Referee Jeff Triplette having a hard time remembering the rules

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Referee Jeff Triplette wrongly announced the enforcement of a penalty on Sunday night in Detroit, the second time this season that he misunderstood a rule and needed to be corrected by a colleague.

Triplette’s mistake on Sunday night came when the Broncos were flagged for taunting after a touchdown. Triplette initially turned on his microphone and announced that the Lions had chosen to enforce the Broncos’ penalty on the extra point attempt. Eventually someone corrected Triplette and told him that taunting penalties after touchdowns can only be enforced on the ensuing kickoff, not on the extra point.

Triplette also made a mistake in Week One, when he wrongly announced that the Seahawks would re-kick in overtime following a Rams invalid fair catch signal. Eventually that got straightened out, likely because the replay assistant violated protocols to give Triplette a hand. But it never should have come to that because Triplette should have known that an invalid fair catch signal penalty is enforced from the spot of the foul and doesn’t result in a re-kick.

To be clear, these issues aren’t about Triplette missing a call. Every referee misses a call sometimes. These are issues about Triplette not knowing the rules. And the referees are expected to know all the rules. Twice in three weeks this season, Triplette has turned on his microphone and publicly revealed that he didn’t know the rules.

Triplette has long been recognized as one of the league’s worst referees. It was a Triplette blunder that led to the NFL changing its instant replay system to allow the league office to help the referees get the calls right. But there’s only so much that the league office and the replay assistants can do to bail Triplette out. If he can’t remember the rules of the NFL, perhaps he shouldn’t be an NFL referee.

51 responses to “Referee Jeff Triplette having a hard time remembering the rules

  1. “No, he’s fine. I’m imposing a $1,000 fine against ProFootBall talk for compromising the integr-oh, what’s that? I can’t use that word anymore?” – Roger Goodell, probably.

  2. Jeff “Triple Damage” Triplett!

    If there’s a way that the NFL can fire him sooner, will he still get his collectively bargained 401K?

  3. We don’t need refs. We need more heel scripts

    Might as well have battle royals out there instead

  4. It’s all about the integrity of the game. At what point do we just recognize that the NFL offices are filled with complete idiots who couldn’t run an ice cream stand.

  5. He’ll draw the Super Bowl assignment, and then make a dubious replay call right before the power goes out for 20 minutes.

  6. This isn’t about knowing the rules. He knows the rules. This is an issue concerning procedural enforcement of the rules he knows, not knowing them in the first instance. He knows that taunting is against the rules and recognized it. He knows what an invalid fair catch signal looks like and recognized it. Not sure I care that much that he needs a colleague to remind him the yardage.

  7. That’s cause the NFL has all these stupid rules, AKA, what is a catch and what is not. The Dez Catch last year, that was a fricken catch if I’ve seen one, a damn good one too! Then this week Tyler Eifert, that was a TD, plain and simple. Just play football with the rules that made the game the game it used to be. Now there’s all these stupid technicalities that will eventually kill the NFL.

  8. Meh, no one in the league office can remember what integrity means and they use the word all the time. Doubt they will view this in harsh light. Although they should

  9. I cringe every time I hear he is working one of my team’s games. Beyond being awful at his job, he LOVES to insert himself at every opportunity and feels the need to have a conference with the other officials for even the easiest of calls. Just brutal.

  10. I don’t see a problem here. The NFL is clearly holding refs up to the same standard to which they hold themselves.

  11. Fans of every NFL team get very afraid whenever they see Triplette on the schedule to ref their team’s game. He is just not good at his job.

    This guy needs to go. he has single-handedly affected the outcomes of too many NFL games.

  12. I was at the game and noticed that three calls were reversed; however, the term “reversed ” was never used. Instead they announced that the ruling was “changed.” Is this a league wide change?

  13. Technically, it wasn’t a penalty before the TD. He got called for taunting BEFORE he got across the line for the TD. Honestly, it should be 15 yards from the spot of the foul. But that will never happen.

  14. Big deal, half the coaches who are making A LOT more money than him don’t know the rules either.

  15. You’re right about triplette, but let’s not act like he is the only ref that sucks. I could get over the 1,000 penalties called in the bengals/ravens game and even the catch no catch, since it appears the correct call was made based on the rule as written. What I couldn’t stand was 2 elementary football rules not enforced properly. 1. After a touchback, a fourth down fake punt was spotted on the 30 yard line. An automatic 1st. They freaking measured it. 2. They let the quarter end after a defensive penalty and then had to backtrack after the commercial break. Come the heck on.
    The nfl has many problems but a major one is employing these officials year after year when they are getting worse and older.

  16. Triplette is a clown. It’s widely known by the public at large.
    Why is he still employed by the league?
    Are they really that incompetent?

