Goodell: Our officials do a great job, don’t need to go full-time

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is skeptical that turning the league’s officials into full-time employees would improve officiating.

Amid increasing talk that the league should hire its officials on a full-time basis, Goodell was asked at a New York Times conference today whether he supports the idea. Goodell said he would go for it only “[i]f I thought full-time officials would solve the problem.”

Goodell then went on to make clear that he doesn’t think full-time officials would solve the problem, nor does he think officiating in the NFL right now is a big problem.

“As you see there are officiating mistakes in other leagues and they’re full time officials,” Goodell said. “I don’t think that’s going to eliminate the human element. What we want to do is get the best people on the field to officiate the game to the highest levels. Our officials work incredibly hard and the reality is they do a great job. But they’re going to miss calls. So what we try to do is have replay available to try to address those issues. But then you have an issue that you have to balance, and we call it the unintended consequences. How much replay do you want to have? Because it can slow the game down to a halt. So it goes back to the pace of game. If you can challenge every play, we’re going to spend more of our time watching video. We replay all scoring plays and I get this reaction from fans quite a bit, and partners. A touchdown play, everybody’s focused on it, it’s a great play, it’s a great time to celebrate, but we’re not sure if it’s really a touchdown yet so it takes the celebration out of it. So you have to find that balance in there where you use technology to improve officiating.”

The issue of full-time officials has become a major point of discussion since Saints coach Sean Payton said on PFT Live last week that he believes the league needs to stop using part-timers. The league office, however, seems unconvinced.

49 responses to “Goodell: Our officials do a great job, don’t need to go full-time

  1. There needs to be more punishment then for missed calls that affect the outcome of games especially. This is coming from a Seahawks fan! I for one hate that some of the wins could have gone a different way depending on a call on the field. I love it when the Seahawks win and there was no question due to a stupid penalty or the lack there of….To say the officials are doing a great job is like telling your son he’s doing a great job on the sports team when he actually sucks! Doesn’t really help anyone. Need to start telling the truth!

  2. Goodell is certifiably unqualified to be commissioner so it stands to reason that he would fully support the incompetent moonlighting morons who officiate NFL games. Birds of a feather and all that.

  3. Our officials do a great job

    Proof positive viewership of games is down…

    We now know Goodell isn’t watching them

  4. How many games are decided by a controversial call? The “fail mary” The Calvin Johnson Rule, last week’s MNF game (may not have been at the end of the game but the refs totally screwed the Bills at the end of the 1st half), ATL against Seattle this year with Sherman all over Julio, The Lions losing to the Seahawks on a fumble being batted out of the endzone, Lions vs Cowboys playoffs 2 years ago and the PI that was called, flagged, even announced to the crowd, and then mysteriously overruled?

    These are just a few that comes to mind. Every fan can rattle off a handful of games where they lost due to a bad call. Every game has bad calls, I get it. It’s human nature. We make mistakes, but these calls, late in games, that screw teams over, are the reason ratings are down. You have the technology to correct this. F-ing do it already. Simplify the rule book. And when a ref makes a huge blunder, fine them and/or suspend them.

  5. The NFL officiating has been absolutely brutal this season. I’m sure that’s one reason why the ratings are down. You just have to look at some of the Seahawks games over the last month or so. Pass interference could have easily been called on Richard Sherman during the last minute of their game against the Falcons, the Saints only got 2 penalties while the Seahawks had 10 and just last week we had the whole Richard Sherman running into the Bills kicker fiasco. As an NFL fan I want to see the right things penalized whether they benefit my team or not. I’m sure most other fans feel the same way.

  6. I used to watch football all the time. I couldn’t get enough of it. The officiating is a big reason why I barely watch any more. There’s no consistency. There’s no consistency game to game, week to week, or even quarter to quarter. Pass interference at the beginning of a game is different than pass interference the the end of a game. Until the officiating is fixed there’s no reason for me to invest my time and energy in watching the debacle the NFL puts out there three days a week.

  7. There’s systematic incompetence league wide for reffing so of course the King of Incompetence; Roger Goodell thinks they’re doing a great job.

  8. November 2016 Professional Sports Commisioner Ineptitude Power Rankings

    5. Bud Selig in perpetuity
    4. David Stern in perpetuity
    3. Jerrah Jones (Roger’s puppeteer)
    2. Gary Bettman
    1. Roger Goodell

  9. These officials are garbage. Almost like those replacement ones a few years ago.

    Get real officials. I wouldn’t mind them slowing the game down to get calls right instead of the bs calls they are making now.

    Coming from someone who watched every game all day and now watches 1, if that, and it looks I’m not alone.

