Giants concerned replacement refs impacting “integrity” of game


The Giants are like the rest of us — tired of replacement officials.

While coaches and most players have tried to soft-pedal the issue, a number of Giants players laid the blame on the league for letting it get this far.

“There’s no doubt the integrity of the game has been compromised not having the regular officials out there,” Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “We’ve got to get that taken care of.”

Brow-beating the poor saps who had little time to train themselves up from third- or fourth-tier status to the highest level of the game is pointless anymore, and most are tired of it.

That’s why it’s interesting to hear the Giants put it back on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“I am not necessarily mad at the replacement officials,” said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. “I am more upset with the NFL for not handling this and taking care of this in due time.”

The Giants might get a solid crew for their Thursday night prime-time game against the Panthers, but after Monday’s Falcons-Broncos debacle, it’s hard to expect anything but chaos anymore.

And that’s where it becomes an issue for players, who at the end of the day are going to be more worried about their own safety.

“That, I think, has to be the most important thing,” Kiwanuka said. “I don’t think you can levy tens of thousands of dollars, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines in a week against players talking about ‘Player safety this, player safety that’ and not officials who can account for it. Because we’re human at the end of the day and if you let people get away with stuff they’re going to continue to do it.”

“When you look around at some of the calls being missed, player safety is the big issue. If you’re a guy who rushes the passer in certain situations, you want to know that the guys on offense aren’t going to try to take a chop block on you because they know they’re going to get away with it.”

Players are clearly pushing the boundaries, and safety Kenny Phillips said he watched Buccaneers defensive backs “walk Victor Cruz like he was a dog. He had his jersey the whole way up the field and they didn’t call anything.”

At this point, the complaints are interesting, but pointless. The league seems to have dug in on the issue, willing to withstand the criticism in favor of the larger war they want to win.

18 responses to “Giants concerned replacement refs impacting “integrity” of game

  1. Please, give it a rest! The players and the union have placed the “integrity of the game” as high on the list as HGH, that has a much higher probability of long term health effects than any hit seen or unseen that the replacement refs are making!

    No one wants to talk about the greed of the union refs, but Florio had a good article a few weeks back stating, this isnt about the refs. The game is about the teams and the players, the refs are supposed to watch for rules being broken. The regulars screw up 60% as bad as these guys.,

    Give them another 4 or 5 weeks and they will be as good at screwing up as the unions guys.

    Lay off the integrity, the NFLPA and players really have no integrity to be speaking on the subject.

  2. With all the talk about safety and the integrity of the game, everyone is overlooking the most important aspect of Roger’s use of replacement officials. These guys are working cheap. Look at the money Roger is saving. You know what they say, ” A penny saved is a penny earned.”

  3. He makes good points. Mathias Kiwanuka is a well spoken dude.

    Too bad all that player safety talk from the NFL offices is just CYA talk

  4. The Players should go on strike until the real refs are back, it’s the only way to ensure their own safety.

  5. And the integrety of the game was also impacted by the lock out season last season. It hurt some teams more than others. That’s why there is a * next to their championship last year.

  6. Man, I am just flabbergasted that hard line negotiating the pay and benefits for about 120 employees is really worth all the bad press the NFL is getting.

  7. Only thing that will move the NFL is if we all start to vote with our remotes. They will notice ratings dropping.

    If these games move any slower maybe people will.

  8. I’m not tired of the replacement officials, just tired of the media obsessing over it.

    I am tired of the media obsessing over the bounty thing. Its one thing in the offseason, but there’s actual football to cover now. Not sure anyone outside of the media and the saints cares at this point.

    And I am am definitely tired of hearing about the Jets backup qb. Please give THAT a rest.

  9. Roger Goodell believes the NFL is bulletproof. Instead he’s only dodged bullets for two weeks now – once one of these games is actually decided by a replacement ref, then we’ll see how much muscle each side has in this situation.

    The NFL will have a +real+ problem on its hands if a team misses out on the playoffs due to a blown call.

  10. I actually like the scab refs. They don’t call every single ticky tack defensive holding penalty and its refreshing watching WRs actually have to do more of a job than just catch passes.

  11. Yeah the officiating is bad, but then so many of these players are acting like 6th grade boys tormenting a substitute teacher. Only they are trying to get away with horse collars and chop blocks instead of spit-balls.

    If they would play clean and talk clean before during and after the whistle the officiating might not look so bad. A lot of these injuries in games this past weekend are the obvious consequence of both the players and the officials not thinking.

  12. The replacements blow some call on both sides so it pretty much washes out.

    In fact, Sunday late in the game, the Giants benefited from a missed call where the Bucs WR caught a pass on the sideline and was knocked out of bounds. Was called an incomplete pass but really it was a fumble out of bounds. An important call in the game.

  13. How exactly does it impact player safety? I’ve never heard anybody explain it. All refs do are enforce rules AFTER they’re broken.

  14. “Because we’re human at the end of the day and if you let people get away with stuff they’re going to continue to do it.”

    What a telling statement this is. Forget about the fact that all of the players and all of the coaches know the rules that they are intentionally trying to circumvent. Maybe if the coaches would coach integrity during these difficult times with the officials the player safety issue would be less of a concern.

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