Will NFL take action against Morelli’s crew, again?

AP

After a clock error that didn’t impact the outcome of a Monday night game between the Steelers and Chargers, the NFL suspended without pay the side judge responsible for keeping track of the time and otherwise downgraded the rest of Pete Morelli’s crew. So now that Morelli’s crew blatantly failed to blow dead the last scrimmage snap in the Jaguars-Ravens game when the Jacksonville offensive players weren’t set at the snap, what will the NFL do?

The league already has admitted the error. The question at this point is the consequence. For high-profile mistakes made in prime time (the Steelers-Chargers game and the Lions-Seahawks illegal bat blunder, both on Monday nights), the NFL opted to take unprecedented measures to impose discipline beyond the normal grading process. Rob Vernatchi was suspended with pay for the San Diego clock error, and Greg Wilson was moved from a Sunday night game between the Patriots and Colts.

So for a huge mistake that took a win away from the Ravens and gave it to the Jaguars in a game that was subsumed within the cluster of 1:00 p.m. ET kickoffs, will the league take action?

If it cares about consistency, the NFL should. If it cares about getting all calls right, the NFL should do fewer full-blown, dog-and-pony replay reviews and more real-time, quick-fix, know-it-when-you-see-it, buzz-the-ref-and-fix-the-mess officiating.

Imposing discipline on Morelli’s crew will do nothing to undo the damage to the Ravens, or to legitimize a race to the bottom in the AFC South in which the Jaguars picked up an undeserved edge. The takeaway from this mess shouldn’t be to take away assignments or money from Morelli and the other officials on his crew, but to come up with effective ways of getting it right, all the time.

130 responses to “Will NFL take action against Morelli’s crew, again?

  1. They should start by reversing the win/loss between the teams.

    I know we’re not going anywhere and that really doesn’t change much for the Ravens season but what’s right is right and this is all wrong.

  2. Break them up… dismiss those the league can afford to go without and check their pockets for hooch flasks.

    This is a big stage, big business, for big boys who can get it right in big situations.

    BIG mistake to keep them on the field to bungle even BIGGER situations that the league can’t UNDO… and just apologize for.

    Apologies aren’t enough anymore for repeated mistakes like this.

  3. The officiating has gotten worse & worse over the past 3-4 seasons. As much as Goodell talks about “the integrity of the game” you’d think he’d try to get this corrected. But I’m sure nothing will happen until it’s starts affecting money.

  4. Once discipline. Twice fire them. I hate to say it and I know they have families (but this is also a second job as NFL officials are part time which is also stupid) but directly impacting the outcome of a game is a fire-able offense. Draft status and playoff status are impacted. I am sure they are good men, but they can’t be NFL officials and blow it this badly more than once.

  5. If it cares about getting all calls right, the NFL should do fewer full-blown, dog-and-pony replay reviews and more real-time, quick-fix, know-it-when-you-see-it, buzz-the-ref-and-fix-the-mess officiating.

    ^
    This.

    Of course this would require a commissioner that really cares about #integrity of the game not just talk about it.

    🙂

  6. I don’t like this mon morning quarterbacking about this. Officials miss penalties constantly. Whether it is in the first minute of the first quarter, or the last play of the game. The missed calls should all be looked at equally. The ramifications can be higher or lower, but they are still equal. A missed call is a missed call.

    Would people care if the officials missed a false start penalty in the middle of the 2nd quarter? Sure, a lot of people would, but the refs are human and make mistakes, and people would let it go. But because this penalty happened, or rather “didn’t happen” on the final play, everyone points it out as a travesty and the officials should be fired and tortured and everything else.

    They missed the call. It happens. Man up and deal with it. If you allow the game to be close, the out come can be affected by the officials. If Baltimore was winning by 17 points (like they should have been because Jax sucks) this is no big deal. But Baltimore failed to put them away for 4 quarters, and that failure cost them. Not to mention, why would Dummy grab his face mask and drag him to the ground??? He had him, Bortles wasn’t going anywhere, game was over. Even with the missed penalty, if Dummy just wraps him up, the game is over. Blaming the officials is weak

  7. It was the last play of the game, they should reverse it and give the Ravens the win. That’s the only fair, and discipline the crew!!!! This is a bad mistake that can easily be corrected, NFL should do the right thing.

  8. thereisalwaysnextyear says:
    Nov 17, 2015 10:05 AM

    Once discipline. Twice fire them. I hate to say it and I know they have families (but this is also a second job as NFL officials are part time which is also stupid) but directly impacting the outcome of a game is a fire-able offense

    I agree. I have never understood why officials/refs are so untouchable. If they fail multiple times they should be fired. And I think it is crazy that a multibillion dollar league does not have full time officials. that is insane.

