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Jeff Triplette returns to Cincinnati, scene of a major blunder

yahoo_triplette3 Getty Images

Jeff Triplette will serve as the referee for today’s Chargers-Bengals game in Cincinnati, which will leave a lot of NFL fans shaking their heads.

Triplette has been blamed for several baffling calls, including one just last month in Cincinnati, when he used replay to award Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis a touchdown even though it had been correctly ruled on the field that Green-Ellis had been tripped and fell down short of the goal line.

After the game, Triplette admitted that the only aspect of the replay he had looked at was whether the ball crossed the goal line, and not whether Green-Ellis had been tripped in the backfield. That’s the kind of blunder that is bad enough in the regular season but would be really embarrassing in the playoffs.

And yet the NFL somehow graded Triplette during the 2013 season as good enough to serve as a playoff referee. One big mistake shouldn’t preclude a referee from working a playoff game, but that wasn’t Triplette’s only big mistake. Triplette was also the referee whose crew couldn’t straighten out whether or not Washington got a first down late in a loss to Washington, a blunder that resulted in the league’s head of officiating publicly acknowledging that Triplette should have stopped the game action to make sure the call was right.

Triplette, whose crew routinely calls the most penalties of any officiating crew, often seems like he just doesn’t have the game under control. Let’s hope the Chargers-Bengals game doesn’t come down to a close replay that Triplette has to decide.

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38 Responses to “Jeff Triplette returns to Cincinnati, scene of a major blunder”
  1. wrm1230 says: Jan 5, 2014 7:29 AM

    No real surprise. The guy that graduates last in his class in med school is called….Doctor.

    Evidently, in the NFL, the guy that grades out last as a league official is called, head referee.

  2. kingpel says: Jan 5, 2014 7:31 AM

    This guy is a train wreck.

  3. lazrrocketarm says: Jan 5, 2014 7:34 AM

    As a fan, all you ask is for the ref to make an honest effort.
    Seems like we see less than that from Triplette and his crew. Triplette is not welcome in Indy anytime soon.

    As a Colts fan, that play in particular hurt. Cincinnati won that game easily, so not trying to say the game would have been different. Officiating has seemed subpar all year, and other teams have had calls that may have decided games.

    Time for the NFL to stop the press release acknowledging blunders and hold these officials accountable!

  4. garyman1 says: Jan 5, 2014 7:34 AM

    I would like to think I’m a somewhat reasonable person and understand that humans makes mistakes. With that said, Triplette is just a terrible ref and should not be in the playoffs.

  5. indymarc says: Jan 5, 2014 7:35 AM

    If today’s games are anything like the games played yesterday, Triplette and his errors could easily determine the outcome of this game.

  6. fin72 says: Jan 5, 2014 7:40 AM

    Triplette just looks and sound like a moron… Doesn’t the NFL realize its integriy is at stake with guys like this at the helm?

  7. hjb99992013 says: Jan 5, 2014 7:43 AM

    The bitter harsh reality is that the NFL deems other refs to be worse than this clown…..hence this playoff assignment

  8. braven4evr says: Jan 5, 2014 7:52 AM

    this just further demonstrates the ineptitude of that farce called the NFL Front Office!

  9. bigbenownsthenfl says: Jan 5, 2014 7:53 AM

    hope it does come down to a blown call and the chargers win! that will serve the bungles fans right. laughing at the steelers not getting in because leavy blew the call. we in Pittsburgh call that KARMA! see what happened to kc yesterday?? you are next bungles!!! hahahahahaha…

  10. xli2006 says: Jan 5, 2014 8:21 AM

    How is this man still employed w/ the NFL?

  11. pointywilliams says: Jan 5, 2014 8:26 AM

    At least he’s not Joe West.

  12. dasboat says: Jan 5, 2014 8:44 AM

    That tells you how badly all of the other refs graded out.

  13. toybkshr says: Jan 5, 2014 9:21 AM

    If this guy graded out well enough to officiate a playoff game, really doesn’t put the non playoff crews in a good light. They must be at replacement ref level!

  14. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 5, 2014 9:26 AM

    Makes sense, he should be there. Without Triplette’s help, Cin likely doesn’t even make the playoffs. He earned this trip.

  15. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:35 AM

    Hopefully this means this is the only time we’ll see him in the playoffs.

    I do not want Triplette ref’ing in the divisional round, the conference championships or the SB.

  16. audient says: Jan 5, 2014 9:42 AM

    Let’s not forget the time Triplette threw a penalty flag into the eye of Orlando Brown, injuring him. The man is a menace.

