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NFL dismisses mistakes from replacement officials

Carson Palmer AP

There’s nothing to see here.  Keep moving.  No cause for concern.

That’s what the National Football League essentially is saying as it tries to hold together, with duct tape and dried-up glue, a collection of third-tier-and-worse replacement officials who have struggled at times through two weeks of preseason games.

And it’s much more than bad calls in the heat of the moment.  It’s a troubling inability to know what to do, quickly and correctly, after the whistle blows.

NFL V.P. of operations Ray Anderson tells Jarrett Bell of USA Today that the mistakes are being magnified because they are being committed by the folks replacing the locked-out officials.

“Unfortunately, those [errors] have happened with our regular officials,” Anderson said, specifically in reference to a particularly egregious error from Saturday night’s Cowboys-Chargers game (more on that later).  “We need better communication between the officials on the field, the NFL observer in the booth and the replay official, to avoid that.”

It sounds like the NFL will be expanding the duties of its replay official and the NFL observer.  The replay official and the NFL observer will, apparently, now be tasked with helping keep the duct tape and dried-up glue in place.

And if that’s what needs to happen in order to avoid obvious gaffes, that’s fine with us.  Though we doubt that the NFL is scouring these pages for advice (and if they are, God help the NFL), it’s something we’ve suggested.

Yes, the rule book has specific limitations regarding the assistance that the replay official can provide.  But that needs to go out the window in the interests of getting things right — and in making efficient decisions.

Former NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira, who ran the department during the last lockout, says the replacements are “struggling” this time around.  The fact that the NFL will be gathering the replacements in Dallas this week for a “refresher” clinic easily can be regarded as an admission that more work needs to be done.

Pereira thinks it’s not enough.

“I don’t care how many clinics you have,” Pereira told Bell.  “You’re trying to replace 1,460 years of [NFL] experience with zero years of experience. You can have clinics every day for the next three weeks.  It’s not going to have them ready.”

Meanwhile, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn’t seem troubled by the possibility that blunders like the one that occurred Saturday night involving his team will bleed into the regular season.  Dallas receiver Andre Holmes absorbed a helmet-to-helmet hit from Chargers safety Eric Weddle, and the bouncing ball landed in the hands of Chargers linebacker Donald Butler.  Though the officials threw the flag, they let San Diego keep the ball, killing a Dallas drive that should have advanced to the Chargers’ 15.

“As long as they’re not calling it one way for one side and another way for the other, I’m happy,” Jones said.  “Somebody might say, ‘But you’re not going to get as many calls.’  Well, what’s wrong with that?

Here’s what’s wrong with that.  It’s wrong.

Either the NFL wants to get the calls right, or the NFL doesn’t.  Jones essentially admits that the replacement officials will make more mistakes.  Why is that something the stewards of the game should tolerate?

Besides, what about the safety of the players?  If the officials don’t have the sense to, for example, take away possession of the ball after an interception sparked by an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit, the message is simple:  Keep applying helmet-to-helmet hits.  Yeah, you may get fined.  But if you help your team win, it’s worth it.  (The head coach will approve of that message, especially since he’s not the one paying the fine.)

On Sunday night in Pittsburgh, the replacement officials didn’t even call the penalty after Colts receiver Austin Collie took a pair of blows to the head (one from Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor and one from Steelers linebacker Larry Foote) while obviously in the “defenseless” posture that prohibits hits to the helmet or with the helmet.

The NFLPA did some huffing and puffing regarding the replacement officials, in the days leading up to the Hall of Fame game.  With the replacement officials showing an inability to properly safeguard the players, it’s time for the NFLPA to start blowing down houses.

That may be the only way to force the NFL and the NFL Referees Association back to the table.

As we’ve said in the past, the parties aren’t far enough apart to justify turning a game of skill into a game of blind chance — especially when the chances of player injury are increased because of it.

It’s time to get this fixed.  More reporters like Bell need to demand it.  And fans need to find ways to make their voices heard, too.

If the integrity of the game justifies 77 games of suspensions for something that we still don’t have conclusive proof happened, the integrity of the game definitely justifies solving a problem that is residing in plain sight.