  9. Your comment about the Ravens game being a low profile game is right on point. Can you imagine the hell that would have been unleashed if the Patriots / Giants game would have ended this way??

  10. The ravens suck, but they got screwed out of a win here. NFL should do something, but they havent done anything when other teams were officiated out of a win, so I doubt they will.

    Like my friend Mark from Cuba said, Pigs get fat, Hogs get slaughtered…NFL is looking hoggy.

    The quality of football is lacking this year, so many bad teams and bad football games. Thursday night football sucks, no one wants to watch or play in it, but the NFL won’t listen because of the money. The officiating is almost as good as the WWE’s. Like I said, Hoggy.

  11. Its time for the officials pay to heavily performance based… They should be awarded with bonuses for excellence and docked for clearly blown calls. I also believe that they aren’t currently paid enough. They have a VERY IMPORTANT job. They should be paid better, yes, but they MUST DO BETTER!

  12. This is why Belichick is pushing for the ability to challenge every call and decision the refs make.

    I’m in full agreement with this idea and hope that it would prevent this ineptitude in the future.

  13. Between headsets, time keepers & now the refs, maybe someone should talk Mr. Integrity into investing some the millions he makes into some good ol’ fashioned quality assurance & stop using a bunch of jamokes to manage the clock, for instance

  14. Under NFL protocols, I believe the penalty will be they are required to do only Ravens and Jags games for rest of the season.

  15. MORELLI’s crew has caused 2 MAJOR losses for the Vikings……. Infamous NFC championship game in New Orleans where Brett Favre was mauled by “Gregg Williams” bunch of “bounty gaters” & in Baltimore 3 years ago when they BLEW 4 critical calls in the game won by the ravens……….should be fired…….not even close….!!! ( If he has done that twice for each team that’s 64 games he has screwed up )

  16. More important than that, they need to justify how a play in the HOU/CIN game counted as a catch and fumble when 2 other situations in Sunday’s games did not…but you can bet they won’t.

  17. It’s understandable that with all the camera angles now available to us as fans that we are going to see things that the officiating crew missed at field level in real time. Those missed calls have always been there and it’s part of the game. But clock and mistakes on procedural call are just unacceptable. They are not something we are suddenly able to see and therefore take note of. Somehow even with the changes that have given the officials more tools than ever officiating has gotten worse.

    Slapping an official on the wrist after the fact is hardly a fix. A league office that besmirches the word integrity every time they use it could take a tiny step towards redemption by making more effort to get it right.

  18. I don’t know why others won’t admit this; the replacement referees were actually better than the regular guys. They just happened to miss one, blatantly obvious play that happened to determine the outcome of a game, for real.

    As for this article, the author is angry the Ravens lost.

  19. Maybe the NFL can go back and revisit all of the bad calls that cost the Jags too. There were two against the Jets, either of which could have given the Jags a win.

  20. The Ravens didn’t lose this game because of that missed call. (And, honestly, no one at the time said anything from what I’ve read. It was all after the game video review.) The Ravens lost this game because they committed a penalty on that play.

  21. The Jaguars are a team of destiny. You can either get on board, or get out of the way. But like a force of nature they are going to blow through this town, and anything not bolted down is going to get jagged away. Someday we’ll tell our grandkids about that magical season the Jaguars won the division at 7-9 and lost at home in the first round. Destiny.

  22. .
    At that point, Morelli’s crew was more concerned with the weight of the game balls and less about outcome. His crew should be congratulated for focusing on the league’s #1 priority which is psi readings. By concentrating on the balls, Morelli is protecting the integrity of the league / 345 Park Avenue, and any other events are peripheral in nature.
    .

  23. I’m a Seattle fan and by no way am blaming the refs for our loss Sunday night (we had our opportunities and a lot of issues to clean up) but that game was ridiculous. Every other play there was a penalty and I would say about 1/3 were actually penalties. The game was not over until about 1230 eastern. The Sunday before they called two penalties against Byron Maxwell on super critical plays and he did not even come close to a DPI on the second one. It happens to most every team but when officials have started to cause more outcomes than the players we have a huge problem. It also never seams to be consistent against both teams….lastly, when an announcer actual talks about what a catch is and says “don’t blame the refs, they don’t know the rule either” we have major issues. LET THESE PLAYERS DECIDE GAMES NOT THE REFS.

  24. The stock quote is usually “don’t put the outcome in the hands of the officials.” In this case it most certainly was. Depending on when the error was detected by “the league” or as they are referred to as “New York” they should step in, stop the game and reverse the error. This likely won’t ever be implemented.

