Replacement refs embarrass the NFL on Monday Night Football

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There’s no sugar-coating it: The replacement officials working Monday Night Football are an embarrassment.

In an ugly first quarter that lasted a full hour, the officials showed themselves to be completely incapable of keeping a game moving and keeping up with the fast-paced, stressful job that is officiating in the NFL.

In what may have been the single biggest display of incompetence so far in this lockout of the NFL referees, there was a six-minute delay late in the first quarter while the officials attempted to straighten out what happened when Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno fumbled and players on both sides were pushing and shoving in a pileup. Players came off the bench to get into the scrum. Coaches came off the sideline to get involved. Players were getting in officials’ faces and yelling at them, and in some cases putting their hands on the officials. The officials seemed totally overwhelmed and unsure how to restore order.

In the end, only one player (Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards, whom the referee referred to as “93 red”) was penalized, and no one was ejected. It’s a mystery why other players weren’t penalized. In particular, why wasn’t Broncos center J.D. Walton ejected for grabbing an official and pulling him away from the pile?

It also wasn’t clear that the Falcons actually recovered the fumble — the Broncos looked like they jumped on it — although the fact that the officials might have awarded possession to the wrong team became a side issue in the chaos that ensued.

The pileup after the Moreno fumble was only the most glaring of several instances in which it was clear that the officials didn’t have control over the game. At another point, Broncos coach John Fox screamed at the officials and appeared to get a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct, but the officials picked up the flag and didn’t explain why they hadn’t enforced the penalty. There was also a penalty on the Broncos for hitting Matt Ryan after he slid — which was the right call, although the flag only came out after the Falcons started complaining and the crowd started grumbling. Officials need to look like they’re swift, decisive and immune to outside influence, not like they’re influenced by people yelling at them.

Since I started here by calling the replacement officials an embarrassment, let me conclude by making clear that they’re not an embarrassment to themselves — they’re doing the best they can at a hard job they were thrown into with too little training. No, they’re an embarrassment to Roger Goodell and the NFL owners, who are allowing underqualified and unprepared people to tarnish a great league.

182 responses to “Replacement refs embarrass the NFL on Monday Night Football

  1. Roger Goodell and the owners including Jerry Jones who has consistently claimed they were doing an adequate job, just don’t GET IT. They make millions but are too cheap to restore the pensions they axed for the refs. Dumb and dumber.

  2. well spoken but if this regular refs the nfl would still appoint bottom of line crews to nfc vs afc games. The best crews are assigned to afc vs afc and nfc vs nfc games. it’s common knowledge.

  3. Bring back the refs already… Yeah they made mistakes but at least they did it expeditiously!!! I feel myself getting old waiting on them to make a call.

  4. It’s funny you bring up the late flag due to the grumbling. In the Bills-Chiefs game a chief receiver got hurt apparently by hitting his head on the ground while getting legally tackled – but since he got hurt they decided to throw a flag for a hit to the head!

  5. Don’t blame the replacement official’s for the job they are doing! They are doing the best they can do for a quicker and faster pace game then what they are use too.
    If you want to blame anyone blame the official’s that are locked out. They are the ones that put these poor officials in this situation they are in.

  6. The headline is incorrect: it should say, “Players and coaches use replacement refs as excuse to act like crybabies.”. It’s now “monkey see, monkey do” with the players. They saw other players act out like 2nd graders with a substitute teacher yesterday and they are following along. When these replacements are gone, the players like Flacco won’t have them to distract from their awful play and ESPN won’t have them to avoid talking about the elephant in the room, that Manning’s arm is gone he’s now somewhere just below Chad Pennington in arm strength.

  7. How did it come to this?? The NFL thought it could just wait out the regular officials but it is not the case. It is an embarrassment to the NFL, not because of what they’re putting out there but the fact that the regular officials are sitting at home laughing right now.

  8. For the first time in about 50 years, I did not watch the NFL this weekend. The owners continue to ruin this game. I’m done til the refs come back. These replacements are trying like Hell … but this is a disaster. This is an NFL death spiral and the owners only are squarely to blame.

  9. If the regular refs would accept the fair offer then we wouldn’t have this problem. But they want to be able to keep bad refs from being fired so screw them and every other union.

  10. This is getting hard to watch. The league deserves blame but why spare the locked out officials? They seem to have a reasonable package of benefits and the league reportedly upped their offer by a million dollars.

    I think the NFL, the owners and Roger Goodell deserve blame I just don’t understand why the locked out officials get a pass. They were not working under unfavorable conditions or anything, being an NFL official is a pretty good part time job.

  11. “We care deeply about player safety.”

    Which is why you allow referees with little training at the pro level to officiate games? I mean, I completely understand that the regular refs aren’t perfect, but at least they command respect from majority of the players and coaches in the league. These guys out here just look overwhelmed and at times, completely confused. I have nothing against the replacement refs, as they are trying their hardest and taking on a very difficult task. My problem is with Roger Goodell and the NFL for allowing this to happen. Guess they’re more concerned with clearing their name with Vilma, the Saints, and shady evidence.

