Video: Watch the NFL kill its brand in one easy (mis-)step

posted at 8:41 am on September 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Generally speaking, I tend to give sports officials some leeway, perhaps especially in the NFL. The game is fast, it’s complicated, and only seven officials get to watch 22 players on a field that measures 120 yards long (with end zones) by 53 yards wide. Even with replay in the best of conditions, the most experienced officials will blow a call or two in a game. However, I’ve watched NFL games for more than 40 years, and I’ve never seen anything like what took place in Seattle last night. I watched from midway through the third quarter to the jaw-dropping finale, and I’ve never seen a worse-called game in my life at any level of football competition. From phantom pass interference calls to egregious PI non-calls, a normal out-of-pocket hit on a QB that drew a roughing penalty that negated an interception, to this final play — where a defender intercepted a pass and landed with both feet in the end zone but the offensive receiver was awarded the TD because he had one hand on the ball — the replacement officials embarrassed the NFL and put a big, fat asterisk on the whole season:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5L7O3PWICs

What happened to the best brand in sports? Kevin Seifert rips the league for its labor strategy at ESPN:

Can we now, in unison and without debate, agree that the NFL’s plan to replace its locked-out officials has failed spectacularly and embarrassingly, undermining the credibility of the league and — after two months of nervous anticipation — directly impacting the outcome of a game?

That’s the only possible reaction after watching the final play of the Seattle Seahawks’ 14-12 victory Monday night over the Green Bay Packers. I guess you can debate all the calls and potential mistakes that happened earlier in the game, from wildly inconsistent pass interference judgments to a failure to remove a “K” ball from the field on the Packers’ failed two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. But there is no question that Monday night’s crew of replacement officials erred repeatedly on the play in question and then lost control of the teams in one of the most chaotic scenes in recent NFL history.

The NFL’s attempt to patch together a competent group of officials was destined to fail the moment that Division I college officials either declined or were prevented from joining the effort. Anyone with a cursory knowledge of the NFL’s deep and nuanced rule book, not to mention the speed of the professional game, knew that recruiting low-level college officials, Arena League castoffs and Lingerie League part-timers was destined to fail at the highest level of the game.

That’s not to say that the officials on the field aren’t trying to do their best; they clearly are putting forth a valiant effort in each game. However, they don’t know the NFL rules, both in nuanced and in embarrassingly obvious ways. Last night, after the controversial TD call, the officials ran off the field — unaware that the NFL requires a conversion attempt for all TDs in regular time, regardless of whether the clock has expired or not. They aren’t qualified to call games at this level, and their experience at Division II and III has left them woefully unprepared for the speed of the professional game. Brit Hume put it best last night:

Whatever Roger Goodell thinks he’s doing with his lockout of the professional officials, that strategy is over. He gambled that anyone could call these games, and this weekend he lost. Not only did the officials change the outcome of this game, they probably did the same in Baltimore yesterday with a series of questionable penalty calls and almost certainly blowing the field goal call on the last play of that game as well. The NFL has a game this Thursday. Either they need to get the regular officials back on the field, or they need to start postponing these games until they do, because to saddle teams with regular-season records based on this officiating is a travesty, and it’s turning the NFL into a joke.

Note to Goodell: When you have a panel that consists of men who would normally be cheerleading the league — and whose livelihood depends on its success — go on national TV and talk about how the results lack any integrity whatsoever, you are in danger of killing your brand.

Update: The football field is 53 yards wide, not 17; was thinking 53 feet, for some reason. Thanks to Steve Eggleston for the correction.


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New NFL rule: You can now catch the ball by catching the guy who holds the ball.

h/t right scoop.

hillsoftx on September 25, 2012 at 8:46 AM

But the jets are 2-1 so I say lets keep rollin on.

rob verdi on September 25, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Is this really what America is worried about? No wonder Obama is about to be reelected.

Mark1971 on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Hey, Brit Hume took my joke. I distinctly tweeted “#BarackObamaIs the replacement referee of Presidents” during the Pats/Ravens game Sunday night. Whatever happened to journalistic integrity! ATTICA!!! ATTICA!!! lol ~ RD @rumblindurango

RumblinDurango on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

A) This is why defensive backs are told to knock the ball down.
B) Simultaneous possession goes to the offensive player and possession is not determined until they are down.
C) Who do we blame when the “real” refs call horrible games (say Giants/Packers last year)?