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76 Responses to “NFL dismisses mistakes from replacement officials”
  1. eaglesfan94 says: Aug 20, 2012 1:33 AM

    Of all the idiotic things Jerry says

  2. patriotsdefense says: Aug 20, 2012 1:35 AM

    MLB was able to get away with it because baseball is a simple game with simple rules. The NFL is completly different. I don’t understand why a multi-billion dollar business is being so cheap when it comes to such a crucial part of the game. They are being cheap. Not my money but I don’t know how else to put it.

  3. maumontav5 says: Aug 20, 2012 1:38 AM

    How can the NFL keep a straight face while trying to rebrand itself as a player-safety-first league if it will let a bunch of obviously unqualified officials watch over their player’s safety while on the play of field. And that’s just from a PR point of view. What about the legal point of view. If a player gets seriously injured on an illegal hit during a game where you can determine beyond a reasonable doubt that the referees’ incompetence allowed for a repetitive hostile environment where players could launch with their helmets and all kinds of things without being penalised, that could mean serious trouble. From a business point of view, specially from a PR point of view (where the NFL is still the golden boy of pro sports) this doesn’t make sense at all. Yet, once again the owners and the execs are showing a terrible lack of awareness of the way they are perceived outside of their own buildings (even if they could be dead right about locking out the officials).

  4. coltsluckdynasty says: Aug 20, 2012 1:40 AM

    This game Is entirely too fast for the scabs. The game, safety, and product are all being compromised. It’s actually rather sad to see that a multi-billion dollar industry can’t come to terms with the men that help made the game what it is today! I wish my voice would matter, but in the grand scheme, I’m just an average joe, that can be compromised because of the owners like jerry jones that know if I am no longer a fan, then there are thousands of others to step in for me. So I can post on these sites, tweet the commisioner, and in the end, who cares?

  5. geogibso says: Aug 20, 2012 1:42 AM

    Roger Goodell should suspend himself for “conduct detrimental to the league.”

  6. ordinaryday6 says: Aug 20, 2012 1:42 AM

    100% agree. The officials make mistakes but these calls and lack thereof are way worse. Did anyone see the 3rd down play in the colts game where the ind receiver was dragged down by the DB and the ball almost intercepted? Ridiculous. That happens in the regular season, that’s a game changer.

  7. plax18 says: Aug 20, 2012 1:48 AM

    Collie was not defenseless and the hits were clean

  8. bobulated says: Aug 20, 2012 1:50 AM

    The reason more fans aren’t up in arms is that we see these type of things with the “real” refs too. Bad calls will happen more often and get more coverage because they are replacement guys but these guys truly can’t be any worse than Walt Coleman, Jeff Triplette, Ron Winter or Bill Leavy have been for years.

  9. robgilman says: Aug 20, 2012 1:53 AM

    haha as a raider fan i agree with jerry. get over it pft the 1460 combined years of biased officiating will not exist this season!

  10. bamboozle99 says: Aug 20, 2012 1:53 AM

    End this travesty, pay for good officiating.

  11. zillabeast says: Aug 20, 2012 1:56 AM

    The NFL knows there will be significant growing pains with this process, and is prepared to proceed forward while accepting the consequences. Its the cost of pride and stubbornness.

  12. nyyjetsknicks says: Aug 20, 2012 1:57 AM

    The NFL has a license to print money and they can’t get over this issue with the refs? Really?

  13. razorramonsays says: Aug 20, 2012 2:00 AM

    Hey Chico
    These refs suck they can’t keep up with the pace of the Nfl. The league needs to pay the real refs and dump these scabs. Some team is gonna end up losing a game that costs them a playoff birth due to these scabs.

  14. dobberdubinsky says: Aug 20, 2012 2:06 AM

    I don’t understand what is so difficult, there are how many officials on the field at once? Each guy responsible for a small part of the game. Where did the league get these clowns from anyhow? I would think, that if the normal refs were striking, the league would hire an all-star cast of college refs who already know the game, give them a pay raise, and everything would be hunky-dory. What am I missing here?

  15. goldrush4949 says: Aug 20, 2012 2:09 AM

    Replacement officials was a total non-issue for me…until I watched last night’s 49ers-Texans contest.

    These officials are awful.

    Two officiating mistakes that come to mind: Mario Manningham getting mugged by a Texans DB and the Niners get a no-call. Phantom holding penalty called on Anthony Davis. You might say that even the regular officials make these mistakes but there are other even more egregious mistakes- like ending the first half of that game on a Texans defensive penalty. Or calling a touchback on a punt clearly downed at the 4 yard line.

