Report: Al Riveron retires from NFL officiating office

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Al Riveron is leaving the league office.

Riveron, who was appointed the head of the officiating department in 2017 after Dean Blandino left for FOX, is retiring, according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.

The NFL had already reduced Riveron’s load by giving more of the work to Walt Anderson and Perry Fewell, and now Anderson and Fewell will run the officiating department.

NFL officiating is often a punching bag for football fans, and Riveron took his share of criticism, most recently for a replay review on a Josh Allen incompletion in the playoffs that under NFL rules should not have been reviewed.

In fairness to Riveron, however, the league’s complex rulebook isn’t easy for anyone to administer, and there will surely be plenty more officiating issues that come up this season. No matter who’s running the officiating department, it’s a hard job to do well.

31 responses to “Report: Al Riveron retires from NFL officiating office

  1. “In fairness to Riveron…”

    Nope. Complex or not, he failed time and time again and always had an awful explanation for each one.

  2. The NFL’s complex rule book isn’t easy for anyone to administer? Huh. I would think the one person up to the job would be THE HEAD OF THE OFFICIATING DEPARTMENT.

  3. Given the amount of money at stake, especially now with legalized gambling, it’s mystifying the league still doesn’t have full-time officials. It’ll never be perfect but full-time will undoubtedly lead to better on-field officiating, fewer replays, and less involvement from the head of the department.

  4. Many officials would have to take a cut in total compensation if you added their regular job pay and their current officials pay to just become full time refs. only.

  5. The guy was the worst referee in the league when he was on the field. How he got promoted is beyond me.

  6. Another Goodell stooge tired of cheating.

    The rules are specificallly muddy and bad so Goodell can cheat when he wants.

    That’s why the rules aren’t black and white.

  7. Addition by subtraction? Get Mike Pereira back. Simple. Blindino was also a joke.

  8. Many officials would have to take a cut in total compensation if you added their regular job pay and their current officials pay to just become full time refs. only.
    Standard “league office” response. Here’s a simple solution: 1) offer a compensation package that incentifies them to only be an official or 2) find new ones

  9. Congrats and thank you for retiring Al, that’s probably the best thing you have done for the league.
    Can’t imagine any networks clammering to get Al on their broadcasts.

  10. Initial call on the field: He did a fine job and will be missed.

    After replay: Hahahahahahaha!

  11. I don’t care what the rules say. If a call is completely blown on the field there needs to be someone in the refs ear. But only the ones that get on Sports Center because the call was so bad not the ones you have to watch in slow motion.

  12. I agree it’s a hard job and there are a lot of tough judgement calls, but Riveron not only seemed to misunderstand the rules of the game, he frequently didn’t apply the rules of replay review properly. The NFL should be embarrassed that he was allowed to retire.

  13. If anybody other than an actual ref with real game experience is making calls from New York, it’s a massive fail.

  14. He was horrible at his job and the NFL should have removed him a year ago.

  15. He wasn’t good as the referee of an on-field crew. Never should have been put as the head of officiating. It’s a joke Walt Anderson has the job he has because he wasn’t any good as a referee, either. See Deflategate.

  16. But where will they find somebody else to misinterpret the rules and tell you what you clearly saw didn’t really happen?

  17. I have no idea why the NFL doesnt adopt College Football’s replay system. Not saying they get every call right, but they are way closer to getting every call than the NFL, and the whole execution of the replay review is way more smooth and efficient. There havent been too many calls in College Football where they totally botched the call even after replay. In the NFL, half of the calls that should be reversed are not. It is seriously ridiculous how many calls are missed on the field and in the replay booth in the NFL.

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