Zaggs on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

I pay no attention whatsoever to football and don’t understand most of it; and even I can tell that was a bonehead call.

CurtZHP on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

I referee HS basketball and am overwhelmed by two feelings: (1) painful empathy for the replacement officials who chose to put themselves in this position and (2) the knowledge that, no matter how qualified I think I am at calling HS games, it doesn’t make me anywhere near ready to call D I or II college ball (about the same number of levels up these guys are doing). Yeesh.

Rufus on September 25, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Ugh,it looks like Hopey/Changey,will step in,on Regulations
for the NFL!
(sarc)

canopfor on September 25, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Brit Hume won the internet today!

Lance Murdock on September 25, 2012 at 8:49 AM

that horrible pass interference call….

rollthedice on September 25, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Tate = Obama
Jennings = Romney
Ref #84 = Rasmussun
Ref #26 = Politico

Haiku Guy on September 25, 2012 at 8:50 AM

I don’t follow football and as an impartial observer it’s obvious the white ref thought the black ref was also raising his hands for “touchdown” and just wanted to do it together with him. If he knew it was a different result he wouldn’t have done it. It was just a follow-the-leader panic.

Is that what people are saying? I have other things to worry about, like payroll taxes.

Marcus on September 25, 2012 at 8:50 AM

https://twitter.com/BuzzFeedAndrew

Another shot of the refs making different calls. via Getty pic.twitter.com/OfhdHJhr

https://twitter.com/BuzzFeedAndrew/status/250454875069108225/photo/1

canopfor on September 25, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Haven’t the Dems taught us that it is effort that matters more than success?

Folks, this is the future of the participation trophy society.

weaselyone on September 25, 2012 at 8:51 AM

But what does Obama have to say? Isn’t that all that matters?

JammieWearingFool on September 25, 2012 at 8:52 AM

https://twitter.com/andylevy

Andy Levy ‏@andylevy

where is the nfl embassy

canopfor on September 25, 2012 at 8:52 AM

This seems like a good day to be a guy who doesn’t care about football.

Mr. Prodigy on September 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM

B) Simultaneous possession goes to the offensive player and possession is not determined until they are down.

Zaggs on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Not true. They read the rule repeatedly last night, which says that the possession has to be established at the time of the catch, not on the ground. A player cannot wrestle his way to simultaneous possession, which would make it *not simultaneous at all*.

Ed Morrissey on September 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Oh, please! If Green Bay had scored more points and not allowed their
QB to be sacked 8 times in the first half, they wouldn’t have had to
worry about a missed call (that is, if it was missed).

I see worse calls in youth football, baseball, soccer, etc. every
weekend. Quit whining!

I am sure Obama will weigh into this shortly.

Amjean on September 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM

B) Simultaneous possession goes to the offensive player and possession is not determined until they are down.
C) Who do we blame when the “real” refs call horrible games (say Giants/Packers last year)?

Zaggs on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

I’m surprised the D2/D3 refs didn’t use the college one-foot-equals-possession rule because it wasn’t until after the first foot was down, but before the second was down, that Tate got his hands (plural) on it.

The “real” refs would mostly blow different calls.

Steve Eggleston on September 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Ed loves a good meme.

The union hacks are pushing this meme for all its worth.

God help us.

faraway on September 25, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Um, I agree the replacement refs suck, but that FG in the Baltimore game was good.

And seeing Belichek whine about bad officiating was like hearing Obama cry about bad press coverage.

DRayRaven on September 25, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Not true. They read the rule repeatedly last night, which says that the possession has to be established at the time of the catch, not on the ground. A player cannot wrestle his way to simultaneous possession, which would make it *not simultaneous at all*.

Ed Morrissey on September 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Possession cannot be established in the NFL until both feet (or a body part other than hands and feet) are down on the ground. Jennings lost sole possession before the second foot came down.

What the refs blew on that play was the offensive pass interference that should have nullified the touchdown.

Steve Eggleston on September 25, 2012 at 8:56 AM

What’s “killing the brand” is the collective onslaught of bitching every 5secs. I can’t even watch the NFL-based shows cause they won’t STFU. Refs are bad, so what? Move on and talk about football.