  25. As a season ticket holder who paid money to attend the game I am contemplating legal action based on the referees ineptness. Damaged product.

  26. The problem is like having a child who is “slow”. Punishing the child for their lack of intelligence, over and over, doesn’t make him/her smarter.

    The facts are, these officials are incapable.

    “Punishing” them does not/will not correct the problem, or enhance their “ability”.
    Full time, professional, intelligent officials, as well as clearer “rules and regs” IS the solution.

    But, of course, there’s the right way and the NFL way (read:wrong way)…

  27. Mike – I hear you on “The takeaway from this mess shouldn’t be to take away assignments or money from Morelli,” but the cold hard fact is that Morelli has been a substandard referee for over 10 years and should have been dismissed a long time ago. His performance in the 2005 AFC Division Championship should have been the final straw. It was equally as poor as his performance this year.

  28. As a season ticket holder who paid money to attend the game I am contemplating legal action based on the referees ineptness. Damaged product.

    Maybe you should take legal action against the Ravens for losing home games to the Browns, Chargers and Jaguars this year.

  29. The officials need to be made full-time NFL employees, which means they can spend non-game days training, watching film, etc. so they can become better officials. The NFL level of football is too fast for these guys to show up once a week and expect to be good at this.

  30. To those saying reverse the win, that cannot be done. There is no precedent for it. They would have to go back and reverse the Seahawks win over the Lions as well. Can’t do it.

  31. sonhoodoo says:
    Nov 17, 2015 10:23 AM

    The Ravens didn’t lose this game because of that missed call. (And, honestly, no one at the time said anything from what I’ve read. It was all after the game video review.) The Ravens lost this game because they committed a penalty on that play.

    ——————————————————-
    BUT if they call the false start, the penalty by the Ravens never happens and the game is over.
    That being said, you never ever put yourself in a situation where the referees can decide the game’s outcome.
    Remember this quote from a player, I can’t remember who:
    Holding could be called on every play. It’s the referee who decides when he wants to call it.

  32. The only issue with this line of thought is NO ONE NOTICED.

    Harbaugh didn’t say anything at the time. The announcers didn’t. I read 3 different game recaps and not one mentions there might have been as issue with the last play. I even watched some NFL game recaps and no one says a thing about the timing.

    So, basically, until they went back later and looked at the video, no one thought the play should have been penalized. If it needs that level of scrutiny to figure out it should be a penalty, then not calling it on the field at the time is entirely understandable.

  33. The refs missed an offsides call. HUGE MISTAKE! Oh no. Good lord at all the crying this year.

    The Steelers and the Ravens have the whiniest coaches. I am surprised that they aren’t best friends.

    You lost to the Jags because your team stinks.

  34. I don’t know how y’all feel about this but I feel the instant replay should be discontinued. It is subject to interpretation and the human factor is still involved. How many times have you pulled your hair out after a review decision that went contrary to what YOU saw screaming, “what game were they looking at?”

    So there we are, imperfect people making imperfect calls. Do not prolong the agony with constant reviews and interruptions of the game only to either uphold a seemingly wrong call or overturn a call that you felt was called correctly. The intention of the instant replay, as I see it, is to make the calls as perfect as possible and that isn’t happening.

    So get rid of it, deal with wrong calls that even themselves in the long run, and return the integrity and natural flow of the game.

  35. The Ravens would have won the game if:

    1) Flacco doesn’t commit 3 turnovers

    2) Jeremy Ross doesn’t flub the punt

    3) Kendrick Lewis doesn’t treat a gift interception like it was a brick that hit his chest.

    Yeah, the refs blew another one, but if any one (1) of the above doesn’t happen, the Ravens win.

  36. How about this: Tell Dumervil not to commit a minbogglingly stupid facemask where he almost ripped Bortles’s head off – what was he thinking? Did he think that was somehow a legal move? Did he think nobody would see it?

  37. These officials are getting what they deserve. The media ripped replacement officials and everyone welcomed the regulars back with loving arms— YET, here we are– talking about how terrible (non)calls are directly impacting the outcome of games..

    It was one of the biggest arguments against the replacement officials— even though I didn’t notice any real difference.

    The only difference was that EVERY little call was being scrutinized in the media. Perhaps I’m glad that such scrutiny is finally getting placed upon the regular officials.

    As for Morelli— The guy should have been stripped of his Head Referee responsibilities following the NFC Championship game when New Orleans “bountied” Brett Favre– And blew multiple calls in Overtime which directly led to the Saints winning…. He’s been terrible for a long time.

