Tony Corrente’s antics fuel “the fix is in” crowd

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
Getty Images

On Monday night, referee Tony Corrente and his crew made multiple bad calls. Corrente personally was responsible for two major moments, a controversial low block that took a touchdown off the board for Chicago and a sketchy taunting call that included Corrente throwing a hip into Cassius Marsh just before throwing the flag.

Both calls were very bad. In his pool report, Corrente said whatever he had to say to justify the decisions he made, no matter how factually inaccurate his contentions were.

Corrente’s antics prove yet again the value of a sky judge/booth umpire who would have bridged the gap between the TV feed and the decisions made in the moment by the on-field officials. In a situation like the one that emerged last night, it’s the kind of thing that justifies suspicion that the fix is in.

The fix isn’t in. The NFL doesn’t predetermine the outcome of games. In large part because it couldn’t pull it off without someone blabbing.

But that doesn’t keep people from thinking the fix is in. And it doesn’t keep situations like the one that played out last night from making people think the fix is in.

Perception is reality. The more that people perceive there’s a predetermined result, the more of a problem it becomes for the NFL.

That’s why it’s critical for the league to improve its officiating function. Eventually, as legalized gambling spreads, one big scandal will become the big scandal that gets Congress to create an agency that will exercise oversight as to the NFL. When that happens, that won’t be good for the NFL.

The only way the NFL can delay that outcome is to do everything it can to improve its officiating function before someone else forces them to do it.

85 responses to “Tony Corrente’s antics fuel “the fix is in” crowd

  1. Could it be any more blatantly obvious that a Referee had a worse impact on a game than that one?

  2. im not sure you could entirely “fix” a game. you can make sure important calls steer a game in a certain direction. phantom pass interference, penalties on tds, completely arbitrary taunting an obvious imbalance in total penalties called. good thing all those didnt happen in last night’s game.

  3. False. Goodell has been coaching officials for years before games are played, as conference calls are held.

    Also, when a team is trailing in the second half, flags come out on phantom calls to improve rating$.

    To keep their jobs, refs are expected to fall in line. Some of us know people, Mike.

    We’ve also seen them change rules after a game to match what was called on the field.

    This is why they have grey area rules and why teams can’t review any play at their own will.

    It would hinder Goodell’s quest to maximize revenue. No officiating can be this bad in pro sports.

  4. Its going to happen just a matter of time before someone files a lawsuit against Goodell, the NFL and the refs for “fixing” the outcome of these games. All you have to do is subpoena the game film and have a just watch it. Just go to full time referees and let eye in the sky have the ability to overall bullsh!t calls like last nights game.

  5. The “fix” is not in. The reason so many fans are starting to believe it is has to do with the teams that always seem to get the calls (or no calls). The referees have become too much of a factor in determining game outcomes. And the Bears getting totally hosed to make sure Pittsburgh continued the Monday Night Football streak (congrats – sincerely, y’all should be proud of your franchise) is a perfect example. NFL better fix your officiating problem or fans will walk. It’s getting that bad.

  6. The Sky Judge – YES!! But it makes so much sense it will never happen.

    And while I know that the NFL isn’t fixed, that’s not to say that officials or small-fry players couldn’t be bought.

    And let’s assume Corrente isn’t crooked – then what explains his behavior? If his crew had had this performance on a Sunday afternoon it would be one thing, but on MNF it puts a stink on the entire league.

    So if Corrente’s not on the take then…he’s just really bad at his job? Or he feels it’s within his right to affect the outcome of games? Incompetent or power mad? Those are our choices?

    None of the answers are satisfactory for a multi-billion dollar sports league trying to increase revenue every year.

  7. Imagine last night’s debacle once gambling is legal through the NFL. Tell me the viewership loss and revenue loss wouldn’t be horrific after a referee-altered outcome like that? Any subjective rules, like taunting, are going to have to go.

  8. We shouldn’t know the names of referees; just call them “Official A, B, C, etc.” and maybe you’ll get people who know their role and focus on calling a fair game instead of going for glory boy moments on National TV.