  12. “It’s as if they’re putting their worst replacements on primetime, because the games I’ve watched on Sundays have been soundly officiated.”

    You obviously didn’t watch the Eagles – Ravens game. They didn’t know where to spot the ball on at least a half dozen occasions, ran time off the clock when time should have been stopped, missed obvious calls and made phantom calls. BRUTAL!!!

  13. trbowman says: Sep 17, 2012 10:13 PM

    Also, pretty amusing to hear Jon Gruden talk about Michael Turner. He clearly hasn’t watched him play the last year and a half.

    Have you seen the HBO Real Sports interview with him? I guarantee Gruden has watched every game the Falcons have played the past few seasons over the course of this summer and in the week leading up to this game. He might be overly positive from time to time but one thing is for sure, Jon Gruden is certifiably insane when it comes to watching tape.

  14. The flag wasn’t for unsportsmanlike conduct from Fox, it was because they didn’t think he could challenge 12 men on the field.

  15. This entire game should be accompanied by clown music. I cannot believe what I am seeing. What a an absolute and complete farce. Goodel should be fired.

  16. The refs yesterday embarassed the NFL too. The Philly/Balt game was horrible. Philly mauled the Ravens’ receivers all day..

    Feel sorry for these replacement guys because they are all in over their heads.. They are trying and doing their best, but the NFL has put them in an impossible situation. They are not trained, nor have the experience for this stage.

  17. Can’t wait for the regular refs to get back, then there will be no complaints and everything will be absolutely perfect!

  18. I didn’t put the game on tonight and boy am I glad.

    A new program on NBC called Revolution is pretty good and is likely to give Monday Night Football a run for its money.

  19. Mr. Commissioner,

    Please get a deal done. Enough is enough. You made your point. Replacements did what they could but don’t let the game we all love to be a sideshow. It should be about competitive football.

  20. Anyone notice on the 4th and 1 play, the ball was at the Atlanta 42 yard line and they called a defensive holding, which is a 5 yard penalty, and these idiots gave Denver the ball 1st and 10 on the Atlanta 32? I’m no math whiz but I thought 42-5=37 not 32.

  21. fcs34 says:
    Sep 17, 2012 10:30 PM
    This entire game should be accompanied by clown music. I cannot believe what I am seeing. What a an absolute and complete farce. Goodel should be fired.


    What he said. Goodell has to go for making the NFL a spectacle.

  22. Knowing that they’re replacements, the players and coaches are getting on top of them for every call. So everyone overreacts to every call from the replacements. They’re making mistakes, no doubt. But given their level of experience, they’re doing a pretty good job.

  23. Maybe it’ll make a good movie someday. With Adam Sandler as a clueless line judge, who just wants to get back to his ice cream truck.

    In the meantime, thanks ESPN for not live feeding the game! Nice to read about it, at least.

  24. But Roger said they were performing “admirably”. The commish would not lie or exagerate about anything. I mean, he’s the damned commish for Chrissakes!

  25. Mr. Smith…. Expect a letter outlining the reason for your fine from King Goodell.
    He may even enforce a suspension for… Something or other.

  26. “A new program on NBC called Revolution is pretty good and is likely to give Monday Night Football a run for its money.”

    Now that’s funny. The game could be officiated by Helen Keller (and it looks like it is) and still beat anything on NBC, ever.

  27. I can’t believe some of you are still defending this circus. You really hate unions so bad that you’ll defend incompetence over competence on principle? Isn’t valuing competence over union status the whole argument AGAINST unions? Yet here you are valuing union status over competence…just in the opposite direction.

  28. So a bunch of players rush the field and look like children getting into a huge brawl and you blame the refs? I’m sorry but if 106 of the finest tuned athletes in the world wanted to get into a brawl no set of officials could stop them(espically a bunch of 70 year old men)

  29. Finally the media has actually noticed the refs have been terrible for the past two weekends they haven’t gotten any better they may have gotten worse so everyone who says as the refs get more experience they will be better clearly it’s not working not for their lack of trying either.

  30. SCABS not refs …these guys don’t have a clue about the NFL Game. SCABS for life. No real man should take another mans job. Rich getting richer from forced cheep labor. Our jobs could be next!!

  31. heygfy says:Sep 17, 2012 10:15 PM

    Thanks for that last paragraph. These guys didn’t ask to be in this situation…give them a break!

    Ummm…these scabs took the job. How did they not ask to be in this situation?

  32. Everyone should be happy. This type of game on MNF is exactly what is needed to embarrass the league and get them to cave. The regular officials will be back soon, hopefully.

  33. I blame the coaches and players as much as the officials. They showed complete disrespect getting in the officials faces like that, what were the replacement refs supposed to do? Start flagging everyone? Start tossing people? John Fox and the players would never have been so disrespectful to the regular refs..