All this loss of integrity and killing the brand is BS, it’s bothersome but it’s not gonna die like baseball with it’s 162 friggin games. I can’t believe I have to see all these non-sports sites and persons talking about it.

The meme has reached super-critical…it’s the cool thing to do, like trying to make people believe Republicans are stupid.

John Kettlewell on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Sorry Ed, but even the hometown press isn’t holding the officials responsible for the Pats loss to the Ravens. And the field goal call was most likely the right call. Watch the replay 23 times like I did… Did they call a sloppy game yes- but most agree it was equally poor for both teams. Did the Pats still make too mistakes to win…yup.

Still, NFL: Your’s is the only major league I still watch…make this right!!!!!

mxt on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Is this really what America is worried about? No wonder Obama is about to be reelected.

Mark1971 on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

#1 You’re wrong Mark….Obama is not going to get re-elected and

#2 This is a national pastime that millions of Americans embrace. If you caught what/how Brit Hume used this debacle by comparing Obama to these refs, you might have a clue on how to get the public’s attention. and

#3 The story will go away faster than the liberal media’s ability to ignore the travesty that happened in Benghazi

Rovin on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Thank you Ed, I was just about to address that, Clearly the GB defender catches the ball and brings it to his chest. The Seattle receiver then tries to take the ball away as they fall to the ground. He never gets possesion and once the GB defender hits the ground the play is dead, GB interception. There is no wrestling for the ball after that to determine possesion.

Also missed on this play was a horrible pass interference on the offense just before the ball comes into plan the receiver shoves the defender in the back. That play should have ended right there with that penalty.

geramy2012 on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

The union is paying these replacement refs to make bad calls, to boost their own value. You heard it here first. Aren’t unions just fab?

hoosiermama on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

You know who’s loving this? The regular refs who have been locked out.

aunursa on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

A Stealers fan pointing out bad officiating on a game-changing play involving the Seahawks?

Oh, the irony!

Hot Gas on September 25, 2012 at 8:58 AM

canopfor on September 25, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Not sure why you marked that with sarcasm; that seems completely up Obama’s alley. It seems even more like an Obama move if you considering the Refs are unionized.

angelwing34215 on September 25, 2012 at 8:58 AM

#2 This is a national pastime that millions of Americans embrace. If you caught what/how Brit Hume used this debacle by comparing Obama to these refs, you might have a clue on how to get the public’s attention. and

LOL. Yeah, I’m sure we’ll be able to use this to turn the tables on Obama.

Mark1971 on September 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

I didnt watch the game, but it was a scoring play so it was automatically reviewed, right? The review is done by the “real” review refs, the review refs didnt strike, or are in another union or however that works. If the review didnt have enough evidence to overturn in slow mo, how can you expect the real ref to have called it differently in full speed?

Pretty sick and tired of hearing about these “replacement” refs every minute of every game. It’s worse than any of their potentially blown calls, and I probably wouldnt even know they were replacements if they didnt remind me every minute. Well ok, maybe thats going too far. But seriously, move on. When the real refs get back, we better not have to listen/watch coaches and announcers cry all game about the calls.

kage on September 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Sorry Ed, but considering the Seahawks record of the last couple years, the Packers shouldn’t have been in any danger of losing to them. Blame the Packers for letting it come down to the wire, not the refs….

ScottG on September 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

So I guess the best solution is to reward the Union Hack Officials for going on strike right before the season starts to get what they want. Fire them all (ala Reagan) and let them reapply for their jobs at lower wages and benefits.

Remember they’re “part of the field”.

And the regular guys are so much better.

Sheesh.

The Honey Badger

The Honey Badger on September 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

NFL Officiating Scandal – all we hear is “the replacement refs stink” – but where is the reporting about why the NFL must use replacement refs? Where is the reporting about the Referee’s Union refusing the NFL’s demand to be judged on performance – and therein lies the labor dispute. Like the Teacher’s Union – the Referee’s Union has left the NFL no choice but to hire replacement personnel – but of course the MSM cannot tell you that story – oh no – we must not hear that a Union has made unreasonable contract demands. INCREDIBLE how lame even ESPN is, in their reporting on this mess. Unions – once again at fault – and it’s not reported.

jake-the-goose on September 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

It’s my understanding the replay officials are the regular replay officials so what is the answer now? I understand the officials are not calling the game correctly but this is a case where the replay officials failed, not the replacement refs.

aniptofar on September 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

I recommend everyone chick out twitchy this morning. http://twitchy.com/2012/09/25/liberals-blame-nfl-officiating-fiasco-on-paul-ryan-and-scott-walker/

radjah shelduck on September 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM

O’Butthead: The Replacement President

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on September 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Thank goodness the referee’s name wasn’t Bush. Can you imagine the headlines then?