  9. Do like they do in rugby, make all the refs, NFL office and onsite replay officials mics open to the public and on at all times. Let networks bleep out the swearing and decide what should be played on their shows. Also, a automatic replay on all personal fouls and let the ref, in this case, Pittsburgh’s number 1 fan Corrente, explain why he through the taunting flag then tried to get Marsh to run into him to toss him from the game. It is not like the NFL is rolling in cash and could easily pay for all this.

    Right now it looks like Corrente (or his ear piece) bent over backwards to ensure Pittsburgh won.

  10. It’s very simple to fix. NFL focus on changing all rules that are open to interpretation. Any rule that is open to interpretation is not a rule, it’s a judgment call. So there was be inherent variability from call to call based on that particular ref’s point of view. All fans ask for at the end of the day is consistency, not variability.

  11. And let’s not forget the absolutely blatant (not even CLOSE) late hit on Justin Fields that happened right in front of Corrente late in the 4th quarter.

    Do I believe the fix was in? No – not at all.

    Do I believe that officials that self-demonstrate their absolute incompetence are allowed to keep on keepin’ on? Yes.

    And frankly, the “fix is in” crowd gets my sympathy on this one. Looked like Corrente had a ten grand money line bet on the Steelers and he was behind on child support payments.

  12. Since the private sector runs our federal government, and the Billionaires that own NFL Franchises are part of said private sector, how would Congress create an agency to over see this? Truth be told the Billionaires care about one thing, making billions more. Because billions of dollars gets you power, and billions more gets you even greater power, power the extends way beyond a playing field that’s an 100 yard by 50 yard rectangle.

  13. The “fix” may not be in, but the bias is obvious and on display. Some teams and players get calls, others don’t.

  14. While the taunting call could be called either way, the touchdown by the Bears taht was called back for a phantom illegal block was obviously wrong and changed the outcome of the game.

  15. You could argue the facemark call in the Niners v Cardinals was more horrific. No flag on the play, then McCoy gets off the turf, runs over to the official, pleads his case then the ref throws the flag a good 30 seconds after the end of the play. Watch it. It’s horrendous. Even worse, the reply clearly showed no foul. It was a critical 3rd & 10 play. The resulting flag extended a scoring drive. Very next play was a pass for 45 yards to the Niners 1 YL.

    The FIX is unquestionably in this year

  16. One or two bad/missed calls often determine the outcome of the game, but these were so egregious, it was like Corrente wanted you to know that they are doing this on purpose.

  17. Between the SNF game and the MNF game I’ve never seen referees affect outcomes like that. It’s getting ridiculous and nearly makes the product unwatchable.

  18. All of the fans can see it’s biased why cant the NFL see it too? Brought to you by Draft Kings

  19. I don’t understand fans that continue to watch if they think the “fix is in”. Why would you watch if you thought that? The problem is the NFL has some ridiculous rules and some ridiculously written rules. Its a difficult job to ref an NFL game but those that have consistently shown poor performance should be removed.

  20. It’s not a much a conspiracy as much as these refs just sucking at their jobs and ruining the product. Refs shouldn’t be part of the show, fans don’t pay to see them.

  21. Not the first instance I have seen in an NFL game where a ref or refs made timely calls that changed the outcome of the game.

  22. Godell should be pissed off big time, but he won’t be. The league that is so precious to so many is becoming tainted. Because of the laziness of the league to come down on these “All About Me” ref’s. Corrente should never be allowed to do a game again. Period.

  23. I think there’s no denying that certain teams are favored by the refs and it’s been that way for decades.

  24. I read years ago that in order to become an NFL referee, one had to be completely debt-free and financially independent, meaning they had absolutely enough money in the bank to never have to work again and therefore would be less susceptible to being bought off/corrupted. Additionally, this was why they had all part-time refs. I wonder if this is still true? Or was it ever true? It would sure help alleviate some portion of the concern here.