  34. So….they gave the Broncos 6 free yards, according to the MNF crew, on the last drive.

    This is turning into boxing – zero faith in the calls and judgements being made.

    Makes it hard to enjoy the game.

  35. its a dam shame that we have to subject are best athleates to preform under the worst situation these players deserve better . there lives are on the line each and every play! And this is now a game of survial and the leauge will have blood on their hands if the refs are not brought back you greedy bastureds

  36. You all just don’t get it… The ref was so ahead of everyone, he used RED as slang for R(ay)ED(wards)… These refs are lightyears ahead of the rest of us…

  37. The replacement officials are not the entire issue. The problem is the commentators that have talked the replacement officials down to where everyone thinks there idiots. Yes there have been bad calls, but handle them within the frame of the game. The players and coaches are the worst of all. The players are acting like kids with a substitute teacher. Come on guys I thought this was the National Football League of Professional Players. Not from what I have seen so far. The players are engaging opposing coaches and team sidelines and starting fights that they would not be starting in a usual situation.

    I blame the coaches for not having better control of their teams and allowing the players to try to over run the officials. The coaches also are to blame for the long stoppages during games. Each team knows if the call is incorrect that they can challenge in most instances. But the coaches have taken it upon themselves to work the replacement officials for twenty minutes to sway the opinion for them, then the opposing coach does the same to get his story in.

    Roger Goodell has to step in and tell these coaches and teams to get control of their players and let these replacement officials do the best they can. The commentators have turned the players and coaches against the replacemenet officials and the constant badgering of officials now have the fans involved in the official hating process to. If Roger Goodell and the NFL are not going to strike a deal with the original officials anytime soon then he surely needs to address the teams and players about conduct. If the coaches cant control the players how is any official going to original or replacemnet. Sure throw flags to tone down the issues but in two weeks I have seen player behavior get worse and worse.

    Bottomline, at the end of the day its just a football game, A game that I love but the officials were asked to be here, they deserve a little help.

  38. Yes the refs are mess tonight.

    But no it is not entirely Goodell and the NFL’s fault. Just because the union wanted more money and benefits does not mean they deserve what they are wanting.

    Part of the blame goes with the men demanding more then they should be paid.

  39. When do we stop blaming the inexperienced refs and start putting the blame where it lies…the mediocre regular refs who refuse to except a more than fair contract. They, like everyone else need to be held accounted for their poor job performance but refuse to accept responsibility for horrific calls they make and THAT IS WHY there is no deal. We are all held accountable at our professions and why should refs be any different; why should we award mediocrity? Just like the teachers…stop expecting job entitlements. Your paid for performanc, your not entitled to anything else. Damn unions have destroyed this country, the job market, the economy and now the NFL!

  40. This just moronic. Damn near ruining the game over a $3 million drop in the bucket. THIS IS THE SAME LEAGUE THAT GAVE DREW BENNETT $18 MILLION FOR GOD’S SAKE!

  41. So it’s a “great league” full of players who break the rules and get into fights, coaches without enough self-control to keep from getting involved, and teams who generally whine and complain about the refs whenever they have some embarrassing play of their own to excuse?

    What the replacement refs first revealed is how little difference there is between them and the supposed pros. What they’re starting to reveal now is what a bunch of screwups the players, and to an extent coaches, are.

    Is it really a “great league” when it’s full of immature borderline cheaters who can’t police themselves?

  42. It will only get worse. The replacements are lame ducks with no real authority who demand no real respect.
    The NFL is a highly competitive game, with all the players and coaches looking for an edge. A copy cat league, and teams are seeing how playing “chippy” has it’s benefits and no real downside as the replacement officals don’t want to, or don’t know how to control the game.

    Teams will continue to push the envelope and test the replacments until someone gets seriously injured.

    It’s not a pay to injure “bounty” system, but it’s just as bad……The leagues thinking here is, lets not pay the regular officials until something really bad happens, like someone getting hurt.

  43. OK…this is horrific! Giving Denver 5 or 6 extra yards on a penalty, then shorting Atlanta on a penalty. The “administrator” having to stop the game from upstairs and get it straightened out! All this while teams are trying to run no huddle offenses! TELL US ROGER …….ARE THE REPLACEMENTS STILL DO A GOOD JOB?

  44. And just yesterday, a lot of PFT commenters were defending the replacement refs…even though in Week One they screwed up all over the place, including giving the Seahawks an extra time-out because THEY DIDN’T KNOW THE RULES.

    And tonight, now that they’re demonstrating over and over again that they do not know the rules, we get a near-total change. Are most of you spoon-fed and roll over on command or what?

  45. Im not going to argue for one side or the other here. Officials should be held accountable, and the owners have the dough. With that being said.

    Its time to make the change. Im not watching the game, but it seems these refs, are easily intimidated. Come next Sunday, you can bet other teams will be trying to use fear as a factor to get their way.

    Its time to make a change.

  46. To whoever said the refs didn’t ask for this: they accepted the job and are getting paid, so they get what they get. Or, more importantly, the teams and fans get what they get. Period.