CitizenEgg on September 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM

These replacement refs are a disaster, but Jennings to only needed to bat the ball down to win the game. 20/20 hindsight says he shouldn’t have tried to catch it.

RadClown on September 25, 2012 at 9:02 AM

If the fools in this country would get half as excited about taking back this once great Republic as they are about this mindless kid’s game, a Romney win would be assured. Sorry, I like football too but national priorities are warped out of shape.

rplat on September 25, 2012 at 9:02 AM

The union is paying these replacement refs to make bad calls, to boost their own value. You heard it here first. Aren’t unions just fab?

hoosiermama on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

I was said this exact thing to my wife all weekend long!

geramy2012 on September 25, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Maybe the replacement refs have been told by the real refs to do a bad job so the teams will complain to the NFL and they will cave to the union demands. Actually I’m thinking about sending in my resume and applying for a ref job. I was part of a chain crew once for a jv game.

Kissmygrits on September 25, 2012 at 9:03 AM

The union is paying these replacement refs to make bad calls, to boost their own value. You heard it here first. Aren’t unions just fab?

hoosiermama on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Not likely – but WOW – interesting thought.

jake-the-goose on September 25, 2012 at 9:03 AM

lol at Britt Humes tweet. How the man ever worked for CNN is beyond me. He must have had to bite his tongue daily.

Brit Hume

@Kimsfirst
Replacement refs doing the best they can. That’s the problem. Sort of like President Obama.

Literally lmao.

hawkdriver on September 25, 2012 at 9:03 AM

It’s my understanding the replay officials are the regular replay officials so what is the answer now? I understand the officials are not calling the game correctly but this is a case where the replay officials failed, not the replacement refs.

aniptofar on September 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

As the sports media has said multiple times this morning. The re-play officials can not determine possession, they can only determine whether a “catch” was made in bounds in the endzone. The possession is determined on the field only.

But considering the media’s liberal bias they are probably making up that NFL rule in their support of union thug NFL officials right?

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:03 AM

In the Dallas game, a receiver tripped on an official’s hat in the endzone. Ball was thrown towards him, but he was out of possition. Officials throw their hat to show an ineligable receiver (i.e. out of bounds) He was no where near the side-line. Total BS that the official would affect the game that way… and I HATE the Cowgirls!

LtGenRob on September 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM

There has never been another game winning blown call by an NFL ref… oh wait… should I link the hundred or so off the top of my head?

This is a union vs. free people play.

You folks are being played by union hacks, and our side plays along. Sad.

faraway on September 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM

But what does Obama have to say? Isn’t that all that matters?

JammieWearingFool on September 25, 2012 at 8:52 AM

I heard he described this as just another ‘bump in the road’.

CitizenEgg on September 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM

one of if not THE

WORST

CALL

EVER

And as the former Raider / Tampa coach / commentator said(cannot call his name for the life of me brain fart): “Pass interference should call itSELF!”

Katfish on September 25, 2012 at 9:05 AM

The union is paying these replacement refs to make bad calls, to boost their own value. You heard it here first. Aren’t unions just fab?

hoosiermama on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Do they pay the replacements less for bad calls than the union guys charge?

CitizenEgg on September 25, 2012 at 9:06 AM

I didnt watch the game, but it was a scoring play so it was automatically reviewed, right? The review is done by the “real” review refs, the review refs didnt strike, or are in another union or however that works. If the review didnt have enough evidence to overturn in slow mo, how can you expect the real ref to have called it differently in full speed?

