Jerry Markbreit thinks replacement refs don’t respect officiating

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Jerry Markbreit spent 23 years as an NFL official and is the only person to referee four Super Bowls, and he says he has a lot of respect for the job of officiating.

And he doubts that the people currently working as replacement officials share that respect.

Markbreit said on WEEI that he resents replacement officials and believes they’re taking jobs that they know they’re not qualified for.

“The officiating world is its own little world, and if everybody respected officiating, they would not take that position, and be a replacement, from somebody who has earned the right to be in the top league in the world,” Markbreit said. “These guys are high school, junior college, small Division I and II colleges. I’m sure it was a great thrill for them to be offered the opportunity. But were I in that position I would never do that. Because replacing somebody is the worst thing you can do.”

Markbreit also offered up something of a warning to replacement officials who hope they’ll eventually be hired as regular NFL officials. Markbreit said the regular officials wouldn’t welcome their former replacements as colleagues.

“People in the know will never forgive them for being replacement officials,” Markbreit said. “I wouldn’t do it because I respect officiating too much.”

The real question is how much the NFL owners respect officiating. And how much they’re willing to spend to show their respect.

32 responses to “Jerry Markbreit thinks replacement refs don’t respect officiating

  1. Jerry Markbreit thinks that people shouldn’t accept payraises and promotions for jobs they aren’t qualified for.

    If everyone thought like that. We’d be out a lot of managers and CEO’s.

  2. This coming from an officail that admitted in his book to being biased and made calls based on his bias. I know we all like him as a referee but just because the new guys are not siding with him he says they do not respect. i find officials always respecting their trade.

  3. Last year we had the lockout and some really bad football to start the season, this year we have unqualified refs. Thats 2 consecutive years of putting less than optimum quality product on the field, and still charging full price.
    NFL needs to stop worrying about some of the lesser issues with the players and start worrying about their inability to resolve their issues before it hurts the product they’re selling.

  4. Markbreit didn’t just hint at blackballing these guys from future employment, did he?

    In these economic times, if you don’t want to work for that pay someone else will step in and take your job. Welcome to the real world.

  5. Everybody has a price. It’s the priceless values that differentiate those from the rest.

    He’s right in regards to the replacements being outcasted cuz I know a Division II official locally and he would never accept a replacement position at the NFL level despite numerous attempts at being a NFL official in the past years. It’s a code among officials to not take the positions of those who earned it despite NFL’s strict requirements of being a certain height, weight, gender, etc.

  6. “The real question is how much the NFL owners respect officiating. And how much they’re willing to spend to show their respect.”

    Money does not equal respect. No matter how much you pay a prostitute, she’s still a prostitute.

  7. I disagree with him. I don’t understand why nobody has ever called the NFL out on the prevalence of socialist policies in their league. “Oh don’t worry about being a good team,” says the NFL, “we have revenue sharing to keep even the worst teams afloat.” “Oh don’t take a better job,” says this schmoe, “that job is owned by the referees who are now refusing to do it.”

  8. Ahh, for once an objective opinion on the replacement officials, lol. And I’m certain that once the regular officials come back Jerry will give an objective opinion on their performance each week. It’s so easy to sit there and say he would never be a replacement ref. He’s FOS. He has no idea how he’d react if he was a struggling official who got a shot at the NFL. And in a million years, no one can tell me that half these replacement officials aren’t better than Jeff Triplette right now. Yet when that clown returns guys like Markbreit and Pereira will explain, week after week, that somehow every call Triplette and his crew made was correct. If you haven’t noticed already, it’s useless to have these guys comment on officiating when they’ve made it clear during this lockout that there is a bias towards “the brotherhood” that clouds their judgement.

  9. This is rich…

    If officials had the ultimate respect for officiating, they wouldn’t be sitting out in the first place

    If the officials want us to take their side in the financial battle their waging against the league, they shouldnt continue to make idiotic statements and bash the replacement refs, it’s hypocritical and reeks of desperation.

  10. “People in the know will never forgive them for being replacement officials,” Markbreit said. “I wouldn’t do it because I respect officiating too much.”


    That’s not respect, that’s discrimination. You are disqualifying them not based on their abilities but because you dislike them. Also, according to Borbinski above, he admits that making calls according to bias while he was a ref.

  11. If Jerry Markbreit truly has the utmost respect for officiating then when it’s time to determine who will be hired to fill a position it should come down to ability, not whether the candidate accepted a replacement position.

    “being a replacement is the worst thing…” blah blah. He killed his point by being overly dramatic. And his threats make him sound like a jerk.