  25. As bad as that was, the officiating here wasn’t even as bad as the Bills-Jags game. Multiple blown calls, multiple mistakes in calling the wrong team for the flag only to change it later, 3 false starts by the Jags where the RT took 2 full steps before the ball was hiked and no flag was thrown, etc. Insane the number of phantom or blown calls in that game that aided the Jags victory. Terrible

  26. The fix doesn’t have to be vis-a-vis some directive from Roger. To do so is preposterous on many levels. But a fix can most certainly be in by omission. The NBA had that rogue referee several years ago fixing games, and they sent him packing. They didn’t omit. The NHL recently had an issue (while not related to fixing a game but the principals apply) where they got rid of two high ranking employees in Bowman and Quenville; the NHL didn’t omit. The fix can most certainly be argued it’s in if the NFL (Roger) does nothing here. By doing nothing, Roger is in effect saying (whether he’s afraid to take on the union or simply secretly supports it, the reasoning is ultimately unimportant, the result is), alter certain games, certain teams, certain ways and I’ll do nothing. It gives all parties plausible deniability but absolutely allows for a fix. Not saying Corrente was fixing last night’s game, but his actions last night speak to one of only two outcomes; 1) he is so bad at his job that he has no business being employed by the NFL on any level or 2) he was trying to fix the outcome of the game. No other possibilities. In either case, if Roger does nothing, then absolutely the proper ethical and I believe legal argument is that the fix is in. Again, most think of a fix being orchestrated on the front end, but it’s more plausible that if there’s a fix, it’s done via omission.

  27. Oh, just wait until a game is decided by a video review from the league office that isn’t shown during the telecast. I believe it was Mike Pereira who detailed the process during a review of a fumble towards the end of the first half of the Eagles/Raiders game a few weeks ago. His explanation was that the league office can synch up multiple angles… and yet somehow it’s impossible for the network to show it. The refs have that card in their back pocket now, that can literally get on the phone to the league and be told what the “correct” call is, despite neither us nor the refs being able to see the evidence. It really doesn’t get any shadier than that.

  28. Chop blocking is a personal foul, but apparently some here feel there should be a Bears exemption. Taunting? Even the Bears coach knew Marsh had committed the foul. Stop listening to the clowns in the ESPN broadcast booth last night and their estimates as to what is and isn’t a penalty. These are the same guys who said that the Bears should go for two when they had just tied the game late in the 4th with a chance to go up by one by kicking the extra point. The only missed call was the non-roughing call on Highsmith, but that happens to every QB in every game. Big Ben gets popped constantly with no calls.

  29. The NFL has fought too hard for too long against the idea of a sky judge despite clear evidence that it’s both effective and necessary. Why is anyone’s guess but they need to start taking this very seriously. The refs should have personality and be visible in terms of calling the game but their impact on said game should be transparent. It’s in the NFLs best interest to have the refs disappear into the background of the game yet it seems unwilling to put anything in motion that will effect that change.

  30. All the attention on one call forgetting the numerous off sides and false starts committed by the Bears. TJ watt complained about Bears tackles moving early and not being called so I think the taunting call was very iffy the Bears shot themselves in the feet so many times by the end of the game they looked like they were wearing crocs. Every team gets hosed by the refs and it was the Bears turn…..time to pull up the big boy pants and move on…you can’t change it.

  31. I wish the fix was in, the would imply some competence by the refs. I’m not sure what would have been fixed, with or without the blown calls the Steelers wouldn’t have covered either way

  32. Frankly, I think a bettor reached this guy. $$$ Who knows for sure, though. Any way to check their accounts and finances?

  33. Pittsburg has been a Rozelle/Tagliabue/Goodell favorite for a long long time. In the Immaculate Deflection game in 1972, the refs feared for their lives if they disallowed that TD. The tradition continues, with the exception being Bettis’ coin flip call.

  34. Look at the Rams … how many penalties did the Rams get or the Fins Texans game. One team gets all the penalties that’s BS. Even the Raiders game in the second half Raiders got 6 penalties … Giants ZERO! I’m sure there are other games too.
    Funny all those teams lost too.

  35. Sky Judge, extra refs who’s to say these guys would get anything right, or, overturn their buddies on the field? How many times do we at home, and in the stadiums, see one thing that is pretty obvious only for replay officials to see the opposite?