  47. Personally, the only one’s I see embarrassing themselves and their organization from a conduct standpoint – is the Denver Bronco’s, and the NFL media in general.

    John Fox ripping the replacement ref’s??? Really John? Your team has FOUR TURNOVERS. Why don’t you rip that? However rough a night the ref’s are having.. they are performing their job MUCH better than Peyton Manning is tonight.

    In my honest opinion, several high profile NFL media guys (including this site) have incited their viewers/readers over the replacement ref’s from day 1. Should be interesting if the hyping of hate inciting stories continues when the “real” refs return. <– Don't hold your breath.

  48. puh-lease…..

    the officials have been getting the bulk of the calls right. they’ll gain more confidence and control over time.

    after two weeks, they’ve been doing their job fine for the most part and no one can point to an injury that is a direct result of an official’s screw up.

    there is nothing stopping the league from fining players this week over the scrum and/or physical contact with an offical tonight.

    this whining about the replacements is getting old and tired all ready.

  49. i just watched an incomplete pass to a falcon and the HC started yelling for an interference call. no flag. this theory that players or coaches are berating officials into pulling a flag out is bunk.

  50. When will some of you fans come to realize that whatever comes out of Roger Go0dell’s mouth is verbal diarrhea?!?!?

    This guy has ZERO credibility with the fans that actually get it. If you ask me he is sort of like Gary Bettman This guy is oblivious just like Jerry Jones, a cancer overall on the NFL, and it is only a matter of time before we get to watch him manage his own demise.

    Roger Goodell’s priority’s are simple.
    1) Money for the owners.
    2) Money for the NFL,
    3) Florio’s crafty hairstyle.
    4A) Pretending he cares about player safety.
    4b) Lawyers.
    5) pretending to like NFL fans or listen to NFL fans issues regarding soaring ticket prices and the cost to take a family of 4 to a NFL game.

    Now Goodell and the NFL have the audacity to explain to us fans that the Ref are doing a admirable job!?!? WHEN will some of fans actually wake up and smell this idiot’s BS!

    Just my 2 cents.

  51. The new refs have been bad but I dont think the regular refs are laughing to the bank. Sitting at home with only the hope of getting your cushy 150k part time job back cant be fun. Laughing with tears in their eyes…maybe.

  52. Y’all forget one thing..

    The replacement officials, no matter how much they screw up, doesn’t make a difference.

    As long we keep spending money on tickets and beer and pretzels and concessions and hats and jerseys etcetera, the NFL owners will be happy.

    The single biggest influence will be the loss of incoming money. If that happens, THEN we’ll see a change.

    Until that happens, the owners will be happy with the profit margin.

  53. At some point, the calculation must become as follows for the NFL:

    X — Amount saved on cheaper version (NFL version) of NFLRA contract


    Y — Money lost through:
    — lost advertising time/programming paid for (they can’t run adds during a 6 minute impromptu break at the end of 1st quarter…and that’s not cheap airtime).
    — money lost in settlement for concussions when players (rightfully) accuse the NFL of being cheap when hiring the guys who are supposed to keep everyone safe.
    — headache from the first owner who loses the game because of a blown call.

    If X>Y, keep stonewalling. If X<Y, give the real refs what they want. After tonight, I gotta think Y is getting a lot bigger.

  54. Oh boy get ready for a thousand crying babies Falcon’s fans. You just faked an injury to stop the hurry up. As a Giants fan I should know. The only difference is now people will pretend that only the Falcons and Giants fake an injury to stop the hurry up.

  55. The officiating has been horrible for years. It’s just that people are paying closer attention to it now.

    Out of fairness, I hope the media continues to publicly bash bad officiating once this is lockout is settled.

  56. Tonight was the first time that I’ve ever turned off a Monday Night Football game early in the 40 years that I’ve been watching. At halftime I turned off the game and found something better to do with my time. I sure hope that the owners and commish get their acts together and get some real officials back on the field. I officiated high school football for a number of years and I can honestly say that my old crew could have done a better job than what I saw on the field tonight.

  57. Denver had a horrible first quarter, but the dregs of the night have been the refs. How can you miss so many calls right in front of your eyes (and make so many phantom calls). It’s no fun to watch a game marred by unprofessional refs. At the beginning of the season I was indifferent to this labor dispute, and really, I could care less how much the refs get paid and what benefits they get, but the NFL has to do what it takes to make sure there are quality refs on the field. And shame on the league for ordering the coaches mot to complain when their teams are getting shafted. It’s clear too that the announcers have been told not to discuss the officiating.

  58. I don’t think anyone can fathom the amount of sugar required to “sugar coat” this one.

    The purchase alone could be enough to help the economy kick start and revive itself.

    If Goddell proceeds with the replacement refs for week 3, it will be a slap to the face of everyone and anyone watching this sport. This league can no longer consider itself professional football going forward unless the old refs come back.

    This was a train wreck.