  38. The refs weren’t generally aware, therefore, they shouldn’t be punished. It’s about the integrity of the game, and this issue doesn’t qualify under that.

  39. There is a scary, but increasingly possible bump in the road on the way from where we’re currently at, to complete officiating transparency —

    If all of the officiating is legitimate, or at least held to be accountable, point spreads – & thus outcomes would no longer be wrongly managed or manipulated by questionable officiating.

    Scary and saddening to think, but maybe that’s the big elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about.

  40. cubancigar10 says:
    Nov 17, 2015 10:40 AM

    I don’t know how y’all feel about this but I feel the instant replay should be discontinued.
    ————————————————————-
    In any of these discussions, there is always one wacko guy who thinks that the old system before replay – which was 100x worse – is the way to go.

  41. I think all this second guessing of officials is ludicrous. Do you know how hard it is to do in a game that is so much faster than it was just a few decades ago. It is amazing to me that they get so many of these calls right. Remember they don’t get 6 camera angles and slow motion. Plus they only get one shot at it.

    I’m all for accountability of officials, but make it the same kind of accountability as you give players and coaches. Tom Brady has had 2 picks that he is directly responsible for. There have probably been a dozen plays where he didn’t throw the ball to the most open receiver. Then of course there are the 3 times he failed to secure the ball on strip sacks. In fact if you ask him there are probably dozens more plays he’s like a do over on. Should the Pats fire him. And that is the best player in the league.

    On EVERY play you can pick out 5 -10 mistakes made by the 22 players on the field. We all know this to be true, yet we are fully willing to deal with it. Officials making mistakes are just as part of the game as fumbles, picks, and drops. We as fans can bitch about them, but like the rest of it, we should deal with it. Frankly all this whining has become annoying.

    I hate it when the Pats play in a game reffed by Hoculli’s crew. They threw 3 phantom PI calls in one quarter vs the Pats, while they continually ignored the mugging of Gronk. It sucks…..but its part of the game. Good teams overcome it, bad teams complain about.

  42. Someone above said the officiating is getting worse and worse each year. I respectfully disagree. What’s happened is that TV is doing a much better job of capturing every element of every play.

    In real time, It’s nearly impossible to see some of these elements. As Florio says above, what needs to change is the ability to get it right in real time. If they stop to review every part of every play, games will become 7 hour monstrosities that no one wants to watch.

    They need to cut the rule book in half, for starters, and let guys play. In the Packers’ loss to the Lions, the officials “let the guys play” and it was good to see, even though some of it went poorly for my Packers. I’ll take a missed call or two against my team over trying to watch a game with 40 flags thrown, and I’ll take it every single time.

    I’m sure there were missed calls in that game that went the other way as well, they just didn’t stick in my memory. There was one really horrendous PI that was missed and that would have been the right time for a “buzz from above.”

  43. A loss helps these teams more than a win due to draft order (neither is going to the playoffs), so actually the refs helped the Ravens.

  44. More replay review doesn’t have to mean more penalties. It could mean less penalties if implemented properly. They could tell the officials on the field to keep the flags in their pockets unless they see an obvious, blatant penalty and let the replay guy upstairs provide an extra set of eyes.

    Right now, the officials are flagging everything because they don’t want to look bad for missing a penalty. There must be a better way. There has to be. This is getting ridiculous.

  45. “The takeaway from this mess shouldn’t be to take away assignments or money from Morelli and the other officials on his crew, but to come up with effective ways of getting it right, all the time.”

    And I have two such ways:

    1) Hire permanent, full-time officials. Require them to spend 40 hours every week in film/rule book study and training (separate from travelling to and working the games).

    2) Allow EVERY play to be eligible for challenge. Allow the coaches to challenge in the last 2 minutes and OT, and discontinue the “booth reviews” during those times. Give them 3 challenges, with a 4th one granted for winning the first 3.

    If knowing and enforcing the rules is their entire job, the competency will rise. Requiring 3 correct challenges to gain a 4th challenge will keep the length of the game from increasing. Most problems solved.

  46. bmoreb says:
    Nov 17, 2015 10:01 AM
    They should start by reversing the win/loss between the teams.

    I know we’re not going anywhere and that really doesn’t change much for the Ravens season but what’s right is right and this is all wrong.
    ====

    If you’re a Ravens fan this is the last thing in the world you should want. What good is one more worthless win?

    How often do the Ravens get the opportunity to pick as high in the draft as they may next year? The quickest route back the top doesn’t include winning meaningless games against teams competing with you for the top pick.