Pretty sick and tired of hearing about these “replacement” refs every minute of every game. It’s worse than any of their potentially blown calls, and I probably wouldnt even know they were replacements if they didnt remind me every minute. Well ok, maybe thats going too far. But seriously, move on. When the real refs get back, we better not have to listen/watch coaches and announcers cry all game about the calls.

kage on September 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

While scoring plays (and turnovers) are automatically “reviewed” by the official upstairs (the same retired refs that were used last year), just like a officials’ review within the last 2 minutes, said “review” is merely to decide whether to buzz the on-field head referee to go under the hood and conduct the review. It’s college where the official upstairs does the actual review.

Steve Eggleston on September 25, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Either they need to get the regular officials back on the field, or they need to start postponing these games until they do, because to saddle teams with regular-season records based on this officiating is a travesty, and it’s turning the NFL into a joke.

Here’s the thing. The labor dispute is over pensions for part-timers who make over $100K/year at the same time they are phasing out pensions for full-time employees. Clearly their skill level is better than the replacements but, like it or not, the league has a valid reason for locking out the refs.

That being said, that “toucherference” call last night was just pathetic.

Happy Nomad on September 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

The union is paying these replacement refs to make bad calls, to boost their own value. You heard it here first. Aren’t unions just fab?

hoosiermama on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Your paranoia is equal parts hilarious and terrifying. Good God. You truly don’t believe there’s such a thing as expertise do you? Shocking and, ironically, anti-American. Didn’t it use to be a principle in capitalism that people should be paid what their labor is worth? Clearly, its been demonstrated that NFL refs have measureable, quantifiable value that exceeds others in their field. The League needs to pay for the pensions and be done with it.

But what we’re seeing instead is the *contempt* the billionaire class has for most Americans. Both those they employ but also those who they “serve” in the marketplace. They recognize they have a monopoly and literally do. not. care. what any of you think. Yet you worship them.

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Possession cannot be established in the NFL until both feet (or a body part other than hands and feet) are down on the ground. Jennings lost sole possession before the second foot came down. Steve Eggleston on September 25, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Respectfully, you’re dead wrong Steve. Jennings IS laying on the ground with full possession of the ball. The Seattle player has one arm/hand across Jenning’s body, ONE HAND, that comes across after they both hit the ground., and that does not (by the rules) constitute simultaneous possession.

Rovin on September 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

But what does Obama have to say? Isn’t that all that matters?

JammieWearingFool on September 25, 2012 at 8:52 AM

I heard he described this as just another ‘bump in the road’.

CitizenEgg on September 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Oddly, there was cheering for scabs in the upstairs of the White House early this morning.

Steve Eggleston on September 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Never cared for the NFL, NBA, MLB or any of the other over paid over hyped professional sports ever and don’t give a crap now. And I’m a huge sports fan.

bgibbs1000 on September 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Is this really what America is worried about? No wonder Obama is about to be reelected.

Mark1971 on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Yep.

the_souse on September 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Haha. These refs remind me of the MSM calling the election.

BJ* on September 25, 2012 at 9:08 AM

******** Alert ***************

Live

Video: Romney delivers remarks at Clinton Global Initiative

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on September 25, 2012 at 9:09 AM

I was under the impression that the replay officials were the original league officials…if that’s the case, why didn’t they overturn the ruling on the field?

rich8450 on September 25, 2012 at 9:09 AM

I didnt watch the game, but it was a scoring play so it was automatically reviewed, right? The review is done by the “real” review refs, the review refs didnt strike, or are in another union or however that works. If the review didnt have enough evidence to overturn in slow mo, how can you expect the real ref to have called it differently in full speed?

Pretty sick and tired of hearing about these “replacement” refs every minute of every game. It’s worse than any of their potentially blown calls, and I probably wouldnt even know they were replacements if they didnt remind me every minute. Well ok, maybe thats going too far. But seriously, move on. When the real refs get back, we better not have to listen/watch coaches and announcers cry all game about the calls. But I’m going to act like i know what the heck I’m talking about.

kage on September 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Fixed that for you.

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:09 AM

A) This is why defensive backs are told to knock the ball down. B) Simultaneous possession goes to the offensive player and possession is not determined until they are down. C) Who do we blame when the “real” refs call horrible games (say Giants/Packers last year)?

Zaggs on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Jennings caught.the ball. He had possession and control in the air AND on the ground. The ref closest to the play signaled “no touchdown”. You can hate the Packers all you want -big whoop- but don’t deny what millions of people saw with their own eyes- it makes you look silly.