    Mistakes are made but something as easy as knowing the half can’t end on a defensive penalty are inexcusable.

  16. spfripp says: Aug 20, 2012 2:13 AM

    As passionate as some NFL fans are, the league better have something similar to a witness protection program for these refs.

  17. 4thqtrsaint says: Aug 20, 2012 2:15 AM

    I’ve been saying this is a bad idea since I first heard about it, before the 1st preseason game. I got overwhelming thumbs down. I was, and am still surprised at how many people think this is no big deal.

    I never considered player safety, but that apparently has become part of the issue. For me, it was and is about getting the calls right. If player on my team does something wrong, throw the flag. I don’t want to win on non calls, blow calls, what have you, any more than I want to lose on them. If its a ticky-tack call that goes the other way, I can live with that. But like I said in my last post on this topic, the replacements don’t grasp the basics.

    People just think the regular refs are dumb knuckle draggers who blow calls all the time. I disagree. They happen, but not these types of calls being made or not being made.

    I also happen to think the job is a TON more difficult than people realize. Everybody likes to say they could do better, their grandmother could do better, etc. Pure stupidity. Everybody thinks somebody else’s job is easy. If that was true for refs, nobody would truly notice a difference. Well, we notice.

  18. jlswisc says: Aug 20, 2012 2:15 AM

    How about in the Niners-Ravens game. Running the clock after a defensive penalty? –>This shows just how incompetent these officials are.

    The Niners had the ball with under 30 seconds to play, the Ravens committed a penalty, and then the Refs wound the clock and time expired.

    That isnt a “bang-bang” play. That is not having to adjust to “the speed of the game.” That is not a bad “judgment call.”

    That is simply not knowing one of the very basic rules of the NFL. I bet almost any halfway serious fan knows that rule and everyone watching the game knew something was wrong.

    The worst part? That was a fixable mistake and it wasnt fixed. The Refs easily could have said “please rewind the clock to XYZ” but they didnt. Not even after Harbaugh clearly asked the refs “why did the clock run?” –I really wonder what the refs said in response. In fact, the NFL should tell us what they said, so we can truly gauge where they are.

    Now now, this is only preseason and it was the first half…no big deal right? Wrong. Especially not fixing it when they had the chance, that shows the refs really dont understand.

    Can anyone imagine this type of error at the end of a close game. 10 Seconds to play, Team A is in the Rezone, Team B is up by 6. Pass interference in the endzone, ball spotted on 1 ….but the clock runs and time expires, game over….

  19. vman0626 says: Aug 20, 2012 2:18 AM

    come september all starters play all the time, not just two quarters. hence the speed and intensity of the game will increase. how will the scabs compensate for that in the next two weeks???

  20. elesot says: Aug 20, 2012 2:18 AM

    The XFL called, they want their refs back.

  21. daboltfan says: Aug 20, 2012 2:21 AM

    we can argue about player safety all we want in regards to replacement officials. The refs could not prevent the hit on Austin Collie. They could only react to it. They could throw a flag…and regardless if the penalty in noticed by the refs, the league will still fine. How can they prevent injury when both the refs and the leagues are reactionary? The game has risk of injury. What more people should be pissed off about is a repeat of what happened in the charger-dallas game in the regular season. No one wants a incident like that to influence a game that counts.

  22. coltsluckdynasty says: Aug 20, 2012 2:30 AM

    Wow, either there are a lot of league officials, or maybe even jerry jones himself reading this.! For anyone to thumbs down these comments are either oblivious, or work for the league… Sorry, we enjoy the game of football the way it was intended to be played.!!!

  23. larryjames836 says: Aug 20, 2012 2:30 AM

    All you owners and coaches, players, fans, open your eyes the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his group don’t care anything about players safety. If Goodell cares he will be talking with the professional refs. everyday trying to settle the issues. So owners, players, coaches you guys need to get with the NFLPA and make them get on Roger Goodell before there more concussions lawsuits.

  24. elesot says: Aug 20, 2012 2:30 AM

    From what I understand NFL referees earned a meagre salary (between $25000 and $70000 per season) prior to this lockout.