  47. If you start penalizing the officials for missed calls, you will be assessing dozens of penalties every week. It’s impossible for the officials to catch every penalty. Everything is happening at once. No one even noticed this particular non-call until a day later!

  48. Attention Ravens and their fans: you lost the game. Stop your crying and whining. Move on to your next game that you will probably lose as well because if you havent noticed your team is horrible and will probably remain that way for a while.

  49. After the 2009 NFCCG debacle (Vikings @ Saints), I don’t know why Morelli still has a job. There were at least 5 or 7 horrendous calls or non-calls by Morelli’s crew, all against the Vikings. If just one of them had been called correctly, the Vikings would have won.

  50. The mistake didn’t “take a win from the Ravens and give it to the Jaguars.” The Ravens’ making dumb mistakes did that, as well as the Jaguars’ defense stepping up at some key times. There were other mistakes in the game, why aren’t those discussed? There were some big mistakes that helped the Jets get a win over the Jaguars, what about those? I saw a post this morning highlighting a lot of horrible calls or missed calls against the Jaguars.

    So let’s just claim every game is handed to a team by the refs and has nothing to do with the players.

    Harbaugh should be a man and admit that his team played like crap at times and deserved to lose. Trying to say that technically there should have been a false start or something because the LT wasn’t completely in his stance (just mostly and getting down to it) and use that as an excuse for the loss is weak. It wouldn’t have mattered if Dumervil didn’t grab Bortles’ facemask. But Harbaugh seems to be teaching his defense to go for injuries. Why aren’t we talking about things like where Will Hill aimed for the head of Bryan Walters as Walters was already going down? The late hits, the cheap shots?

    I had no problem with the Ravens, but now I’ll cheer for them to lose out the rest of the season, and for Harbaugh to get booted.

  51. The Ravens did not deserve to win, and this coming from a Ravens fan.

    This does not change anything in my mind because referees, umpiring, etc. is a HUMAN bound to make human errors. Remember Joyce took away Galarraga’s perfect game? Remember the response?

    The NFL simply is taking notice and accountability that an error happened. It won’t be the last time.

    People need to understand that holding someone accountable doesn’t mean to look for someone else to blame for your shortcomings.

    Again, this is coming from a Ravens fan.

  52. There are few professions that mistakes can not be tolerated and NFL refereeing isn’t one of them.

    The NFL has done a great job piping every angle at every speed of every play into our living rooms for us fans to dissect whereas a referee is charged with watching multiple players moving at high speed and making split second decisions.

    Even teams miss stuff, teams regularly use their staff to review a play in slow motion to get a better picture of what happened on any given play.

    Its a sport, you win some you lose some.

  53. For high profile mistakes made in prime time
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    If integrity of the game is as important as they say, the time the game is played would have absolutely no bearing on discipline. With so few games league-wide any game altering mistake is likely to influence the season for teams that are not even involved. One stupid call can mean one team makes the playoffs while another stays home.

    The college game replay system is far superior to the game managing mess the NFL uses to keep games close or decide the winner. It is not difficult for an official in the booth to buzz the referee to stop play and correct mistakes. No dog and pony show is required. Another aspect of college rules the NFL should adopt is the ‘targeting’ process. When headhunters are ejected they will stop using their helmets as weapons to try and make sportscenter.

  54. I feel bad for Steeler fans. You have to deal with this type of nonsense from Raven fans year round. You have my sympathies.

  55. Did the NFL also admit this error when the Packers were guilty of not being set? Multiple times this year the Packers have snapped the ball without being set and the officials have actually penalized the defense! Check out the Packers-Chiefs game with 1:07 to go in the first half.

  56. Pretty hard to punish the league puppets for doing exactly what the league wants them to do. Perhaps another week’s paid vacation is in order. The NFL has become SOOO corrupt that the outcome of every game is suspect.

    And I hate tha rat birds

  57. Bottom line, if this is your team it flat out sucks. And officials who make this type of mistake should be suspended as the crew earlier this year was.

    People shouldn’t be complaining about how the Coach handled this one. In his presser he said “I don’t care about officiating. I don’t care about weather. I don’t care about field conditions. I don’t care about our opponent. That’s the way our guys look at it. It does not matter. You have to find a way to overcome everything. That’s just what you have to do.”

    Not a lot of whining there.

  58. Wow. A player has his feet set but is only coming down into his set when the ball snaps and somehow that’s precedent for a game result to be overturned? When they get a rule fundamentally wrong, or miss something blatant, sure – but this is a trifling, inconsequential offense that goes uncalled dozens of times per game, and was so “blatant” that nobody even noticed it until the next day. You might as well just overturn every game that ends on a failed hail mary because you *know* there’s pass interference or at minimum illegal contact.