  59. They need to investigate these guys to ensure that they are not Falcons fans. The officiating has been HIGHLY slanted in Atlanta’s favor, on top of it being probably the worst I’ve seen all season.

  60. I hear lots of anti union talk that is just hating for people who clearly don’t understand. I can tell because the ignorantly speak of unions as a group…as if they are all the same. That is simply false. Every union has a uniquely negotiated collective bargaining agreement in which both parties have agreed to terms…or they have been ruled on by an independent arbitrator.

    The more relevant point is that it is clear that everyone who thinks officiating the NFL is a cushy part time job clearly does not understand the amount of effort required to be good at it. I don’t know how many hours they are putting in…..but it’s pretty clear this job is also not as easy as people think. I’m pretty sure that is evident now. The NFL just signed a groundbreaking, monumental deal….and they do it regularly. I agree….they pretty much print money and still have all of you convinced the refs are greedy. Are any of the refs billionaires?? I don’t think so… I’m of the opinion that there is plenty of cash to go around. The greedy ones are pretty exposed here….and it isn’t the officials. Just my opinion.

  61. The performance of all concerned is there to see. To call and manage a NFL game is really a tough and demanding job. The mockery that is being perpetrated before us should be rubbed into the faces of the NFL, players, coaches, and locked out officials. No friendly media interviews.

  62. petedutcher says: Sep 17, 2012 10:35 PM

    Refs were horrid during the Bucs – Giants game as well. Both teams played dirty in my book…and I’m a Bucs fan, lol.

    Nope, just the Bucs secondary.

  63. I can’t believe I’m going to say this… But the NFLPA needs to take legal action against the NFL, if anything that is sane proved in the Moreno fumble where coaches are restraining players from fighting each other in which it took 6-minutes to come up with a conclusion?! Coaches?!

    That is a perfect example where the replacement officials, not by their own physical actions but the fact they lost control of the players on the field can cause a legitimate injury to a player for not keeping everything in control.

    It’s terrible, I hope the NFLPA gets a bug up their asses and really take to the owners right now if people are going to be put in harms way.

    P.S. I wonder how an 18-game schedule is for players safety, or how about “Heads Up” USA Football spear-headed by Goodell but going on a crusade about “bounty” hunting. The NFL Owners care about profits, nothing else… Player Safety? Pssh… Doesn’t exist in this league. Every fan should be angry including the player employees.

  64. Frankly I wasn’t as upset at first because the game was a blowout.

    But then the Broncos engineered a comeback, and frankly, the refs cost them the game. One fumble was clearly recovered by the Broncos and given to the Falcons, and there was a terrible phantom PI on Tony Carter v Julio Jones that extended a drive and lead to a score.

    If either of those things hadn’t happened, Denver wins…


  65. Keep the officials. The striking officials are asking for too much.

    This game was bad. Most of the games have been just as good as the regular refs.

  66. It’s like the crew from the Saints/Vikes 2009 NFC Championship Game are reffing every game, every week now. Blown/phantom calls determining the outcome of every game.

  67. How about having all of the players wear Video game/Movie suits underneath their jerseys and add more cameras on the field to videotape the plays. The cameras would relay all info to the IBM super computer in the booth to monitor every player and that will be the end to human refs. Penalty flags would be sewn within the jerseys and dropped immediately if deemed so.

  68. The NFL is making a big, big mistake here. Pay the men, there is more than enough money for everyone involved. The refs are officiating hugely popular games played by large, fast and violent men, watched and wagered upon by millions of people. It’s a highly specialized skill set and it deserves to be compensated as such. Keep using these largely un-vetted, inexperienced and overwhelmed scab refs and eventually it will affect the outcome of a vital game. It’s not “if”, it’s “when”. Risking a blow to the sport’s credibility is not worth the money they’re saving.

  69. The only way i see the real refs coming back is when the replacement refs waste five minutes talking about a penalty, then pick up the flag and announce “there is no penalty on the previous play.” Then the umpire throws a flag calls delay of game on ” Side Judge , #00, a Safety will be awarded to each team, now call it in the air!” *Flips Coin*

  70. The thing with these refs isn’t so much the calls that get missed it’s the total lack of control they have in the game. The replacements need to start standing up for themselves and have some self respect. It’s embarrassing to watch them just get bullied and manipulated by everyone.

  71. I think it’s time for both coaches and players start speaking up regardless of the fines the NFL dishes out. Like Steve Young mentions in the ESPN post game report the NFL has not vested interested in protecting the players. This is chaos, and out of control!! Something bad is really going to happen!

  72. “I see a lot of people are down about my decision making skills lately concerning the ref situation.
    How does a big glass of suspensions topped off with some lost draft picks for your team sound to cheer you up?

    Just remember, integrity of the pocketboo-, I mean game, is most important.”

  73. It’s actually the NFL that’s laughing all the way to the bank because they’re using these under-experienced and under-paid refs and people are still buying tickets and watching on TV!

