Scott Fujita on refs: “What the league is doing, it’s a joke”

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Browns linebacker Scott Fujita is currently embroiled in a dispute with the league over whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will suspend him for three games for involvement in bounties when Fujita played for the Saints. But that’s not the only beef Fujita has with the league office.

When asked about the lockout of the referees, Fujita first sounded like he was going to avoid the subject, saying, “I have my own battles.” But then Fujita weighed in anyway.

It’s a joke. What the league is doing, it’s a joke,” Fujita told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Look, missed calls and bad calls are going to happen. We’re all going to have to deal with that. But major procedural errors, not understanding the rules — that’s a huge problem.”

Fujita was one of several players in the Browns’ locker room who vented about the officials on Tuesday. Browns receiver Josh Cribbs noted that the NFL holds the players to high standards but doesn’t seem to have the same standards for the officials.

“It makes me angry because we’re asked to do so much — pull our socks up, can’t wear this, gotta do this,” Cribbs said. “I mean, there are so many rules we have to be upheld to. And who upholds the rules for them? Who holds the NFL accountable? . . . Who holds the NFL accountable to maintain the integrity of the game?”

Browns left tackle Joe Thomas said he finds the mistakes frustrating.

“You can tell they miss a lot more calls than normal officials,” Thomas said. “They don’t always administer the penalties the right way. They say the wrong numbers, march off the wrong distance. All these little mistakes like that are obvious.”

The mistakes are obvious. But that doesn’t mean the NFL is willing to spend the money it will take to bring back the regular refs.

19 responses to “Scott Fujita on refs: “What the league is doing, it’s a joke”

  1. Why haven’t we heard anything about how bad the Packer d-back screwed up not batting that ball away instead of trying to intercept it? I always heard they were taught to knock hail marys away instead of intercepting so they don’t have any issues like happened in Seattle.
    Not only was ot a terrible call it was always a terrible play!

  2. Can’t speak for other fanbases, but as a Raider fan I like these refs much better than the old blind real refs.

    With the real refs it’s a penalty every other play. Very frustrating to watch. After watching years of Raider football I probably know every call in the book..every rule, every referee hand signal.

    Those refs could stay locked out.

  3. Am I the only one that doesn’t trust Scott Fujita’s moral compass? Why does this even justify it’s own article?

  4. Hey Scott – Quit complaining about the officials and worry about your mess of a team. You are stealing money with your play and the baggage that you bring is a constant distraction to a team that is in desperate need of leadership. Step up and shut up or go away.

  5. Perhaps he was actually referring to how much the players are trying to cheat on every play as “a joke”. If your kid cheats in school do you blame the teacher? Maybe the players should start looking in the mirror and decide for themselves to actually try and play within the confines of the rules. It’s called integrity. Or, as Fujita would call it, “another stupid rule”.

  6. That holding call on Alex Mack was a joke. Such a questionable call that took away a solid completion to Little.

    The replacements don’t know what holding is and they don’t know when to call pass interference.

  7. I wonder if these guys that are so fed up with the refs would be singing the same tune if the league stated that their paychecks would be 5% less in order to give the refs some more of the pie ? I gaurantee you they would all clam up. It’s easy to say “just pay them” when it’s not your money, morons.

  8. Billsin20xx,

    No one talks about the DB batting the ball down because he caught the freaking ball. Who cares if he didn’t bat the ball down? The officials are squarely to blame for this and because of a series of horrendous calls set themselves up for this scenario. If the refs would have called a penalty on a blatant offensive pass interference in the end zone this doesn’t happen. Non existent roughing the passer penalty that extended the Seahawks drive. Oh and please ask the Titans DB knocked the ball down on a hail mary right into the arms of a Lions receiver how that strategy worked for his team.

  9. Anyone who doesn’t think this is a joke is not being subjective. First the NFL locks out its players all summer – now it’s locking out it’s Refs THE SAME YEAR. This is not a business that seems to care about the product (or the consumer). They just do what they want. It’ll be interesting to see the consequences.

  10. The old refs were just as bad.

    The outcry from uniionized players and unionized media members is simply union guys backing up their union buddies. Yeah, the officials have blown some calls, and it changed the outcome of at least one game. But that happened constantly under the watch of the old union officials, and they are trying to get the NFL to give them lifetime jobs with no accountability. Any business owner would incredibly stupid to agree to something like that.

    Personally, I hope the replacements become the full time refs, and the league throws these union guys out on their backsides for good.

  11. The refs are a joke?????

    There were several occassions of teams sending 10 OR LESS players on the field for plays on Sunday.

    The ‘Super Bowl Contending’ Packers could not protect their quarterback, using 5 offensive linemen, againest a pass rush that, on multiple occassions, rushed 3 defensive lineman, for an entire half.

    QB’s are shoving and yelling at offensive linemen on the bench. “CK2J” could not gain yardage if he was playing againest 1 of those 9-man defenses.

    And we have the usual spectacle of a team (the Jets, what a surprise) looking as if they are celebrating the knocking of a player out of the game.

    And the refs are the only joke worth commenting on by monkey-see monkey-do ‘expert’ commentators.

    I’ll bet you right now that the current refs raise their game before the players, coaches and commentators do.

  12. In response to Josh Cribbs, using replacement officials does not implicate the integrity of the game. The integrity of the game would be affected if, for example, a referee is betting on the games and affecting point spreads (i.e., the NBA & Tim Donaghy). Using replacement officials has, however, certainly affected the quality of the games. Right now, the NFL is offering an inferior product to its fans.

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