  59. The players did mention it. They though the game was over when the line wasn’t set and the ball was snapped. One reporter mentioned their locker room comments about the refs causing them a loss. At the time NFL Redzone commentators said that they’d need to see to confirm that the Jags were set because of the chaos. So this isn’t just something that wasn’t noticed until the next day.

  60. sonhoodoo says:
    Nov 17, 2015 10:37 AM
    The only issue with this line of thought is NO ONE NOTICED.

    Harbaugh didn’t say anything at the time. The announcers didn’t. I read 3 different game recaps and not one mentions there might have been as issue with the last play. I even watched some NFL game recaps and no one says a thing about the timing.

    So, basically, until they went back later and looked at the video, no one thought the play should have been penalized. If it needs that level of scrutiny to figure out it should be a penalty, then not calling it on the field at the time is entirely understandable.

    ———————————————————–

    The Ravens radio broadcasters certainly noticed in real time.

  61. Maybe Harbaugh needs to have his team worry about capitalizing on the dozens of chances the Jags gave them to salt the game away instead of whining about the refs.
    Lost in all of this is that Dumervil would have been fined for yanking Brady’s head around so severely. He damn near turned Bortles into Linda Blair

  62. what kind of punishment is ‘suspended with pay’?
    hell thats getting paid to do nothing. that doesnt sound an awful lot like punishment to most of us.
    Peter Morelli has been a long standing joke in NFL circles, yes the same circles that think Jeff Triplette should be selling used hotdogs outside of the old Texas Stadium.
    If you want different results, change the participants, obviously retraining isnt working out too well with NFL officials

  63. wulls1313 says:
    Nov 17, 2015 10:24 AM
    I’m a Seattle fan and by no way am blaming the refs for our loss Sunday night (we had our opportunities and a lot of issues to clean up) but that game was ridiculous. Every other play there was a penalty and I would say about 1/3 were actually penalties. The game was not over until about 1230 eastern. The Sunday before they called two penalties against Byron Maxwell on super critical plays and he did not even come close to a DPI on the second one. It happens to most every team but when officials have started to cause more outcomes than the players we have a huge problem. It also never seams to be consistent against both teams….lastly, when an announcer actual talks about what a catch is and says “don’t blame the refs, they don’t know the rule either” we have major issues. LET THESE PLAYERS DECIDE GAMES NOT THE REFS.

    —————-

    That’s funny because Seattle seems to get more benefit from the refs than any other team in the league. The refs gift-wrapped the game against the Lions. Seattle should have only 3 wins.

  64. If the Ravens are looking for a win, they should be focusing their film attention on the Rams. The Jaguars beat you 22-20. Look it up.

  65. MINNEAPOLIS — After a narrow loss to the bitter division rival Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress seethed at what he called “the worst officiated game I’ve seen.”

    On Tuesday, he paid for it.

    The NFL fined Childress $35,000 for criticizing officials and disclosing confidential conversations with the officiating department.

    Childress sharply criticized the officiating crew after a 28-24 loss to the Packers on Sunday night. He was particularly upset with a replay reversal of a touchdown catch by Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. He was also upset by a facemask call against right tackle Phil Loadholt and no call on a hold on Jared Allen that allowed Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to scramble for a first down.

    The biggest play was Shiancoe’s touchdown catch. He made a diving grab in the end zone and appeared to secure it as he rolled onto his back. Officials ruled it a touchdown but upon review overturned the call. The Vikings wound up settling for a field goal.

    Childress first rebuked the officials on the postgame radio show on KFAN. He continued his criticism in his postgame news conference, saying “50 drunks in a bar” would have made the correct call on Shiancoe’s catch.

    On Monday, Childress told the media that he spoke to Carl Johnson, the league’s vice president of officiating, about the missed call.

    “I was told this morning that that was a touchdown by Carl Johnson,” Childress said. “He was disappointed to see that reversed.”

    That, apparently, is another no-no in the NFL.

    An NFL spokesman said he was fined “for violating long-standing league policies that prohibit public criticism of officiating and the disclosure of confidential conversations with the head of the NFL officiating department.”

  66. The discipline should be obvious. Nothing short of firing the entire crew makes sense on a second offense this blatant.

    Rarely if ever does it happen when you can clearly say it changed the outcome. There would be no further play, so in this case the wrong team won. Period. It’s not even a (bad) judgement call like the Fail Mary.

    I’m going back to see what the point spread was. It’s that horrible that a fan like me – who has been watching for decades and a season ticket holder – actually now wonders if it really IS based on gambling?