  10. I can’t stand Goodell, but he’s right about this. The officials do do a great job. I challenge any of you who have never officiated a football game to do it in an organized league in your neighborhood. You’ll quickly learn as I did that it’s a very tough sport to officiate and it isn’t anywhere near as easy as it looks.
    I’ve umpired many baseball games over the the last 30 games and they’re a piece of cake compared to doing football. And I’m including behind the plate.
    Officiating football games and refereeing basketball games are far more difficult than umpiring baseball.
    The reason everyone is blasting the officials in the NFL is because of replay. It has taken the influence of the human element and magnified it a thousand times over.
    I am strongly in favor of getting rid of all replay in the NFL, especially in the stadiums on those giant screens. The game should be turned back over to the officials on the field as it was for decades before replay came along.
    The point is, there is no one alive who could officiate a football game today without replay showing he made a mistake on a call or calls. It’s utterly ridiculous to force these officials to work under these conditions. All replay has done is slow the game down and make the officials look way worse than they really are. And as we all have seen, even on challenges or reviews, no one is ever in 100% agreement on what they just saw. So what good is it? It often causes more controversy than there needed to be.
    Officials mistakes are every bit a part of the game as fumbles and interceptions. They happen and no one is immune from them.
    He’s also right that they don’t need to go full time. It’s asinine to think that officials would be any better by sitting around all week watching film of games or discussing calls, because that’s not happening in real time at real speed under real game time pressure.
    Just like practice for the players is nowhere close to actual game play, simulated officiating would be nowhere close to officiating an actual game.
    Lay off the officials and tell the players and coaches they should all try to be as proficient at what they do as the officials are at what they do. It isn’t even close. The officials do a much better job at what they do than the players and coaches do at what they do.

  11. I believe the game had more integrity when replays weren’t used at all. Yes, there were some wrong calls made, but probably no more than are made with replays. The game seemed to have more character without the replays. But, who cares, really, as long as your picks cover, right?

  12. We complained about the replacement refs. Then the real refs came back and we’re complaining about them. If they hired full time refs, we’d be complaining within a weak. I don’t think the NFL has a referee problem. I think we a have a cry baby problem with some fans. I see the full time umpires blow a lot of calls. I see the full time NBA refs blow a ton a calls. I just don’t hear baseball and basketball fans whining all the time.

  13. I’ll make a deal with you, Rog. You resign and I’ll accept the officials we currently have. I’ll also start watching NFL games again.

  14. that’s right! because full-time, comes full benefit. It’ll definitely cost triple the amount current paid, ya know???

    consider a league that makes tons of money… #smh

  15. Its obviously flippin’ rigged when a team, the Raiders, breaks a penalty record and then the next week gets barely any penalties because it’s a prime time game and the officials were told to back off

  16. I got this. I have the Goodell decoder ring….

    Translation: Our refs make mistakes, we are too cheap to pay them full time. Deal with it pheasants.

  17. The guy making $40 million is too cheap to hire full-time officials. Goodell is a disgrace on every level possible.

  18. It’s difficult for the officials to get the calls right when they’re only there to work part-time. There are times I wonder if the refs even know all the rules. The NFL made 7.2 billion dollars last year and they can’t hire full-time officials? Goodell makes 44 million dollars a year!

    Why is the league commissioner making so much money only to screw up so many times as the face of this professional sports’ league? These owners are all also to blame for keeping him around. They’re all just as bad as Roger for supporting him. Goodell is just one reason why the ratings are down.

  19. Commissioner Goodell, if the object of the officials is to determine the outcome of the game, then they are indeed doing a great job ! Otherwise , not so much.

  20. I was inclined to agree with the proposition until Goodell said it. Now I know it must be wrong.

  21. Roger has 3 responsibilities:
    1. Make money for the owners
    2. Deny there are problems
    3. Make money for the owners

    Hiring full time officials would cut into profits.

  22. nyneal,

    There are 2 types of missed calls.
    For some plays, the official has to be in exactly the right place on the field to make the call, like when a ball is being juggled as the receiver goes to the ground or whether the ball crosses the goal line in a pile of players. I don’t blame the ref for those.

    But if the ref watches the Sherman play last week and makes a bad call, followed by a procedural error in not resetting the clock while preventing the offense from snapping the ball, the ref needs retraining-period.

    I was a ref too. I still hate bad calls due to a ref’s mental lapse.

  23. Chowder heads here that whine and complain about officials have NEVER walked in their shoes. I’m a high school football and basketball official. Calls are going to be missed….period. It’s human nature.
    When I blow a call, it eats at me and bothers me. But, I have to push forward and keep at it.
    Unless you have done the job on a regular basis and you’re going to criticize, get bent.

  24. Goodell doesn’t really believe that, nor does he actually care about player safety. His bloated compensation is based solely pon league income! Full time refs would require salaries, office space & various support staff, medical benfits, pension benefits, etc….In other words cut into league income!

  25. I have always believed Goodell got an unfair amount of criticism but after that remark he should be drug tested.

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