Replacement refs can hide now, but not before a Jesus reference


As happy as fans and players and coaches are that regular refs are back, the replacements can at least take a deep breath now, without being national punch lines.

For many, that means a quiet retreat back to high school games tonight, instead of NFL stadiums on Sunday.

“My daughter found the ‘Call Me Maybe’ video they did of us and showed it to me, and I had to laugh,” former replacement ref Jeff Sadorus told Sam Borden of the New York Times. “Honestly, sometimes during this whole thing it felt like the national pastime in this country had changed from football to bashing replacement officials. . . .

“Everyone wanted perfection, but come on: the last guy who was perfect they nailed to a cross. And he wasn’t even an official.”

Flag. Heresy, 15 yards (or, as the case may be, 27).

Officials are prohibited from doing interviews (other than the referee’s pool reports on game days to explain calls), but now that they’re no longer bound to the league, the guys who used to be are fair game.

Sadorus, who works at a food services company near Seattle, called it a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” but one that also came with four months of intensive training, travel and scrutiny. The $3,000 per game checks were balanced by the amount of grief they took.

“We weren’t there to take anyone’s job; we were there to provide a service,” he said. “The games were going to get done by someone. It’s the old saying: without officials, it’s just recess. . . .

“We worked very, very hard. As demonized as we were, I hope people remember that we are people, too.”

That’s true. But they’re also people who made a voluntary decision to do a hard job. If they didn’t think it would be without consequences, they’re as naive as Roger Goodell sounded yesterday saying their bad calls were part of “the beauty of sports.”

16 responses to “Replacement refs can hide now, but not before a Jesus reference

  1. Most people were not really mad at the replacement refs, but at the people in charge who created a situation that made replacement refs a necessity to begin with – mainly Roger Goodell. Just like I wouldn’t be mad if some scrub drops 5 balls in a preseason game – but I would be mad at the coach who’d make him a starter.

  2. i don’t feel sorry for them. They knew they were in over their heads and yet they proceeded anyway.

    The ref who blew the call on Monday night went to an official’s training camp to be a Division I college ref and was told he wasn’t ready. Yet he applies shortly afterwards to be an NFL ref.

    Was he thinking that was going to work out?

  3. I don’t see why you love bashing the officials so much Gantt. They did the best job they could and did they blow calls? Yes. Did they blow a big call? Yes. Have the regular refs? Hell yes.

    In any case, I was on the NFL’s side during the lockout because I believed they should have gotten the power to replace underperforming refs. That was one of the main dividing issues.

  4. This guy’s 100% correct. I was more embarrassed for the media and how pathetic they were in their scrutiny of the replacement ref’s than I was for the ref’s themselves. Yeah, they missed some calls and let some extra shenanigans go on after the whistle, but overall considering the situation, they didn’t do that bad.

    It’s amazing how quickly people have forgotten how bad the original refs were. They screwed up just as many calls as the replacements. At least the replacements didn’t show clear and blatant favoritism in their calls like with the originals.

  5. I do not feel sorry for them.

    1. Nobody made them do it.

    2. They were in over their heads and should have known it.

    3. Nobody expected perfection, even from the “real” officials; just a modicum of competence. When two officials were standing at the same spot and made two diametrically opposed calls while simultaneously missing the most blatant offensive pass interference I have seen in 50+ years of watching football at all levels, I was totally and completely amazed.

    4. Worst of all, they were a bunch of scabs helping management exploit workers.

  6. This guy makes a reference to an historical character and it’s heresy. The backup punt protector does it every time someone shoves a mic in his face and you can’t wait to cradle his balls. You freaking hillfolk detract from all humanity.

  7. As refs these guys dream of doing NFL games, and people on here think they should turn down that opportunity bc theyre in over there head. C’MON. Its hard to self evaluate. Who would turn down that chance. The NFL hired them…they didnt hire themselves. Im sure any of us would turn down our dream job or a promotion bc we would be “in over our heads”.

  8. Double my pay scale and I would tell you I can do just about anything. By the way, the officials and the commissioner don’t posses the authority to protect the integrity of the game until after the fact. That particular responsibility lies with the coaches and players and for them to demonstrate that they’re willing to forgo playing within the rules, show’s that they don’t have any personal integrity or the respect the game, that’s afforded them a handsome income, deserves.

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