    WAKE UP ROGER!

  67. Jags fan here. When I saw Morelli was the referee, I told my son, “we are in trouble again”. I would trade this weekend’s game for all the games he cost us in the past. He is the worst, and has screwed us out of many games over the years.

  68. I’m in full agreement with this idea and hope that it would prevent this ineptitude in the future.
    ————————————–
    Even with the re-play they get it wrong. So what’s the use? Drives me crazy, and I know, its a short trip.

  69. I’m sure there were missed calls in that game that went the other way as well, they just didn’t stick in my memory. There was one really horrendous PI that was missed and that would have been the right time for a “buzz from above.”
    —————————————–
    I can agree with you cabbage!!! Not often, but at least this time.

  70. “I know we’re not going anywhere and that really doesn’t change much for the Ravens season but what’s right is right and this is all wrong.”

    bmoreb: Have you lost your mind? The season is lost. You’re competing for a top 5 draft choice for Ozzie. You want your players to keep competing, but if refereeing incompetence hands you a loss … that’s a blessing.

  71. Did anyone take the time to look at the actual play.

    We are literally talking about a half a second.

    The oline is supposed to be set for one second.

    Everyone was stopped but maybe a little less than a second, with all the clock errors you would think a mental clock would get the benefit of the doubt

  72. “inozwetrust says:
    Nov 17, 2015 10:13 AM
    Your comment about the Ravens game being a low profile game is right on point. Can you imagine the hell that would have been unleashed if the Patriots / Giants game would have ended this way??”

    If the Patriots lost due to an error like this, the NFL would never admit the error and 31 out of 32 fans would love it! INTEGRITY!

  73. Mike Florio: Given that the last play of the game was a scoring play, was this reviewed in the NY studio, or in a local ‘booth’ at the game? Did Dean Blandino’s team in NY miss this call?

  74. Amazing that with all the money made and spent on the NFL, they still employ and allow part time refs to determine outcomes of games. Every weekend, the outcome of a game is changed by a blatantly bad call. NFL officiating has now become worse than that of the NBA.

  75. nhpats says:
    Nov 17, 2015 12:40 PM

    wulls1313 says:
    Nov 17, 2015 10:24 AM
    I’m a Seattle fan and by no way am blaming the refs for our loss Sunday night (we had our opportunities and a lot of issues to clean up) but that game was ridiculous. Every other play there was a penalty and I would say about 1/3 were actually penalties. The game was not over until about 1230 eastern. The Sunday before they called two penalties against Byron Maxwell on super critical plays and he did not even come close to a DPI on the second one. It happens to most every team but when officials have started to cause more outcomes than the players we have a huge problem. It also never seams to be consistent against both teams….lastly, when an announcer actual talks about what a catch is and says “don’t blame the refs, they don’t know the rule either” we have major issues. LET THESE PLAYERS DECIDE GAMES NOT THE REFS.

    —————-

    That’s funny because Seattle seems to get more benefit from the refs than any other team in the league. The refs gift-wrapped the game against the Lions. Seattle should have only 3 wins.
    ———————————————————-

    Thanks for making my point for me, I totally agree, maybe read through my comment again.

  76. Bortles got nailed out of bounds by Ravens players at least twice, and I don’t hear Jacksonville crying foul at that.

    Hell, the Ravens have often been beneficiaries of bad officiating. Right before their Super Bowl win, Cary Williams was caught putting his hands on an official, and wasn’t called for it. Jerome Boger’s crew also missed several blatant holding and offensive PI penalties, that might have changed the course of the game.

    It’s all fun and games when it works for the Ravens, but the second it turns against them they’re the first to go bawling to the NFL. Just like every other time.

    This season for the Ravens (and Colts) is just karma slapping them in the face. Win on the field, not by crying to Park Avenue.

  77. Given that the last play of the game was a scoring play, was this reviewed in the NY studio, or in a local ‘booth’ at the game?
    ———————————————————-
    A false start is not a reviewable call. Even if NFL offices in NY saw it was a false start they can’t change the play based on that alone.
    Personally, I’m glad they don’t. Games could run 4 hours if they did.

  78. The two officials looking for false starts and offside/NZIs are the head linesman and line judge at the line of scrimmage. Sarah Thomas is the LJ on Morelli’s crew. Yes, Sarah Thomas. Could that be why the NFL hasn’t named names beyond Morelli, for fear of the backlash that the only female official may have blown it?

  79. Full time refs won’t make a bit of difference that is a myth. If you make it manditory to be full time, you’d lose more than half your officials and spend years giving their replacements on the job training that will make officiating even worse.