    Who is holding the league accountable? The refs suck- that’s obvious, and the league knows it. But the NFL is saving money by cutting the pensions and haven’t had a problem with selling seats (yet… and I doubt they will any time soon).

    What do you do with a bad product, with a greedy company? Don’t buy it!

  74. I like the replacements. I think the game is way more exciting now, plus they seem to let a lot more stuff slide than the old ones.

  75. I was in Green Bay week 1 for the 49er s game and it was a terribly called game. Week 2 I was in St Louis for the Redskins game and it was the worst called game that Ive ever seen, three times worst than than the niners game. Tonight, I was in my mancave and the game simply became unwatchable, fantasy stats be damned. I bailed at half time. The NFL has become a joke with lock outs, bounty gates, law suits and a rogue commish.

  76. There were so many screw-ups in the Pats / Cards game I just lost count and figured “they will screw it up evenly for both sides.”

    DB’s are holding like crazy, but at least both sides seem to be getting away with it.

  77. I would like to know why there was not more questioning or an article on the Pats losing a game because of a bogus holding call. I think because Gostkowski missed the fg at the end it got lost in the shuffle? Did that call not influence the outcome of a game and probably cost the Pats downs the road in possible playoff seeding?

  78. “Replacement refs embarrass the NFL…”

    Really? I’d say the behaviour of the players and coaches did that. Would they have been racing on to the field at the fumble if the regular refs were in charge? Shameful.

  79. Yes, the refs cannot handle these sorts of games and need to be replaced by real refs. But, that hardest part for me on Monday night is Mr. repeat just what happened like you predicted it Gruden. Even if what he says happened isn’t what is shown on HIS replay. I begged last year for someone to hire him but no one with an ounce of sense would want to listen to him in executive meetings.

  80. Only games I watched were this one, Bal-Phi, and Was-Stl this week. All three games were a joke. I’ve never seen anything like it, even in high school. Where did they find these guys?

  81. Meanwhile, former player announcers don’t know the rules of the game they have spent their entire adult life playing/calling. They should be locked out.

  82. It’s funny how the NFL’s response to the officials being awful in the preseason was to put “administrators” on the sidelines to babysit them when they aren’t doing things correctly. Last night was an absolute puppet show, and far too long of one at that.

    Unfortunately, it won’t even be a blip on Goodell’s radar. Punishing the part-time employees not because he needs the money but because he knows he can do it if he wants to takes clear precedence over the integrity of the game. If there is any statement made about this, it will be of the “move along, nothing to see here” variety.

  83. Considering we are talking about the group of millionaires who actually used replacement PLAYERS, I dont expect them to be concerned about back up referees.

  84. Roger Goodell and Gary Bettman (NHL) are two of the worst commissioners I’ve ever seen and they’re both driving their sports into the ground. They should both be dumped.

  85. Dear Roger Goddell,

    Please work out a deal with the regular refs. The current product I’m seeing on TV is not the high quality football we have been accustomed to watching. It is maddening to have to watch a football game for close to FOUR hours. You need to do something about this. You say that the replacement refs are doing admirably, and they are, but that doesn’t mean that the quality is there.

    Lets us not forget that EVERY single person involved in the NFL is replaceable, you included. That doesn’t mean you replace someone and expect things to be the same. Remember how replacement players worked out? Not so good.

    You seem to be the kind of guy that genuinely cares about the product being put out. Currently your product stinks. Bring back the regular refs. Pay them what they want. Its literally pennies compared to the NFL’s total worth. Do this soon, or you will start to lose the demographic that really matters.

    Concerned Fan

  86. This great game has been going down the tubes well before the new crappy refs. Bottom line is the old refs DO NOT DESERVE A RAISE. No matter how bad the replacements do.

  87. I love the union shilling. No call for the old refs to drop their unrealistic demands. No, just hammerin’ on “da man”. The bias that comes through in the reporting on this site is pretty clear. And it’s unfortunate. I’d say I expect better, but a few years of reading this site make it clear that it’s par for the course. Handfuls of good content wrapped by loads of agenda…

  88. While they do make plenty of mistakes the main difference that I see is these replacement ref’s don’t play favoritism with the so call “good teams” and the QB darlings of the NFL. To say the regular officials are not biased one way or the other towards certain teams/players is a blatant lie. The regular refs would never have allowed precious Peyton to throw 3 INTs in a row without coming up with some phantom holding or off sides call. The replacement refs are fair.

  89. If the regular refs would accept the fair offer then we wouldn’t have this problem. But they want to be able to keep bad refs from being fired so screw them and every other union.

    Who are you to decide what’s fair? Do you even know any of the details? I doubt it.

  90. Yes the Refs did a bad job they did a bad job all over the NFL this weekend

    But it was not that long ago that the real Refs did a really bad job when the Giants played GB and every call every ball went to GB and that was one of the best crews.
    So lets all agree that maybe we need less body’s on the feild and more eyes in the sky the games should be call from a booth were every play can be seen from all over.
    Also how about a micro chip in the ball and sensors at the goal line so that we do not have to wait five minutes everytime a TD is scored.