M240H on September 25, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Respectfully, you’re dead wrong Steve. Jennings IS laying on the ground with full possession of the ball. The Seattle player has one arm/hand across Jenning’s body, ONE HAND, that comes across after they both hit the ground., and that does not (by the rules) constitute simultaneous possession.

Rovin on September 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

It was two hands; the other was under Jennings right arm and also on the ball.

That said, the touchdown should not have counted because offensive pass interference should have been called.

Steve Eggleston on September 25, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Unions kill.

crash72 on September 25, 2012 at 9:09 AM

The football field is 53 yards wide, not 17; was thinking 53 feet, for some reason.

Time to call in Replacement Bloggers?

socalcon on September 25, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Here’s the thing. The labor dispute is over pensions for part-timers who make over $100K/year at the same time they are phasing out pensions for full-time employees. Clearly their skill level is better than the replacements but, like it or not, the league has a valid reason for locking out the refs.

Well sure, if you think there’s no value in having professional football games decided by the skill of the players.

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:11 AM

The union is paying these replacement refs to make bad calls, to boost their own value. You heard it here first. Aren’t unions just fab?

hoosiermama on September 25, 2012 at 8:57 AM

THIS!!

What went on last night was beyond mistakes…that crap was on purpose…..had to be.

BigWyo on September 25, 2012 at 9:11 AM

The NFL has a game this Thursday. Either they need to get the regular officials back on the field, or they need to start postponing these games until they do, because to saddle teams with regular-season records based on this officiating is a travesty, and it’s turning the NFL into a joke.

You want to talk travesty, look at the walking dead that is the New Orleans Saints.

What did we long-suffering fans do to deserve the purgatory we’re being put through?

If Goodell thought there really was an organized effort to injure players – instead of an organized effort to hit them hard (which is what I thought the game was about), there were other, simpler, cleaner punishments.

First of all, these guys make TONS of money. You could have fined the players massive amounts of their green stuff. You could have done lots of things.

But to take away our coach for a full season, and then to force us to have TWO different head coaches rotate in and out…. and then to have such a poor case that some of the suspensions are lifted two days before the season starts, throwing further turmoil into the team…. I mean, you want to talk about asterisk seasons? What kind of Rube Goldberg punishment is that? I think a lot of Drew Brees’ integrity – we’ve seen it in this town for years. And he knows Goodell and has traveled with him – and when Brees starts making public statements that he and his team do not trust Goodell and think he’s operating in bad faith…. well, IMO there is a PROBLEM.

Is it possible that the farce in New Orleans, plus the officiating nightmare is an indicator of something wrong at the top?

The Saints should have gone on strike and just grabbed guys off the street.

Goodell thinks the fans deserve that already, with these replacement officials – hell, we lose another game and go 0-4, we Cajuns oughta just give him back some of his own medicine.

Blah.

cane_loader on September 25, 2012 at 9:12 AM

A) This is why defensive backs are told to knock the ball down. B) Simultaneous possession goes to the offensive player and possession is not determined until they are down. C) Who do we blame when the “real” refs call horrible games (say Giants/Packers last year)?

Zaggs on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

This is what happens when adherence to an anti-union political position becomes akin to a slavish devotion to a religious cause. You mercilessly clown yourself.

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Respectfully, you’re dead wrong Steve. Jennings IS laying on the ground with full possession of the ball. The Seattle player has one arm/hand across Jenning’s body, ONE HAND, that comes across after they both hit the ground., and that does not (by the rules) constitute simultaneous possession.

Rovin on September 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM

You can’t catch a ball with one hand? Really?

faraway on September 25, 2012 at 9:12 AM

After further review the runner did not touch second base.
Touchdown Celtics!

Sefton on September 25, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Yeah, I’m sure we’ll be able to use this to turn the tables on Obama.

Mark1971 on September 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

What tables Mark? Really, in un-skewed polls, Romney is leading this race by 5-7 points. If the media, (and the pollsters), keep up with their over-weighting, they will look real stupid come November. Yes, Republicans NEED at major turnout for Romney to win this thing, but I’m not so sure about your “tables”.

Rovin on September 25, 2012 at 9:14 AM

I was under the impression that the replay officials were the original league officials…if that’s the case, why didn’t they overturn the ruling on the field?

rich8450 on September 25, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Because replay officials can not determine possession.