    I think we can all agree they have a stressful, and very public profession in a high income company. Their decisions mean a lot to a lot of people. Not to mention with low wages like that, it makes the temptation for corruption even greater.

    Bottom line is it wouldn’t kill the NFL to offer them higher salaries. I appreciate the work they’ve done over the years (for the most part) and think they deserve MUCH more than what they are getting.

  25. gadzod says: Aug 20, 2012 2:34 AM

    Ray Anderson, refs do make mistakes, however these are not mistakes they would make. That hit in Dallas would have been an illegal hit each time, every time. We would have never even talked about the debacle in Buffalo with that downed punt at the 4 yard line being called a touchback against the Redskins. Not to mention all of these “hard breathing” false start calls.

    Look, these refs are trying. They are doing the best they can. There is a reason why they are replacement refs. They are not the best of the best. This stuff happens when you get replacement players as well. You get lesser quality. However, trying isn’t good enough. We need the regular refs back. They make big mistakes, too, but they are more consistent and less likely to make the mistakes the replacement refs are making. I mean, we have refs from the lingerie football league for crying out loud….

  26. flannlv says: Aug 20, 2012 2:36 AM

    It’s only preseason so I don’t really care but there were two PI calls late in the Jags/Saints game that kept JAGS final drive alive which led to a JAGS win. If this were the regular season all hell would break loose. These guys don’t have a clue and will never be up to speed when the regular season rolls around. I am seriously considering not wagering on games until the veteran refs are back on the field.

  27. genericuser8888 says: Aug 20, 2012 2:36 AM

    Arguably, new safety rules are harming the product on the field as the excitement of “hard hits” and overly aggressive defensive play are being discouraged.

    Now, the product on the field is being harmed by replacement refs who don’t know the rules or make bad calls.

    The NFL is not invincible. If the product on the field keeps going downhill, people will tune out or at least become more casual in their viewing habits.

    Don’t get me wrong, the replacement refs are probably good people, but they’d need to be gradually eased into the league. You don’t just replace the entire ref staff at once and expect great results.

  28. djohnson11882 says: Aug 20, 2012 2:40 AM

    I agree with the story, but the reference to Collie is wrong, he got wrapped up right above the knees, and as he was going down caught a knee to the head. There was nothing dirty about the play, and it was a good “no call” by the officials!

  29. wayne1693 says: Aug 20, 2012 2:43 AM

    It absolutely astounds me that people who consider themselves knowledgeable, serious FANS of the GAME…could actually take the side of the League in this controversy. I believe many of them are blinded by their black/white anti-union point-of-view, regardless of who or what the particular union is all about. In this case, you have very intelligent, hard-working men taking on a thankless job because of their love of the Game. Moreover, they have been way underpaid for many years relative to their critical importance to the integrity of the Game. Even the TV play-by-play and color guys can’t hide their embarrassment over the replacement refs, notwithstanding the fact that they have been ordered by the NFL brass to stay away from the subject.

  30. goldrush4949 says: Aug 20, 2012 3:02 AM

    Also, it’s outright arrogance and hubris for the NFL to think that it’s acceptable for regular season games to be officiated by amateurs who are clearly being overwhelmed by the speed of the game at the NFL level.

  31. vikinganswer says: Aug 20, 2012 3:07 AM

    An official cant stop a helmet to helmet hit. Let these idiots figure it out themselves. Either they will quit it or be in a wheelchair.
    Mechanically, these guys are horrible. if you cant look like one, how can you be one. I can do a better job than some of these guys. And yes I DO officiate football.

  32. dennisatunity says: Aug 20, 2012 3:24 AM

    No, the replacement officials are not as good as the regular officials. Duh. But the regular officials made lots of mistakes, too. It seems like just weeks ago, 90% of the fans were saying about the regular officials, “Oh my God, it can’t get any worse than them.” And as far as the skill level of the regular officials, I have only two words to say–Bill Leavy.

  33. handsofsweed says: Aug 20, 2012 3:28 AM

    @ordinary

    I know, right? Almost as game-changing as the incredibly bad 4th down TD that they allowed Luck to have when he literally was 2 feet short of the EZ with the ball on the give-up slide.

    That “TD” wasn’t even a remotely close call.
    Totally agree about the play you’re talking about in the Steelers game, though. Terrible.