    The tech to do all of the above is there just not being used lets use the tech get these guys off the turf out of the way and keep the game moving this could be done with one man on the turf and one on each sideline if there is a fight the coach has two minutes to break it up or his team faces a fine in the million dollar range.

    Now for all you card carrying union mouths just because the NFL has the money it does not mean they have to give it away to a bunch of part time workers. Whats next the stadium works think because there is a big profit that the team should pay them big bucks.

    That whole idea did not work the wall came down there is a clown in DC with the same mind set this idea is not helping its sending jobs over seas.

    Businesses do not exist to pay the masses they exist to make money and make the owners or stockholders money not the hired help

  91. So, with the bad calls (the fumble recovery that was shown in the hands of a Bronco to start and a Bronco at the finish, in particular), can we say that we’ve had the first game where we can argue the outcome was changed by the crappy ref work?

  92. So, Roger Goodell and the owners want the referees to take a pay cut and lose some benefits, despite the record profits that the league is enjoying. With reports that Goodell’s salary is somewhere between $10 and $20 million a year, he could take a pay cut, redirect that money to make up the difference with the referees, and still take home more money than most people see in a lifetime…every year.

    Worse than that, I think, is the proposal to convert the referees to full-time. Since they only officiate one game a week, I don’t see how keeping them on the payroll full-time will improve their performance. It seems to me that this is merely an attempt to gain leverage on the referees. By cutting out their outside sources of income, the referees become more dependent on the NFL, which would allow the league to force more concessions on them.

    This, to me, is the greed and arrogance of Roger Goodell and the owners, unfiltered. I’ve just about given up on the league because of this and other issues, and I wouldn’t be surprised if others feel the same way.

  93. Dolphin fan here. The ref’s did not cause the Dolphins to get blown out by the Texans and the ref’s did not cause the Dolphins to blow out the Raiders. In other words I’ve been saying that the new ref’s were not that bad. The ref’s in this game were atrocious, plain and simple. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a total lack of control officiating and controlling a game at any level. It goes back to a very basic concept, you get what you pay for in everything in life. Bring em back NFL, bring em Back.

  94. These refs are definitely worse than the regular refs who make their share of mistakes and questionable calls. But you know what, I’m still watching the games and so are you, that’s why the NFL doesn’t care. If the ratings start to decline because of the officiating, then the leverage shifts to the real refs. Until then, the NFL still has all the leverage.

  95. Sorry, but I can’t agree. This isn’t the first time an NFL game has lasted longer than it should have due to on-the-field fights over the football.

    The league has the upper hand here, and unless and until these refs start directly influencing the outcomes of several (not just one or two) games, the league isn’t going to cave on this. I’m not saying its right, but it is reality. And it’s not like hords of fans are going to turn off the games because of the refs.

    If baseball survived the steroids scandal, the NFL will survive (and thrive) during the refs lockout.

  96. This lockout is just mind blowing,its like bad parents locking their children out of the house for trying to get a few extra cookies out of a monstrous sized filled cookie jar. just as those extra cookies would never be missed from the huge cookie jar so too the money taken from the NFLs monstrous piggy bank (filled with million dollar bills) to get the regular referees back on the field where they belong,this isnt about the money for the NFL its about the audacity that those considered peons by Goodell and the owners are asking for more of it.just pay them already,they earn it every game day.

  97. Game was 10-0 after 3 picks thrown by manning with Broncos driving to Atlanta 30 yard line, Moreno fumble was the dagger.

    It was clear the Broncos covered it – not sure it changes the outcome, but it would have been a different game if the Broncos could have weathered 3 picks and just been down 10-7.

  98. Goodell is ruining the NFL!! All that is talked about every week is Bounty case this and replacement refs that. Mike Ditka, tell him…. STOP IT!!! Its a crying shame this is what he has done to this great product. I want to talk about FOOTBALL and what’s on the field. How teams in week 1 flopped in week 2. PLEASE GIVE ME FOOTBALL BACK! Goodell, GO AWAY!!!

  99. The palyers and coaches as well embarrassed the NFL last night. The coaches had been warned about treatment of officials. The Bronco coaches were way out of line and all the excess crap after plays by the players, shoud be addressed by the league. The easy out is point fingers at these refs.

  100. The regular refs are just as much to blame for this embarrassment as the league. If they would agree to a fair compromise, this wouldn’t be happening. The NFL has already offered to increase their pay, the owners just want more flexibility and accountability from their refereeing crews. The owners would also like to freeze their pensions and move them to 401K plans like most regular NFL employees (hell, most AMERICAN employees) have.

    It makes no sense for the league to give into the referee demands. The replacements will improve as they gain experience, and if the regular refs don’t come to the table and agree to a reasonable deal, they’ll probably find themselves made obsolete. In the meantime, we the fans have to suffer. You can’t put all that suffering on the owners though, nor excuse childlike behavior in the part of the players. There should be fines doled out to any player laying hands on a ref, point blank.

