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Gene Steratore will ref Browns-Ravens on Thursday night

genesteratore Getty Images

NFL referees are back to work, and Gene Steratore will be the first referee to take the field.

The NFL has confirmed that Gene Steratore will work the Browns-Ravens game in Baltimore tonight, less than 24 hours after the officials and the NFL agreed to a new deal that sent the replacement refs who worked the first three weeks packing. The rest of the crew will consist of umpire Bill Schuster, head linesman Wayne Mackie, line judge Jeff Seeman, field judge Bob Waggoner, side judge Jimmy DeBell and back judge Greg Steed.

Steratore’s most controversial ruling came two years ago, when he overturned what had been ruled on the field as a Calvin Johnson touchdown pass in the end zone, saying that Johnson didn’t complete the catch. The Lions were furious and most football fans were surprised, but the NFL backed Steratore, saying that he correctly called it an incompletion. (Many of us still think the NFL needs to do a better job of defining what constitutes a catch, but Steratore correctly overturned the catch as the rules are written.)

Look for the fans in Baltimore to give Steratore the loudest ovation any referee has ever received when he comes out for the coin flip before the game.

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28 Responses to “Gene Steratore will ref Browns-Ravens on Thursday night”
  1. Deb says: Sep 27, 2012 10:56 AM

    Despite that horrible call in the Lions game, Steratore is one of the most capable refs in the game. That’s probably why the NFL is putting him on the field for tonight’s national game.

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 27, 2012 10:57 AM

    LOL, This guy made an egregious error and now he’s back on the field for the first game after the infamous game where an error wasn’t made and it was just an honest mistake not being able to catch the PI pushoff? How ironic. My memories are scarred from the countless games that this old ref staff ruined. We need good refs, not familiar bad refs. I guess I’ll just sit patient and see how everybody justifies each game that they screw up each week.

  3. broncosaddict says: Sep 27, 2012 10:58 AM

    I hope everyone continues to hold the referee’s to the same bar they were holding the temp’s too. I also hope all those that were so vocal continue to be so when the referee’s make some of the same mistakes and not make excuses for them…

  4. jtchernak says: Sep 27, 2012 11:02 AM

    And the ravens fans will thank the replacements for giving them the win last week!

  5. ckacv111 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:04 AM

    I guarantee Hochuli is heading to Green Bay this weekend…

  6. kattykathy says: Sep 27, 2012 11:11 AM

    Oh it makes perfect sense to me now.

    Have a national uproar against a replacement official that makes a touchdown call against the Packers, so that the league can replace them with regular officials that ruled a no touchdown against the Lions.

  7. eagleswin says: Sep 27, 2012 11:12 AM

    broncosaddict says:
    Sep 27, 2012 10:58 AM
    I hope everyone continues to hold the referee’s to the same bar they were holding the temp’s too. I also hope all those that were so vocal continue to be so when the referee’s make some of the same mistakes and not make excuses for them…

    ——————————–

    Good luck. The regular refs could punch someone in the face and Gruden would be slobbering all over what a great punch it was and how great was the follow through.

    Guys like Gruden will only act tough when they know there is no chance they will be held accountable themselves.

  8. rockthered1286 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:12 AM

    The FG last week was good BY RULE. Pats fans need to stop whining about it and accept the Loss.

    Welcome back real refs. We’ll be glad to see you tonight. I hope.

  9. FoozieGrooler says: Sep 27, 2012 11:20 AM

    ..and after tonight’s game, win or lose, the Ravens players and coaches will be crying about the officiating. It’s what they do…

  10. sbaltimore says: Sep 27, 2012 11:25 AM

    @jtchernak:

    Get over it. Better yet, go back and watch how many times Pats DBs mauled Ravens WRs that never got flagged. Better yet…just shut up.

  11. the1vito says: Sep 27, 2012 11:25 AM

    With the NFL’s recent responses to clearly erroneous calls, it definitely takes away the credibility of other times where they have declared that a controversial call was made correctly after the fact. I believe that this credibility issue will now carry forward to any future controversial calls. Even with the real refs, there will always be questionable or bad calls, but now the NFL has lost all its credibility when it comes to evaluating such calls.