  36. The officiating has needed help for so long in this modern age of football and it just keeps getting worse as mistakes are identified and replayed faster and faster and the league piles on with emphasizing behavioral judgement calls and flip flopping on rule changes. Worst officiating I’ve ever seen was 2016 Sarah Thomas giving the Redskins a fumble recovery after the Browns had already recovered and walked away with the football while she reviewed the scrum still occurring on the ground for the imaginary ball to reward possession.

  37. Go to Zebra Reports. It lists the upcoming referee crews before placing your bets or setting your lineup. The ref crews do matter.

  38. We all know the games are not played 100% fairly, we just don’t know to what extent. Is it a couple refs? Is it a full crew? Is it more pervasive? And who is behind it and profiting? There is simply too much money at stake for corruption not to have some part in it. Look at the Olympics and the rash of judges in boxing and figure skating, who took an oath, and immediately manipulated the outcomes. Then there is the obvious Tim Donaghy comparison, which isn’t likely to have been an isolated event. It’s near impossible to police. In the NFL alone there are a multitude of subjective penalties that can be called to manipulate the score, even if the outright winner isn’t decided. The taunting rule just gave the corrupt another tool. It’s a real problem in my opinion and not easily fixed.

  39. Corrente seems out of touch with today’s NFL players. He is too old school, not what the league needs or wants. He makes it too much about him. When he threw the flag on Marsh he made such an over statement of slowly pulling the flag out and throwing it as high as he could. Like he was trying to say “look at me look at me, I’m in charge.”

  40. The league requires the players and coaches to make themselves available to media questioning. What would be the harm in doing the same for the referees? If they screw up something as obviously as they did Monday night, why shouldn’t they have to answer for it?

  41. Brad Rogers crew on Sunday night wasn’t much better…4-19 Titans and 12-115 Rams and an absolute awful roughing the passer on Aaron Donald that kept a drive alive and Titans eventually scored…

  42. “The NFL doesn’t predetermine the outcome of games.” That doesn’t mean games aren’t fixed. Tim Donaghy can tell you how.

  43. Is it a coincidence after legalizing sports gambling officiating has gotten worse?

  44. I just looked at video video … and holy crap … the ref is looking right at Marsh and intentionally turn his hip into the player … it was so freaking obvious too! That ref needs to be suspended for this … but this is the NFL so they will blow it off as usual!

  45. Sorry but if they’re emphasizing calling taunting penalties, which everyone knows is the case, why would anyone be surprised that he got called for taunting when he clearly walked towards the Steelers sideline, (the team that cut him before the season), and postured towards them in a taunting like manner?

  46. I know one thing that was completely within the control of the Chicago Bears, and that is lining up in the neutral zone on every other play.

  47. “The fix isn’t in. The NFL doesn’t predetermine the outcome of games. In large part because it couldn’t pull it off without someone blabbing.”

    This literally happened in the NBA and they swept it under the rug and claimed he was a lone wolf.

  48. Just because “the NFL” isn’t fixing the games doesn’t mean the games aren’t fixed. Clearly this ref needs a thorough investigation.

  49. The best was at Green Bay two years ago in the second game of the season when the Vikings scored a TD. Since every scoring play is reviewed it was checked out. Someone in New York threw a flag halfway around the country to call Dalvin Cook for OPI even though no flags were thrown on the field. Vikings TD taken away, they have to settle for a F.G.

  50. CNBC reported at least $12 billion will be bet on the NFL this season.
    NBC says the average NFL official makes about $205,000 a year.
    According to the NFL there are 121 officials.
    So with billions being bet, how difficult will it be for some bettors to turn just one of these relatively low paid officials, as happened in the NBA even before this legalization and huge growth of sports betting?

  51. The NFL doesn’t predetermine a game
    But what about the score?
    All the yellow flags last night
    Would suggest a few red ones also.

  52. Oof somebody is mad their career is based on something as shady as the NFL

  53. Muddy the waters and then divide the opinion !!!! They have been deciding these games for years so wake up people

  54. The officiating and play calling in the NFL would make one question the legitimacy of the leagues outcomes on a weekly basis.

  55. I don’t think there was a “fix” last night but it’s been obvious for years, if not a decade, that Tony Corrente and his ilk (Carl Cheffers and Clete Blakeman to name a few) have ZERO business as NFL referees.