  34. bigballspete says: Aug 20, 2012 3:48 AM

    All I see are less holding calls and less PI. Imagine that… letting the players play. Quit pimping for the old refs and their primadonna need for the spotlight. I’m fine rolling with these guys.

  35. mwindle1973 says: Aug 20, 2012 3:51 AM

    They were terrible in the Indy-Pit game tonight. I bet they are lucky to make 1 in 3 ball spots correctly.

  36. jimmylions says: Aug 20, 2012 4:03 AM

    Jerry Jones hates unions more than anything else.

    He’s ok with letting bad calls happen, and looking the other way when a potential injury situation arises, as long as it means busting the refs’ union.

    As I recall, Jerry Jones was one of the major problems when the owners and the players were working out a new deal.

  37. philsgoodman says: Aug 20, 2012 4:19 AM

    A week ago I thought it was just a few incidents being magnified to fit a pre-formed narrative, but the more games I watch, the more obvious it becomes that the replacement refs are facing too steep a learning curve for a job that combines so much subtlety with so much chaos.

  38. romeisfallingagain says: Aug 20, 2012 4:34 AM

    Um, does anyone remember how much you compained about ‘professional’ refs? It’s pretty much right on par. You’re talking about dudes trying to judge if other dudes are being fair in judging dudes. Wait… What? Yeah, it’s that.

  39. geniusfan says: Aug 20, 2012 4:38 AM

    Not shocking that the Steelers were involved in a blow to the head of a defenseless receiver.

    Somehow James Harrison is going to pay for it.

  40. randygnyc says: Aug 20, 2012 4:42 AM

    I thought union members honored locked/striking unions. What happened to solidarity? Why are the NFL going to cross that line and play with scabs? Sure these players are multimillionaires who don’t care about their baby mommas or in some instances, their own babies, but other unions? I can’t believe it.

  41. justiceforhypocrites says: Aug 20, 2012 5:06 AM

    I’m not a Saints fan and don’t want to rehash the bounty issue, but how can Goodell in the same breath say that he wants to “protect the integrity of the game/shield” with the bounty punishments, while simultaneously propagating the farce of the replacement officials?

    They are one and the same issue. I’m not knocking the replacement refs and I think that they have done a great job considering what has been asked of them. My point is, that is should never have been asked of anyone other that the normal refs.

    Per the refs, which doesn’t seem to be disputed, this whole thing can be resolved with $6,000 per team, per game. There are food/drink bills in even one of the the suites that can exceed that. The Club Car/Cushman cart that hauls the players off the field cost over $15000. There is probably more than $6000 worth of toilet paper in any given stadium at any given time.

    Yet, the commissioner /his office/NFL, which are so DEDICATED to maintaining the “integrity” of the game cannot acknowledge that the current state of officiating is sub standard? And worse yet, tries to sell it as a bill of goods, stating that it’s basically no different than the real refs?

    I have watched approximately 80-90% of the preseason games and I’m actually rooting for the replacement guys because I feel sorry for them, but the fact is, THE GAME IS SUFFERING. The pace, the flow, the outcome possibly. I’m not about to get into the union/non-union argument, nor do I care. My point is, Goodell can take such an unwavering stance on the bounty deal but try and claim that the state of officiating (as it currently stands) will have no impact on the integrity of the game if it lasts into the regular season?

    B.S. He needs to pick a path and stick to it.

  42. theandy59 says: Aug 20, 2012 6:22 AM

    An example of poor officiating happened in the Colts-Steelers game when a TD was reversed on replay review despite the fact that there wasn’t clear evidence supporting a reversal. Compounding the error, the ball was placed on the 1 yard line rather than the 1 foot line where it should have been if you thought he didn’t score. And then to finish the trifecta, Luck’s ensuing TD run was allowed although it seemed pretty clear that he began a slide prior to crossing the plane. Under NFL rules, the ball is placed at the spot where a running QB begins his slide, not where he’s touched.

  43. LoCoSu@%s says: Aug 20, 2012 6:22 AM

    geogibso says:
    Aug 20, 2012 1:42 AM
    Roger Goodell should suspend himself for “conduct detrimental to the league.”

    —————————————————–

    I wish I could give unlimited thumbs up to geogibso.

