Poll: 90 percent of players think replacement refs bad for game


With the NFL doing its best to whistle past the graveyard as it pertains to the issue of replacement refs, they’re ignoring the fact they seem to be the only ones willing to believe it’s not an issue.

Owners may keep saying it’s not a big deal, but coaches who have been expressly warned not to make it an issue keep talking.

Now the players are chiming in.

In a Sporting News poll of 146 players from 29 teams, 132 (90.4 percent) said games would be negatively impacted by the use of replacement officials.

Of those 132, 71 said the game would “suffer greatly” while 61 said there would be a “marginal” difference.

Only 14 players in the survey thought it would not impact the game.

The poll included a collection of quotes from anonymous players, but Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch was willing to put his name on his thoughts.

“It’s hard for guys who’ve been officiating for 10, 12, 15 years in the NFL to get it right, and there’s so much going on and so many rules changes that it’ll be difficult if there’s guys that have no experience coming in and officiating games,” he said. “And with the big emphasis on player safety and the changes to player safety, as a player you want to make sure that you have capable officials that get it right.”

If more players were willing to do what Vanden Bosch did, it might make a difference.

Until then, the league has no compelling reason to not keep leaning on the regular officials to take a deal they don’t want, simply because it can.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

28 responses to “Poll: 90 percent of players think replacement refs bad for game

  1. the thing that worries me is teams like the ravens, 49ers, and cleveland (holgrem) that have coaches who like to blame refs EVERY time they lose will use this every week. It will always be “that bad call” when they lose by 17 points

  2. KVB is a player that I trust completely. He’s never shied away from anything, and he’s dead right one this one.

  3. what did you do call up 20 players and 18 said they think the are bad. I know 10 players and 2 think they are bad. the other 8 think they need time to learn but are doing a great job concidering.

  4. I dont understand the complaint that replacement refs are jeapordizing the “safety” of the players??

    The players are deterred and upset about the fines for the illegal hits, not necessarily the penalty. The refs have nothing to do with the fines. They make bad calls or miss some things, but i wouldnt say player safety is in danger. Its not like when the real refs were out there they were jumping in front of illegal hits to stop them from happening…

  5. I would like to see what percentage of players think regular referees are bad for the game. I think the comparison of referee statistics would be very interesting.

  6. I would like to see the same poll after the players are told that THEY have to pay for the increased wages of the refs.

    Think the results would be the same?

  7. I wonder how many player injuries from last year were due to poor officiating, versus how many would be expected with replacement officials.

    I have not yet heard a credible rationale for why this affects player safety. First responder? Yeah, right, when a team doctor is on each sideline.

  8. Who are the 10% that supported the replacements?
    Their thinking is more interesting to me,

  9. It is unfair to the replacement refs. 90% of the fans, media and NFL players do not know all the rules of the NFL. Atleast the replacement referees have certification that qualifies them to officiate NFL games. How many of you complainers have a license to be a referee, umpire, or line judge? As I thought, none of you. The replacement referees is not the reason your team lost nor will the regular referees be either, it is that lack of talent on your teams roster especially the fans of the Jets and Cowboys.

  10. Based on the inexplicable inability of these replacement refs to throw a flag for even blatant PI, I’m going to wager that those 14 players who don’t care are all DBs.

  11. Should have asked the same for those crappy refs on strike. The bulk are crappy as well.

  12. I think the whole thing is crazy we pay people the most money in salaries, and we so worried about the refs making the right calls. But for the difference in 100,00 dollars per team we are going to send refs out that don’t have much experience. That all does not make much sense and then we are going to worry about bounty’s.
    He must have it in for some teams and feel like the others don’t matter. I bet the first time a high
    profile quarterback gets a bad hit and it’s not called and he is injured that is when all going to let lose. Every year somebody is holding out for something the commisoner needs to start looking at what he is setting up. Unless he has to much going on in New Orleans with the Federal law suit with Vilma got him in Federal court every
    week it seems like

  13. bucksfan141 says:Aug 24, 2012 4:50 PM

    They poll only 146 players and call this a valid poll?
    146 is approximately 8% of all players in the NFL. Considering that most polls in the U.S. that we quote as factual are based on 2,000-3,000 people of the entire 300 million of americans, I consider that pretty darn good.

  14. Obviously a bad/good vote strictly for their effect on the game will be mostly bad votes, what’s telling is that not even 50% think it would be a great effect. Too much of the players don’t care enough for them to do anything drastic in support.

  15. It’s difficult to officiate this sport properly. You all think veteran refs were bad but these guys consistently miss big calls. Packers vs Bengals yesterday was again, horrible. Mays delivered an excellent hit on Crabtree with his shoulders and was wrongfully punished. Hard hits are still legal but these refs are completely going to ruin it. Nelson got run over by the endzone, no flag, terrible call. Many games will be lost due to bad officiating if we wait any longer.

  16. Still waiting for the replacement refs to flub a coin toss like the original ‘pros’ have done in the past . It doesn’t get any worse than that, and I don’t care how much the replacement refs goof up in a meaningless preseason game.

  17. Everyone omplained that the refs always suck, now everyone gets new refs and still complain! No matter who the refs are coaches, players,media and fans will always complain!

  18. I love when the players yap about the safety. You do know you are the ones playing, right. If you care about safety don’t lead with the crown of your helmet. If your so worried about safety just tackle the guy with the ball instead of trying to knock him out of the game. The replacement refs are not good for the safety of the game crap is just that. CRAP.

  19. We all complained plenty about the REGULAR officials the past few years, I think we should just give the replacements a bit of a learning curve.

    We’re all giving the “regular” refs far too much credit here.

  20. At least the replacement refs haven’t blown a Super Bowl like Bill Leavy did.

    I thought so many of these players were in disagreement with Goodell and the league when it comes to the increased protection of the players.

    Shouldn’t they welcome an opportunity to play the game the way they think it should be played?

    If the NFL top 100 tells us anything it’s that the players suffer from a lot of group think, they are just marching to the beat of everybody else’s drum.

  21. If the players want to make a stand about safety and force the owners hands why not do this:

    Each teams offense goes out and takes a qb kneel. Every team. This way the owners can’t sue for breach of contracts etc because the game is technically being played.

    See how kindly the owners take to that when the tv networks are going ballistic

  22. Gee,the players union is crying for the refs union. Just like when the players went out on strike, the refs will find out fans cheer for the game more than individuals.The names always change on the field.
    Regular refs screw up games every week, these replacements will get better. Wait, does this mean we’ll miss the ref who ended a players career by ruining his eyesight with by throwing a flag into his eye? darn the luck…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.