetaverde once scored a touchdown because his helmet crossed the goal line.
    The Music city Miracle

    NFL refs make mistakes every game…..they miss calls, every game. I’m not saying the replacements are perfect, I’m just saying the “Professionals” are not perfect. And the only way the replacements will get better is through calling more games.

  66. LoCoSu@%s says: Aug 20, 2012 9:17 PM

    Bob McNair should stand for public office. Only our politicians are that delusional (or liars – take your pick)

  67. SparkyGump says: Aug 20, 2012 9:17 PM

    Just wait ’till real games start getting decided by blown calls.

  68. bamboozle99 says: Aug 20, 2012 9:34 PM

    Honest owners stay quiet about this one.

  69. Frazier28/7 says: Aug 20, 2012 10:03 PM

    As John Gustafson once said to Max Goldman:

    “Yeah? Well, that’s why you’re a moron.”

  70. djstat says: Aug 20, 2012 10:36 PM

    Problem is the refs have leverage because replacement refs suck. League has leverage because refs demands are ridiculous

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