  12. maddog111 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:26 AM

    If the Calvin Johnson play happened last weekend instead of two years ago, PFT would not have said the ref called the play as the rule was written. They’d have posted a dozen articles about how they stole the game from the Lions.

  13. dwoofer says: Sep 27, 2012 11:30 AM

    I’m glad for him. I have watched him a bunch of times in games, and he is very fair. Great ref !!!

  14. ziggy26 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:30 AM

    Actually, Steratore didn’t make an error at all on the Calvin Johnson ruling. It was the correct ruling based on the NFL rulebook.

    The rule regarding the catch is stupid, but Steratore was spot on with his ruling.

  15. purplekoolaid1 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:51 AM

    Good to see an Italiano kick off the refs season!

  16. alewatcher says: Sep 27, 2012 12:00 PM

    ziggy26 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:30 AM

    Actually, Steratore didn’t make an error at all on the Calvin Johnson ruling. It was the correct ruling based on the NFL rulebook.

    The rule regarding the catch is stupid, but Steratore was spot on with his ruling.
    ————–
    ^This. The NFL needs to make the definition of a catch consistent.

    There will always be controversial/wrong/blown calls, no matter who is officiating. But I’m pretty sure we won’t see coaches getting two free reviews after using their last timeouts.

  17. edelmanfanclub says: Sep 27, 2012 12:12 PM

    The real refs are back!!

  18. FinFan68 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:16 PM

    i know this is messed up but i would find it hilarious if these “real refs” are rusty and blow a call that changes the outcome of the game.

  19. pigskin28 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:20 PM

    I don’t know how many realize this but Steratore is one of the officials who does react to the crowd visibly. He will bring out that smile quickly when he knows the crowd is reacting to him. So having him there shows they want that connection to be made.

    Another win for the NFL is that people are now seperating the NFl and the officials as two entities. Not too long ago people were close to convinced that the NFL tells the officials how to approach each game, now they appear to be independent.

    The NFL used to have to answer for and defend these guys, now I think that dynamic changes.

  20. justwinbaby29 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:21 PM

    He’s a very good ref. Also does college basketball games- see him at some Siena basketball games!

  21. tvguy22 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:39 PM

    The regular refs stink too, just less so.

  22. crownofthehelmet says: Sep 27, 2012 12:49 PM

    RayRay appreciates this information ahead of time, he can craft his post-game whining appropriately.

  23. nfldtw says: Sep 27, 2012 12:54 PM

    I will take it to my grave that Calvin catch was a touchdown… That rule needs to be changed.

  24. tyler200829 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:56 PM

    come on pats fans…..we handed you the game last year and this time we won and your still complaining? Classy

  25. godzilla111111 says: Sep 27, 2012 1:50 PM

    jtchernak says: Sep 27, 2012 11:02 AM

    And the ravens fans will thank the replacements for giving them the win last week!

    ————————————————————————
    LOL

    2007
    Pats “perfect” season ends when Ravens, with the lead, stop them on 4th down with less that 2 minutes to play!
    BUT WAIT- the refs permit Rex Ryan to call a time out when the rule book says only the HC or a player on the field can call a time out. Well, the rules can’t apply if the Pats stand to lose a game-such a feel good story for the league.

    And of course the Tuck Rule!

  26. doe22us says: Sep 27, 2012 2:28 PM

    I am glad they are back period, I could care less which crew is in charge of what game.

  27. indef37 says: Sep 27, 2012 3:27 PM

    Isn’t Gene the ref who measured a 3rd and 1.5 inches, then the offense ran a play and he measured again only to see it was 4th and 1.2 inches and then couldn’t help but smile at the minuscule change I field position?

  28. ravenator says: Sep 27, 2012 4:28 PM

    Wow look at all the raven haters. Just kick your feet up tonight and watch the no huddle run which torched your DBs patriot fans

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