  17. steelerrc says: Jan 5, 2014 9:49 AM

    Triplette and Bill Leavy need fired! !! But the way it is, Leavy may end up working the Super Bowl.

  18. yooperman says: Jan 5, 2014 10:10 AM

    Did Roger wake up with a horse head in his bed?

  19. bengalifer says: Jan 5, 2014 10:19 AM

    Why does bill leavy need fired? Refresh my memory.

  20. jdvalk says: Jan 5, 2014 10:25 AM

    Accountability and the NFL!

  21. bobsnygiants says: Jan 5, 2014 10:28 AM

    starting to dislike the NFL

  22. mizzouram says: Jan 5, 2014 10:51 AM

    Home teams win 65% of the time when he is officiating the game. That 10% above the average. Take that to your local sportsbook.

  23. saneman66 says: Jan 5, 2014 11:53 AM

    Bill Leavy is out of this round’s playoffs . HOw the hell did Triplette grade out any better? Both were bad and only one is out.

    No one expects refs to be perfect, but when so many crucial calls are made in the final minutes or OT of games, those are hard to “average out” as they say. And especially when the errors come because they flat out don’t know the rules or forget the rules momentarily, those are inexcusable lapses.

  24. eatitfanboy says: Jan 5, 2014 12:25 PM

    I don’t know how the NFL actually selects playoff referees, but it certainly is not by the method they tell the the public. Bad refs show up in the playoffs constantly. The best you can hope for is that they don’t affect the outcome again.

  25. steelcurtainn says: Jan 5, 2014 12:27 PM

    The Refs need all kinds of work. Leavy single handedly cost the steelers a playoff spot by falling asleep on the field at a crucial time. They should be suspended and fined for their actions. Can’t wait to see whose the next ref to blow a game is. It could be Triplette again today Bungle fans. Be prepared.

  26. vietnambob2473 says: Jan 5, 2014 12:32 PM

    Officials should be fined/suspended for bad calls that affect the utcome of games. This is an example of why replay needs to be centralized

  27. deep64blue says: Jan 5, 2014 1:13 PM

    Triplette is one of the better refs – that says it all!

  28. 9ersruledude says: Jan 5, 2014 1:22 PM

    He is obviously related to someone with the NFL.

  29. usdcoyotesfan says: Jan 5, 2014 1:27 PM

    The week after the Fail Mary last year, this was the same clown who went to Green Bay and tried to steal another game from the Packers. (Yes, it appeared to me that he was intentionally trying to give that game to the Saints, based on the one-sidedness of bad calls.) The Packers beat both the Saints and the refs that day, straight up.

  30. fleshruler69 says: Jan 5, 2014 2:03 PM

    I want to know how Washington was not able to beat Washington despite the bad call? Or am I the only one that noticed that Jeff Triplette also edited this article?

  31. kingpel says: Jan 5, 2014 2:21 PM

    Triplette’s crew is doing alright today and handled that Benard fumble correctly.

  32. zhawk12 says: Jan 5, 2014 2:21 PM

    Bad calls are a part of football (or any sport) just as are missed blocks, dropped passes, bad throws, and fumbles. Why do people expect the officials to be perfect when nobody else involved with the game is? How many of you know-it-alls have ever tried officiating? Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that officiating is inherently difficult and accept the fact that mistakes will be made, just as mistakes are made by players and coaches.

    Except for calls concerning MY team, of course.

  33. ballboy48 says: Jan 5, 2014 2:51 PM

    Triplette and his crew are abysmal. How is this guys still an NFL Official?

  34. wrestlecraprd says: Jan 5, 2014 2:52 PM

    Pretty sure they botched the review right before the half. The Bengals ran a play (spiking the ball), then they reviewed the play BEFORE that. Unless I missed something, you can’t review a prior play if a subsequent play has been run?

  35. billy0405 says: Jan 5, 2014 2:53 PM

    Phantom holding call on Gates 85 on 1st down with 1:41 left in the 2nd .Triplette winks at the Ref who thorws flag ( 1 : 41 2nd Q )

  36. dbfan4ever says: Jan 5, 2014 2:56 PM

    Scratching my head as to why he still has an officiating job let alone officiating in the PLAYOFFS!!!

  37. hawkforlife says: Jan 5, 2014 3:46 PM

    In that photo the play is actually going on behind him.

  38. whinybabycarsonpalmer says: Jan 5, 2014 4:29 PM

    Why aren’t refs fined just like players, or at least somehow disciplined? They say playoff games for refs are earned on merit. I’m hard-pressed to find a worse officiating crew than Triplette’s. Yet the front office levies absurd fines for wearing wrong shoes or not talking to the media! Where are their priorities? Certainly not on game integrity!

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