  44. nflmockscom says: Aug 20, 2012 6:48 AM

    I’m in the minority here, but the Referees need to get it together if they think they have any real leverage. I am (and everyone I know) is going to watch the game with or without them. They have almost zero leverage.

    I’ve read the N.F.L. wants them to be full time, and to hire more crews, which they are balking at.

    We all would prefer to have the experienced referees, but they need to realize the N.F.L. is not bluffing, they will move on without them and the game might be affected for awhlie, but the ratings probably won’t.

  45. skins4me says: Aug 20, 2012 6:50 AM

    Not to cover for the officials.

    But the holdout NFL officials started somewhere also. The big diffrence right now is they had expirenced officials around them to cover up when they screwed up a call, or when they missed calls!! As bad as it is right now these officials will get alot better after they get 5 or 6 games under their belt.

    I don’t think they will be around that long but if they are it will get better.

  46. sevensgottago says: Aug 20, 2012 6:59 AM

    Of course the league is downplaying the glaring mistakes made by the replacement refs.
    The owners aren’t going to come out and say ” We are incredibly greedy, and are looking to maximize our already obscene profits at the expense of player safety and game quality.”

  47. dryheaveone says: Aug 20, 2012 7:22 AM

    I find the, “regular officials make mistakes too” argument to be LAME….

  48. sariff420 says: Aug 20, 2012 7:23 AM

    Nice spin job florio. Mistakes by replacement refs are not tolerated, but they are if made by the old ones ? What a joke. This years of experience is a joke. Perrera is wrong. Clinics will help

  49. truthfactory says: Aug 20, 2012 7:41 AM

    Wht doesnt Florio post an article detailing exactly what the refs were getting, what they now want, and what the NFL is offering so at least the fans can form a reasonable opinion on where they stand on who they support??

    As far as player safety, the players are deterred more by the fines than the penalties. The refs dont hand down fines…

    That being said, the replacements are pretty terrible

  50. fieldjudge says: Aug 20, 2012 7:45 AM

    Wow…either the readers of this site have done an about face, or all six comments left thus far have been left by locked out officials. I despise leaving comments and reading comments, but this issue is huge to the game. It is nice to see more PFT followers and football fans getting the fact that this lockout is HUGE to the quality of the NFL product, and realizing the replacement officials aren’t “just as bad” as the locked out regular officials.

  51. kellij666 says: Aug 20, 2012 7:49 AM

    if goodell is truly interested in the safety of the players as we claims then it’s time to get the “real” officials back. but of he course, we all know he lies about everything, he’s already proven that in spades. i think he should put on a helmet, get on the field and let’s see how he feels about those refs then….

  52. commonsensedude says: Aug 20, 2012 8:00 AM

    “Though we doubt that the NFL is scouring these pages for advice”

    No, Mike. They just log on to give a lot of thumbs down to any comment that is critical of Goodell.

    Thank God that Goodell isn’t running an airline instead of the NFL. I can imagine him replacing all the pilots with a bunch of dudes who have no flight experience but have played a lot of hours of Flight Simulator. And then running ads that say “At Goodell Airlines, safety is our most important goal!”

  53. gixrider says: Aug 20, 2012 8:02 AM

    One of the saddest incidents was the game in Oakland where Romo had to show the refs they had placed the ball at the wrong hashmark. This is all like a really bad joke.

  54. jchuber says: Aug 20, 2012 8:07 AM

    This all stinks like another one of godall’s double standards. Remember when he said it involves the integrity of the game. So, obviously. it’s ok if the scab officals make mistakes, as long as the real officals are being cheated out of a fair and honest paycheck. The is the same cryptic logic that got a saints player a years banishment, while his GM only got 6 months. Or allowed Dallas to sell phony Super Bowl tickets/seats. Or allowed NFL to annouce punishment for players, based on phony evidence.
    The bottom line is that godall is a tyrant, interested only in kissing owner butt. If he had a pair, he would admit these things. But don’t hold your breath.

  55. whodeytn says: Aug 20, 2012 9:30 AM

    The officiating in last nights game was pure comedy

  56. ghostofgilchrist says: Aug 20, 2012 9:35 AM

    Whoever paid off the NCAA to prevent Div1 officials from moonlighting as scabs was a genius. Talk about guaranteeing your bargaining position…

  57. ilovefoolsball says: Aug 20, 2012 9:50 AM

    Love that last paragraph. It’s so true and presents the sad state of affairs that the league is in right now.

