Replacement ref Craig Ochoa takes heat for botched announcement


Replacement referee Craig Ochoa has been taking some heat this morning after botching the announcement after a replay challenge during Thursday night’s game.

After explaining his replay ruling in the Ravens-Falcons game, Ochoa said, “Arizona will be not charged a timeout.”

The local announcer immediately seized on Ochoa’s mistake, saying, “And neither will Atlanta be charged a timeout — they’ll be happy to hear in Arizona that their first-half three timeouts are still intact.”

Ochoa’s mistake is an easy one to laugh at, but misspeaking during an announcement is an easy mistake to make, and a mistake that doesn’t have any bearing at all on the result of the game. It is, however, another sign that Ochoa is a bit uncomfortable with the microphone on: He also incorrectly announced the winner of the coin flip in the Hall of Fame Game before correcting himself. The regular officials, who have already been spreading word that the NFL embellished Ochoa’s credentials and that he was let go by the Lingerie Football League, will surely have fun with this one.

Much more important than whether the replacement referees are comfortable behind the microphone is whether they’re capable of properly enforcing the rules. That came under question in Buffalo, where the replacement officials were booed after a glaring screwup of a ruling on a punt that was downed at the 4-yard line. The officials incorrectly ruled the punt a touchback, but the referee got it right after the Bills challenged. And that referee knew which city he was in, too.

30 responses to “Replacement ref Craig Ochoa takes heat for botched announcement

  1. Get back to me when he makes a real mistake, I really hope the NFLRA doesn’t think this something bad enough to harp on.

    And oh no, he corrected himself during the coin toss. Haven’t we seen a ref hear the completely wrong side called?

  2. The replacement refs have made some mistakes. As I seem to recall, the regular refs have made mistakes as well, and they don’t seem to like to fix some of theirs.

    Bagging on the guy for messing up the coin toss, he at least fixed it. I seem to remember a Steeler game where the toss was screwed up and it wasn’t fixed.

    At the very least if the replacement refs make mistakes it is from lack of experience. When the regular refs make those same mistakes, it is with years of experience making the same mistakes over and over, and over again.

  3. Yeah, because the regular officials never make mistakes. The regular officials never misspeak over the microphone. The regular officials never miss holding calls or facemasks or pass interference or any of the stuff everyone is jumping on the replacement officials for. Wow, it’s not like it’s pre-season and they’re working on their craft too.

  4. I like the replacement refs. Last nights Packers game started off slightly rough, but as the game went on I felt these refs did a better job than the regular ones.

    As I recall, the regular refs call a LOT of penalties in the preseason games to let players know they are on top of things.

    For once, we got to see players actually play. The only reason Gruden and co talked about the refs is because of the lockout. If these refs were perma, we would here about it a couple weeks and then things would settle down.

    And frankly, I’ve been hating the job the regular refs have been doing for years.

  5. With all the cameras and wireless communication devices out there how hard could it be to devise an advanced method to officiating games?

    How hard could it be yo have on field refs working in conjunction with off site refs monitoring via cameras, microphones on field and the sidelines. If the calls at both ends match then no further review is needed and if they conflict then the call is reviewed.

    No more flags, just consistently correct calls 100% of the time. Employ a large staff off site to confirm and in the case that there’s a conflict they both review. If further conflict still exists beyond the first review then the call gets made by some kind of third party, maybe the commissioner himself.

    Technology allows this type of advancement and it allows the time involved to be minimal. I believe there would be few conflicts and in the end the process could evolve into someone very efficient and fast paced.

    No charge Roger, just please start moving in that direction.

  6. A lot of talking heads are taking every opportunity to nitpick and criticize the replacement refs but they did a decent job from what I saw of the GB SD game last night.
    How about lay off of them and at least give them a couple games to get up to speed before you make a judgement?

  7. They were über bad in the Skins/Bills game, for both teams. The punt was a collossal mistake. I was wondering if there was some sort of rule change for a second. Phantom motion and procedure calls not only ruined any sense of continuity, but had players on both sides confused as how to play a game they thought they knew. All refs err, but these crews were way below standards.

  8. Was at Bills game last night. The ref was right there at the 4 yard line when they called the touchback. The closest bill was at the 3 yard line. They are a joke and will really mess up someone’s season with their clear idiotic mistakes

  9. how many times in past preseasons have you heard “its preseason for the refs, too”?

    and those were the “real” refs. cut these guys some slack, it was their first day on the job.

  10. Love it that the USAToday article that is linked in this post actually makes the same mistake they are bagging in the ref for making. At the end of the article where they were discussing the botched coin flip in the HOF game, they say he originally called the toss in favor of the Saints before correcting the call to award the toss to the Falcons. Umm, the Saints were playing the Cardinals in that game.

  11. In order to be on the level of the NFLRA refs, the replacements would have to blow calls that change the outcome of games. And that won’t get them fired. Ed Hoculi is still employed. The NFLRA should throw out it’s own trash before criticizing the replacement refs.

  12. If they start the season with these clowns, they’d better give coaches unlimited challenges.

    In the Steelers/Eagles game, there were numerous bad spots, a very easy TD call was botched (and then overturned) and the ref didn’t seem to have any concept of how accepting/declining penalties worked- nearly awarding Pittsburgh a second chance at third down after one of their linemen was called for holding!

    They were far worse than the regular officials and anyone who thinks differently is suffering from “confirmation bias”.

    Look it up.

  13. @panamon- I guess calling a touchback on a punt that was downed at the 4 doesn’t constitute a real mistake to you.

    It was reversed, but why should a coach have to burn a challenge to fix that kind of stupid?

  14. I have a hard time listening to someone complain about a replacement ref misspeaking about the coin toss when a veteran ref completely botched a coin flip in overtime with two teams seasons on the line

  15. In the Bronco/Bears game, of the first 12 plays they missed very obvious Holding calls on 9 of the plays, including the Kickoff.


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