  17. No big deal really. If he botches a ruling, the coach can just throw a red challenge flag. Then let the replay official sort it all out. 🎧

  18. Roger has Triplette in place for a reason. At some point late in the season, the string pullers aka Goodell’s Henchman will ask Triplette to alter a call for a desired purpose…likely against NE.
    PS….Brady is a lock for Player of the Month…but of course Roger has already vetoed such an award

  19. Can’t fire Triplette if you’re not going to sack Bill Leavy, Ed Hochuli and Jerome Boger. Might as well throw Pete Morelli in there also.

    I always get a kick when the NFL says crews are graded and only the best work the playoffs, then we watch Bill Leavy show up. Good grief the guy botched two playoff games, including a Super Bowl. Still gets the call. And then Boger shows up to officiate a Super Bowl. The NFL craps on the intelligence of its fans.

    On the plus side, I really like Gene Sterratore.

  20. Triplette, Hochuli, Boger for a number of years, it’s long past time for there to be more accountability for refs. It’s getting downright ridiculous.

  21. I’d like to see the replay of this penalty sequence. During the game, I’d swear that the first announcement he made was that the penalty would be enforced on the kickoff. Then I was surprised/confused when the other officials started pushing the ball back for a 15 yard penalty on the PAT. Then Triplette stepped in and fixed it, re-stating that the penalty would be enforced on the kickoff, NOT the PAT. So if I am remembering the sequence correctly, he’s the one official that DIDN’T screw it up on that penalty, and this article is as accurate as Roger Goodell’s Deflategate testimony….?

  22. I can believe he told Newton to quit being a baby if he wants those calls. Anyway, Newton acts like he is just reaching puberty most of the time.

  23. PFT needs to do another article on how NFL Refs are not full-time employees and as such have to have other jobs to get benefits and support their families. The NFL is the only major sport to not have full time refs. With the ongoing complication of rules that even Blandino cant figure out, we need to have full time refs. The NFLPA needs to make full time refs part of their bargaining platform before going into CBA negotiations.

  24. Add Ed Hockuli to Tripplette as being the worst in the NFL – Hockuli is blind when it suits his wallet. His one-sided calls are getting old.

    Tripplette may be hanging around so he can coach the Redskins next year. Apparently being worthless is a commodity in demand in DC.

  25. This isn’t about knowing the rules. He knows the rules.

    No he doesn’t know the rules. He is an incompetent idiot that misapplies portions of rules where they don’t belong. He should have been booted years ago. He is the idiot who overturned a Polamalu INT against the Colts after Troy caught it, rolled several times then dropped it in the act of getting up.

    Triplette is a moron who has no business being in an NFL stadium unless he is working concessions.

  26. You know that Triplette was chosen to ref a playoff game last year, right? That should tell you all you need to know about the people in charge at the NFL.

  27. My dislike for Jeff Triplette goes back to the Packers-Saints game the first week after the referee lockout ended. Based on how one-sided the calls were, it appeared to me that the refs were intentionally trying to help the Saints win. The Packers beat both the Saints and the refs that day, straight up.

  28. This flunky has been so bad for so wrong you can’t laugh anymore, so many teams have been shafted, that most of us are wont to shed a few tears when we hear the name “Jeff Triplette”.
    No sport has the number of people enforcing the rules, checking the actions of those who enforce the rules and those who recheck the actions of those who check on the enforcement of the rules, that officials can no longer make mistakes, they just HAVE to be caught and then decisions revered by someone at some level, while the game os still being played. How can it be that this hasn’t happened?
    Coaches lose a timeout with a challenge, why not deduct 25% of a referees salary for a blairingly bad call, 50% for two bad calls in a game, and in the case of a crew that has two or more Two bad call games, they are suspended for a year.
    I personally think Jeffie Boy should pursue a career in music, first album: “What Kind Of Fool Am I”, (I’ll do it) My Way”, “The Losing Game”, “Doctor My Eyes”, “Eyes Off You”, “Eyes Closed”, “Blind Leading the Blind”, “Wrong Feels So Right”, “Bad is Bad”, “Wrongs That I Do Best”, EyeTunes-$11.99

  29. On a very sad not, have we all forgotten the worst “Call” Triplette every made, and the reason he will ALWAYS stand alone as most incompetant NFL ref of the modern era.

    “Sixteen years ago a week from now, Dec. 19, 1999, was a dark day for the NFL and the Cleveland Browns. Offensive tackle Orlando Brown was inadvertently hit in the eye by an a flag thrown by referee Jeff Triplette in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Triplette immediately tried to apologize to an ailing Brown, who then went ballistic and shoved Triplette to the ground. The lineman was immediately ejected from the game and suspended by the NFL. The suspension was lifted when Brown’s eye injury didn’t heal and he missed three seasons because of partial blindness.”

    I get all the other names added and I agree, but JT may have caused the death of this guy by losing control and pitching a mean “fastball” into OT’s eye. Orlando Brown dead at 40.

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