  101. One thing about the bad calls and indecision on the field, it sure adds a bit of comedy to the games where you can sit back and laugh. Oh this isn’t a comedy show – we are not susposed to be laughing at the games. OK, my bad.

  102. It’s been plainly evident for a while that the League doesn’t care. Not about player safety and not about a level playing field. They’ll keep issuing ridiculous statements about the competence of these replacements and they have a certain number of media talking heads who will back them up.
    A large percentage of football fans are emotionally incapable of finding fault with the NFL under any circumstances. Their unconditional love of the product equates criticism of the league as an indirect criticism of themselves. Not to mention the ones who’ve been brainwashed into believing all unions are evil.

  103. Anyone else notice that, while making a personal foul call, the head ref, rather than making the correct arm motion, instead made an arm gesture as if he was leading the conga line during “Hot hot hot!” at a wedding? High comedy!

    Anyway, Steve Young said it best: The NFL doesn’t care. Games are being played, they’re making money, and they just don’t care.

  104. The reg. officials are not much better. I can’t seem to understand all the outrage. Even ehrn the reg officials are on the field they miss calls and blow calls in everygame so whats the differance? i.e. Steelers Super Bowl win vs Seattle. Calvin Johnson game winning TD vs the Bears. Brady’s “tuck rule” vs the Raiders. The imaculate reception by Steelers in the 70’s. The infamous coin toss, I mean how the hell do you blow that??? Do I need to go on?

  105. Its hard to tell if Goodell is more obsessed with greed or power. Even through the recession the league continued to grow and increase their ridiculous revenues but they still want the refs to accept pension cuts. IMO, this just shows that all the talk you hear from Goodell about the integrity of the game is complete PR garbage. He could care less as long as those seats are full.

  106. I’m enjoying every second of this.

    It makes for great drama, plenty of water cooler fodder, and adds a second black eye for Emperor Goodell.

    The Vilma issue was the first black eye and this adds another. Goodell may need to consider early resignation.

    The NFL isn’t suffering now, but if anything can damage the brand, his mistakes during his tenure will be viewed as the catalyst for a potential downfall of the NFL shield.

    Take into consideration a slight possibility less kids may end up playing football since parents will be too concerned about injuries. Add to that the hypocrisy Goodell is showing by using replacement refs and you might have yourself a perfect storm for the NFL losing popularity over the next 10-20 years.

  107. I’ll give the league about another week to get this straightened out. And after that, I’m going to go on strike as a fan and stop watching for a while. I want my NFL football back – not Goodell’s endless set of soap operas – Bountygate, Ref strikes, etc. The only way the ego of Goodell is going to get put in check is if the NFL has some proof (ratings and attendance decline) that they can’t give the fans an inferior product.

    The statements talking about how great the replacement refs are is what gets me more angry than anything else. They think we’re stupid.

  108. The NFL should suspend Ray “Boom Boom” Edwards for a game after that fact – he threw at least two punches.

  109. They also seem to be unable to pay attention to the play clock and game clock. Way too many late snaps and calls that affect game. Like the fact that the first quarter was over in the 9’ers game. That pass interference call never should have happened, although judging by the Lion’s third down D they probably would have scored anyway….

  110. khuxford says: Sep 18, 2012 8:05 AM

    So, with the bad calls (the fumble recovery that was shown in the hands of a Bronco to start and a Bronco at the finish, in particular), can we say that we’ve had the first game where we can argue the outcome was changed by the crappy ref work?

    The amount of fouls (offensive line holding, defensive pass interference/illegal contact) that Dallas got away with the first game of the season was the first game where the outcome was changed.

    Last night was probably the 11th or 12th.

  111. What are you talking about — “give these guys a break. They did not ask for it”. They most certainly did. They applied for a position that they knew they were totally unqualified for. They are not only embarassing the NFL, they are embarassing themselves as well. They will never advance beyond the current college (high school) level they were working. If they had any rspect for the game, they would immediately resign as they know they can’t handle the job they applied for

  112. I know that the replacement refs are having a hard time but at least they are there, they will get better over time. I cannot just not show up for my job, I would get fired. I say just tell the regular refs that they will not be coming back and train the new ones, ala the air traffic controllers back in the day. Screw em.

  113. I also agree with mckissack11 – and i’m a former air traffic controller who got his job because of the strike. And does anybody else feel like Michaels and Collinsworth are in the ref’s union’s hip pocket? I mean, come on . . . can we maybe hear some commentary about the FOOTBALL GAME?!?!

  114. mckissack11 says: Sep 18, 2012 7:14 PM

    I know that the replacement refs are having a hard time but at least they are there, they will get better over time. I cannot just not show up for my job, I would get fired. I say just tell the regular refs that they will not be coming back and train the new ones, ala the air traffic controllers back in the day. Screw em.

    Will you people PLEASE stop trying to compare apples (pro sports unions) and oranges (your 9-5!!!)

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