Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has emerged as perhaps the most vocal critic of the NFL’s replacement officials. And he’s not stopping.
Kluwe went on Twitter after the Vikings’ preseason game on Friday and ripped the officials who worked the game, and with a few days to think it over, Kluwe said today that he stands by everything he says: He thinks the replacements stink, and the regular officials need to be brought back. Now.
“It’s one of those things where you just look out there and it’s like the difference between having a high-school guy play in the NFL versus an NFL guy playing in the NFL,” Kluwe said Tuesday, via FoxSportsNorth.com. “The speed’s totally different. Those guys are trying hard, but they’re just not used to the speed of the game and they’re missing a lot of stuff.”
Kluwe pointed out that one bad call could be the difference between a team winning the Super Bowl and missing the playoffs.
“Look at last year, the Giants, the eventual Super Bowl champions, they were one game out from not making the playoffs,” Kluwe said. “So if you get one bad call that takes a game the complete other way, the entire season’s different. It’s much more of a sprint in the NFL, as opposed to other sports where it’s a marathon. So I don’t think the league can afford to have a mistake like that because then one of those playoff bubble teams might not get in.”
The NFL may not take kindly to players ripping the officials, and he said it was “recommended that we don’t talk about it.” But Kluwe isn’t going to stop. And as long as the replacement officials keep giving Kluwe material for his criticisms, he shouldn’t stop.