    I have the utmost respect for officiating and officials (who do their job to the letter of the rules), but I have little to no respect for Jerry Markbreit’s comments.

  12. Hey Markbreit and the rest of you ‘ex officials’ who keep commenting: This isn’t High School. Joe Fan has no sympathy for you whatsoever. If you offered me a part time weekend job $140k/year I would jump on it in a heart beat. Not sure how you or your little fraternity bros think you are the sole heirs to the officiating throne.

  13. I heard JPP is going to “pants” a replacement official during the next game, then fart on a live mic during a post game interview. Classy guy, he should go play for Philly.

  14. goodell and the owners seem to desire to fight with anyone and everyone, whenever they get the slightest opportunity. they have it all. the world is their oyster. why can’t these people just enjoy what they have – which is everything – without going around looking for someone to beat down?

  15. Jerry has love for the union not officiating. If you love officiating you’d be out officiating a pee wee game or a umpiring a little league game for free and not crying about the replacement refs. Jerry if you love officiating so much why not help the replacement refs out and provide some training and constructive criticism?

  16. I sure hope when the regular refs come back we scrutinize their every play like we are doing the replacements..And for the record a few of the replacement player who replaced the real players in the 1987 players strike made some teams. Time heals and money talks..

  17. Lame, lame, lame. So far the replacements have been more than acceptable save for a few catastrophic isolated blunders. These guys and gals are coming along and are doing well under a ton of pressure. I say let’s keep them and toss out the old crew.

  18. This lowlife makes me root against the incumbent officials. Officiating is not a highly specialized, unique skill set. If you can read, you can be an official. This is part of the problem. Like Green Bay fans, the NFL officials think it’s about them.

  19. lol

    All of these officials, and ex officials come off as some of the most bitter and spitefuly individuals I have ever seen.

    I feel bad for these replacements. I hope they stay, just to shut all these other guys up.

  20. I was so rooting for these replacement officials to be really great because I seriously can’t stand the pompous holier than thou attitude of the regular officials. I feel no sympathy for the regular officials and the only reason I would want them back is unfortunately as bad as they are, the replacements are a bit worse and I want to see overall better football.

    He can so easily say he would never take a replacement job because he’s never had to deal with that question. If I got offered a job in the NFL, I would take it in a heartbeat because when will some of them get another chance?

    And the bully mentality of not hiring someone because they took a once in a lifetime opportunity is what adults are supposed to grow up from out of high school, but even old men can act like little cranky children.

  21. The avg wage for officials is $140K for 16 games, and the NFL wants them to have 401k instead of guaranteed pensions with 5% raise every year. My company has averaged 2% raises for the last 4 years. I’m siding with the owners on this one!

  22. Just a small sample of one game (Bears and Skins) from this weekend:
    1. a holding penalty was enforced for 17 yards.
    2. a pass interference penalty was called on a caught pass.
    3. an official called a penalty on the Bears but pointed at the Redskins.
    4. Lovie Smith had to remind the officials that the Bears could opt for a ten-second runoff OR use a timeout when they were penalized late in the first half.

    The NFL has to fix this before opening kick on the real season. It will take about $100,000 per team. That’s two PSLs. Do it.

  23. Respect for officiating?

    If the dispute gets resolved, will the “real” officials continue to tally up their fraternity’s mistakes and publicize them for all of us to review and critique?

    Then I’ll agree with them that they truly have respect for officiating.

  24. I really don’t think the replacement refs have been all that bad. The media make these guys out to be blind, deaf, and dumb. So they missed a downed punt and called the team the wrong name. So what? Are those such unforgivable mistakes? The previous refs were making mistakes week to week too.

  25. Refs are under payed (earn between 25000 and 75000) and work in a field in which their decisions are publicly scrutinized and important to millions of people. I can remember many occasions where I have seen refs make close but correct calls against a home team and wondered if the NFL would provide security for the after the game.

    Bottom line: they deserve a higher salary, that is more reflective of the leagues revenue, the high stress, public nature of their jobs and of their importance to the game.

    Pay them and end this debate.

  26. Markbreit’s comments say a whole lot. If they think they’re underpaid, they’ve got every right to hold out and try to get some more money. But they’re not bigger than the game…they’re not some saintly figures who have final say on love or respect of officiating or the sport of football…and they aren’t irreplaceable, no matter how much they believe that to be the case.

  27. There you have it fans. Markbreit says pay the Refs what ever they want, when ever they want it, or you should not have any football. The millions and millions of fans, 1600+ players, and thousands of people who’s job relies on Football being played should all lose out because it is just not fair to the Ref community to replace them. Refs > everyone else.

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