  58. thecross2 says: Aug 20, 2012 9:50 AM

    Ok, the players held the game hostage because they wanted more money. Now the refs are holding the game hostage because they want more money. Meanwhile we’re expected to pay a fortune to make this game possible!? No way, I let refs raise ticket prices. They can be replaced! Sure there will be some bad calls and some missed calls. But who cares! They go both ways! It’s not like one team gets an advantage. I think more often than not you’ll see the no-call than a bad call. Which to be honest, I welcome. I hate when there’s a flag every other play! By mid-season this will all be a distant memory…

  59. siriusred67 says: Aug 20, 2012 9:56 AM

    These replacements refs don’t even seem to know the rules. In the 49ers-Texans game, they let a half end on a defensive penalty. In the Bills-Vikings game, they called the Bills for an illegal block in the back while they were *covering* a punt, and they nearly called pass interference on a pass behind the line of scrimmage (but it was correctly overruled by a ref who knew better). There were also plenty of non-calls that should have been penalties if the first-string refs were in there.

    These are rules that most fans know, yet these replacement refs seem to be clueless. Have these refs ever *watched* a game of football? While the locked-out refs weren’t always perfect, they were right far more often than they were wrong. These replacement refs have been downright clueless, so I hope the NFL and referees’ union can work something out before the regular season starts.

  60. eaglesfan290 says: Aug 20, 2012 10:08 AM

    50 cents for the Refs

    $10 for the players

    1 Billion Dollars for the owner

    Does anyone else see why Jerry doesn’t care?

  61. sj39 says: Aug 20, 2012 10:21 AM

    Pro-union hacks crack me up.

  62. dickmac says: Aug 20, 2012 10:26 AM

    The “official” officials are, for all intents and purposes “locked out”, so why doesn’t the Players’ Association refuse to enter the stadia???

  63. fieldjudge says: Aug 20, 2012 10:26 AM

    @ jlswisc says:
    Running the clock after a defensive penalty? –>This shows just how incompetent these officials are.

    The Niners had the ball with under 30 seconds to play, the Ravens committed a penalty, and then the Refs wound the clock and time expired.

    __________________________________

    This may have been ok. I don’t know the NFL rule but in college (and it is also different in HS), the clock can expire AFTER a penalty, but not during the down. Clock status also depends on what happened during the play where the penalty was incurred. So if the penalty was during a play with an incomplete pass, the clock would start on the snap. If the penalty was during a run play that ended in bounds, the clock would start on the ready for play, not withstanding, a time subtraction based penalty. I didn’t see the play, but it’s not completely accurate that a period can’t end on a penalty. Had the clocked expired during the play with a penalty, that may be correct depending on if the penalty was accepted. If the clock was stopped with 20-30 seconds to adminster the penalty and the clock was properly re-started after administration, it’s ok for time to expire without another play. Again, didn’t see the play I’m just clarifying the rule b/c most folks don’t know or understand the rules like they think they do. They are very very complex and differ from one level to another (i.e. HS to NCAA to NFL), this is yet ANOTHER REASON to pay the officials what they deserve. It’s not about money to the NFL and the owners, it’s that the NFL is only interested in doing what it wants to do

  64. ricknau says: Aug 20, 2012 10:34 AM

    Lets see, #74 for the colts false started pretty much every other play but got called once. There was pretty clear pass interference two plays in a row on the steelers in the second drive. The “head shot” to collie would have been a BS call, they got it right. The worst though is at the goal line at the end of the game. First, they missed the fact he was about a foot short in realtime. The replay showed it pretty clear so the call was reversed. BUT, in no way should the ball have been spotted at the one yard line, he was only a foot short. Then, they gave Luck the TD when he was clearly down short again….no replay, stood. Any one of those missed calls could change a game and there were a ton. There are going to be a lot of mad fans when their team gets screwed.

  65. realitypolice says: Aug 20, 2012 10:37 AM

    Listen, I’m not defending the officiating. It has stunk to high heaven.

    But seriously, your go-to guy on analysis of this is Mike Pereira? That’s the equivalent of going to Roger Goodell for analysis of bounty gate.

    Not exactly a neutral party, know what I mean?