    Another myth is that if you give coaches the option of challenging any play, the games would become marathons. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you limit the number of challenges a coach can make to 2 (with a third if they win the first 2) the time of the game would be minimally affected. Plus the strategy of when to use the challenges would become a very interesting part of the game.

    Bellichick gave the league the solution to a lot of this whining years a go. They will eventually turn to it, because its the right thing to do. But they will take more time because they can’t admit that Bellichick is so much smarter than they are.

  80. When will a lawyer sue based on the fact that a bet was lost due to breach of contract – They play by rules and bets are placed with the expectation that those rules be honored – when an official bypasses those rules deliberately or by accident when is there liability?

  81. There will be no serious penalty. We all know by now that the NFL doesn’t care at all about this so called “integrity of the game”. Seriously how the hell is Goodell still the commissioner. How much longer do we have to suffer with this clown in office? The only person ruining the integrity of the game is him and these terrible refs!

  82. At this point in the season, the Ravens should thank the refs for that blunder. They have a real shot now at the #1 draft pick. Too bad for them it’s a weak QB class.

  83. “Given that the last play of the game was a scoring play, was this reviewed in the NY studio, or in a local ‘booth’ at the game? Did Dean Blandino’s team in NY miss this call?”

    The false start didn’t happen on the scoring play. It happened on the play before – was ignored – led to a sack and facemask penalty. THEN after the walkoff an untimed down allowed Jax to kick the FG.

  84. A billion dollar sports empire that’s depending on whether or not it’s part time employees have 20/20 vision to get crucial calls right, even when they are 50-60 feet from the play but WTH let’s just assume the ball is properly placed right…..

  85. Jeff Tripplette still has a job and he is famous for merely inventing calls that cannot be substantiated when you replay the series.

    Ed Hockuli has been out of control and incompetent for years. I guess because he is a lawyer keeps him employed.

    Unless those two blivetheads are fired, there is no point demanding another one’s head.

  86. It really does seem at times as if Gene Steratore is the only competent referee in the NFL. This isn’t actually the case; there are several good ones; but it seems that way because a handful– Hochuli, Jeff Triplette, Morelli, Jerome Boger et al.– are so glaringly bad.

  87. This is the same Pete Morrelli that is looking straight at Favre getting hit HIGH and LOW, and no call from the bountygate game, not counting the other blatantly wrong calls-the missed 4th down call on Pierre Thomas who did NOT get the 1st down (Aikman said over and over he didn’t make it, but it awarded), and the phantom PI call against Lieber on the to help setup the winning FG.

    Yep, Pete Morelli, he STILL stinks!!!!!!

    Retire already or get suspended immediately!!!!

  88. There is absolutley no reason why an official in the booth or in NY can’t stop a play and say that was wrong. It wouldn’t take 30 seconds. If we can see it at home, why can’t an official in the booth or in NY see it immediately and correct the ref. It shouldn’t matter if it’s “reviewable” or not. The important thing is to get it right. Too many teams have losses this year because of this antiquated system.

  89. czello says:
    Nov 17, 2015 2:24 PM

    When will a lawyer sue based on the fact that a bet was lost due to breach of contract – They play by rules and bets are placed with the expectation that those rules be honored – when an official bypasses those rules deliberately or by accident when is there liability?
    ————————–

    Never.

    Get real.

  90. Anyone that actually thinks the replacement referees did a better job than the normal referees should be precluded from any further discussions pertaining to NFL referees.

  91. Jag’s got a big break there with a win from a bad call after time ran out. You don’t really see that much.

  92. The NFL is fixed. Deal with it.

    /and Viking fans, REALLY get the hell over it. It wasn’t Moronlli turning the ball over like it was made of butter.
    //Indy would have dropkicked you easy anyway and not even that bunch of whiners whines about Goodell’s farce of smear job.

  93. ravensrooster94 says:
    Nov 17, 2015 10:40 AM
    The Ravens would have won the game if:

    1) Flacco doesn’t commit 3 turnovers

    2) Jeremy Ross doesn’t flub the punt

    3) Kendrick Lewis doesn’t treat a gift interception like it was a brick that hit his chest.

    Yeah, the refs blew another one, but if any one (1) of the above doesn’t happen, the Ravens win.
    —————————————————-
    What you said is true but the mistakes you pointed out were made by the PLAYERS. Whether PLAYERS play a great game or PLAYERS make mistakes it is the PLAYERS who are deciding the outcome of the game. THIS game was not decided by the PLAYERS but by a poor ref call. If the refs get the call right the Ravens win.

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