    The NFL needs to clean house in regards to their officials and referees, period. Enough is enough.

  56. Im pretty sure if you seriously sat fans down and asked them if there was partiality (*clears throat* or lackthereof) shown towards certain players and certain teams at specific & unspecific times, a majority would admit it. Its a pretty common colloquialism.
    Most immediately obvious – Look at the Rodgers situation for goodness sake. Theres a reason why some teams & their owners tend to skate by unscathed sometimes. To ignore the reality & influence of The Rooneys, Snyders, Moras, etc of the NFL world is naive and counter to literal decades of corroborative evidence. Perception is reality.

  57. “The fix isn’t in. The NFL doesn’t predetermine the outcome of games. In large part because it couldn’t pull it off without someone blabbing.”

    “This literally happened in the NBA and they swept it under the rug and claimed he was a lone wolf.”

    This man literally gets paid to defend the NFL. It is his job to carry water for them. They cant admit it

  58. If a ref’s behavior is being described as antics, we’ll there in lies the problem. All refs calls should be objective not subjective. It really causes eye brows to be raised.

  59. meanj0e says:
    November 9, 2021 at 4:00 pm
    Sorry but if they’re emphasizing calling taunting penalties, which everyone knows is the case, why would anyone be surprised that he got called for taunting when he clearly walked towards the Steelers sideline, (the team that cut him before the season), and postured towards them in a taunting like manner?


    He just stared at the sideline but why not throw a taunting flag on T.J. Watt for blowing a kiss after a sack towards the Bears sideline?

    Any more excuses left?

  60. Tony Corrente is on the take, point shaving for the mob, like the dbag in the NBA that Stern claimed was lone and rogue. The ones lousy at it get noticed, as they both have been.

  61. It is clear for those who can see. They operate in the open. Everything, EVERYTHING is corrupt…….

  62. The same defenses were made in the case of the NBA until some officials admitted they fixed some games.

  63. Also, it isn’t the NFL that fixes games, it is organized crime. And guess what, they have a program to take care of anyone who “blabs”.

  64. I’m not really a fan of either team, although I do like the Steelers more. There is no doubt the Bears got an abundance of bad call’s. It was like watching a Raiders game.

  65. I’m not saying the fix was in or not. But the line went from 6 to 7 which means a more money on the Steelers. But the bears covered the spread anyway.

  66. If players get fines for not talking to the media after games, the refs should also have to talk to the media after games.

  67. The officails take 4 points on the low block outside the tight end box (that clearly was inside the tackle box thus legal) but a few plays before a steeler low blocked a bears tackle Peters he complained about it didnt get a flag , Then it seemed because they Bears players and bench where complaining about the bad one sided calls the Refs decided to even slant the game more to “give ’em something to complain about” And he threw the flag that Peters wanted called to protect him against his team like “See I do know how to call that so shut up and take it” The taunting thing was another 3 points so the refs shaved off 7 total points from this game. That btw the line was 6

  68. Corrente is horrible and has been for a log time. Bring back ‘Guns’ at least he was entertaining.

  69. Monday night’s officiating was bad. But the officials at the Bills/Jaguars game were the worst I’ve ever seen. I’m not blaming the Bills lose on the officiating, The Bills played a terrible game and deserved to lose. But if it had been a closer game the officials would have played a major role in the winner. Legalized gambling and the NFL’s endorsement of it, will be the game’s undoing. And if there is collusion going on, it will continue until someone doesn’t get paid enough and “blabs.” Whether it be collusion or just poor officiating remains to be seen, but I’m putting my money on a predetermined winner.

  70. Vegas would have a fantastic week 3 or 4 times a year. Now its every single week for the last decade. This week alone the top 5 “cant miss” heavy favorite not only failed to cover the spread, they lost the game outright. It has a feel that Vegas wants to grab every nickle available while they still can. The old time powerhouse 49ers would never loose to a dog team. The bigger the favorite the more money gets bet and somehow the crap team regularly pulls off a Miracle win week after week. And Vegas laughs all the way to the bank. Something is really wrong

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.