  66. tcostant says: Aug 20, 2012 10:39 AM

    Jets safety hit Victory Cruz in the head on Satuday – no call.

  67. fsstnotch says: Aug 20, 2012 10:39 AM

    Lets be real here, the Collie hit was absolutely clean and LEGAL! There was 0 helmet to helmet and Collie was far from defensless! He was wrapped up and being brought down by taylor at the waste and took a thigh to the side of the helmet by Foote who tried avoiding the hit by jumping over them. If this type of play is called for hitting a defensless… we might as well write the NFL off period.

    The call on the goal line was terrible… I don’t see how they reversed the call, but in the end it was another wrong call that let them in… that wrong call was made by the replay officials which ARE NOT REPLACEMENTS! In this case I guess 2 wrongs do in fact make a right.

  68. scytherius says: Aug 20, 2012 10:41 AM

    As we are forced to sit here and watch the Owners continue to ruin the game.

  69. realitypolice says: Aug 20, 2012 10:42 AM

    The problem with these guys is not the judgement penalty calls. All refs make those mistakes.

    It is their inability to understand basic elements of the game- spotting the ball, stopping and starting the clock, knowing the half or game cannot end on an accepted defensive penalty, not knowing about the 10 second run off on an accepted offensive penalty inside of two minutes, etc. etc. etc. etc.

    These things change the flow and outcome of games as much as blown penalty calls. The difference is that while judgement calls will always happen, there is no excuse for someone walking on the field to referee an NFL not even knowing the rules.

  70. pawpaw46 says: Aug 20, 2012 11:13 AM

    What the NFL really needs is a replacement commissioner.

  71. mancave001 says: Aug 20, 2012 11:29 AM

    I saw at least two non-calls and at least two atrocious calls.

    The first was a missed pass interference call on the Steelers…dude straight out pushed a receiver down from behind.

    Shortly thereafter, there was a clear block to the back on a punt…the ref was right in front of the play and did nothing.

    The third was on the overturned Colts touchdown. The evidence was definitely not indisputable. It was called a TD and should have remained one.

    Fourth… on the very next play, Luck slid into the end zone for a TD. The problem is that rule states that the play ends at the START of the slide, meaning the ball didn’t cross the plane. So the first TD should have counted, but the second should not have.

    And then there is the best/worst one: On the overturned Colts TD, the ref said “the knee touched down at the 1 yard line,” then proceeded to place the ball on the 1. The problem? The ball was no more than 1 inch from the end zone when the knee went down.

    Absolutely pathetic.

  72. nebster21 says: Aug 20, 2012 1:51 PM

    what is the difference between the NFL dismissing the penalties and before? Because the names on the backs of the officials has changed. Please.

  73. nard100 says: Aug 20, 2012 2:06 PM

    Look folks, here’s the bottom line. When owners start to realize that their teams are getting the shaft because of bad calls do you think they are just gonna be like, “Well they just need a little time”? Not a chance. Jerry Jones may say he doesn’t care, but you just wait until the Cowboys lose even one game due to a junk call and that will be it for replacement officials. Period.

  74. mavajo says: Aug 20, 2012 2:56 PM

    So if the mistakes aren’t a big deal, then why is the NFL reportedly considering firing all the replacement refs and moving the calls up to the booth?

    Double talk.

  75. refwriter says: Aug 20, 2012 5:07 PM

    Everything that comes out of the mouths of Roger Goodell and those high enough on the league food chain with authority to offer up a sound bite feels the need to spin everything, and therefore nothing is believable…

    Instead of just saying, “we are working hard to eliminate the contract obstacles that exist to reach an agreement with the regular NFL officials who are an important part of great game, but these things take time…,” we get the bluster trying to convince the ticket-buying consumers that 1,400+ years of NFL referee experience can be adequately replaced with high school and low-level college officials….

    And the league wonders why the football fans confidence in Mr. Goodell’s truthfulness on Bounty scandals, salary cap shenanagins, etc…erodes with each passing day….

    The commissioner and those doing his bidding instinctively tweak the truth, when the truth alone would be good enough!

  76. fmwarner says: Aug 20, 2012 7:31 PM

    sj39 says: Aug 20, 2012 10:21 AM

    Pro-union hacks crack me up.
    =========================

    Don’t confuse “pro-union” with “pro-people who are competent at their jobs”.

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