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Jennings to only needed to bat the ball down to win the game. 20/20 hindsight says he shouldn’t have tried to catch it.

RadClown on September 25, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Batting the ball doesn’t guarantee an incompletion. I’ve seen a few instances in which defenders tried to knock down a Hail Mary but a diving receiver caught the ball before it hit the ground.

aunursa on September 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

You can’t catch a ball with one hand? Really?

faraway on September 25, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Another sad victim of anti-union derangement syndrome. The nation is getting a lesson in how much certain Americans worship the billionaire class as infallible Gods. There is simply no version of reality where you would ever find fault with one of your deities.

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Really NOT looking forward to the return of the ‘real’ refs….

Have you noticed the spam posts to conservative sites ( someone’s sister/mother/aunt making $4,567 a week !) have been down about 90% since the Replacements have been busy?

socalcon on September 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

You didn’t catch that! Someone else made that happen!

Droopy on September 25, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Either they need to get the regular officials back on the field, or they need to start postponing these games until they do

I wouldn’t look for them to postpone games because of this. The officiating is outrageous, but if they started postponing games on account of this labor dispute, you’d have a whole new level of outrage breaking out.

Right Mover on September 25, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Zaggs on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

It was clearly NOT simultaneous possession. Packers were robbed. And for those of you saying that it’s just sports and doesn’t matter, keep in mind this is supposed to be our fun diversion from Obama and Co. Now I can’t even watch my beloved Pack without feeling screwed.

NebCon on September 25, 2012 at 9:16 AM

What tables Mark? Really, in un-skewed polls, Romney is leading this race by 5-7 points. If the media, (and the pollsters), keep up with their over-weighting, they will look real stupid come November. Yes, Republicans NEED at major turnout for Romney to win this thing, but I’m not so sure about your “tables”.

Rovin on September 25, 2012 at 9:14 AM

That unskewed poll website has been exposed….They are assuming a stronger GOP turnout than in the 2010 elections…..

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:16 AM

The Viking/Niners game was a joke too. The Niners basically got 5 timeouts in the last two minutes of the game; these refs are horrendous.

And the Raiders cheated.

Bishop on September 25, 2012 at 9:17 AM

the possession call was crap. the bmore FG looked to be clsoe but correct. the roughing the passer last night was crap. ok, the replacements are doing their best, and failing. all that being said: the meme that all the ‘extra currcular activity’ the fighting etc after every play is the refs fault is also crap. if anyones ever played ball at any level they know who can stop that right now this instant. if you arent in fear of your coach perhaps killing you at any moment, then he aint a good coach. they, the coaches could end all that right now. and they arent. the coaches need some serious grief for THAT.

t8stlikchkn on September 25, 2012 at 9:17 AM

I’m of the opinion that the replacement referees are simply a ‘shiny object’. They’re dangling out there as a convenient excuse for folks to latch on to immediately when things don’t go quite right.
Guess what. Regular referees have made quite a few questionable, game changing decisions. Go back and review all-star Ed Hochuli’s game-deciding blunder in the Chargers-Broncos game a couple years ago. Ask a Seahawks fan about the Ben Roethlisberger ‘touchdown’ in the Super Bowl a few years back.
I can easily see last night’s game ending play coming back as ‘ruling on the field stands’, even in the presence of the regular referees.

mdavt on September 25, 2012 at 9:18 AM

LibFreeStuff knows less about sports than politics

faraway on September 25, 2012 at 9:18 AM

You can’t catch a ball with one hand? Really?

faraway on September 25, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Wow! Did I say this? NOT. Read it again, pal. Tate never had anything that amounted to a possession. Period.

Rovin on September 25, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Anyone with a cursory knowledge of the NFL’s deep and nuanced rule book, not to mention the speed of the professional game, knew that recruiting low-level college officials, Arena League castoffs and Lingerie League part-timers was destined to fail at the highest level of the game.

I gotta hand it to the author of this. That’s some skilled snark there!!

ted c on September 25, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Mike and Mike have been killing it this morning. Also pointing out that the replacement refs are putting players safety at risk. There are a host of chop blocks that are not being called this season. Those can end a player’s career. Union busting is disgusting.

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:19 AM

O/T: Romney making a lot of sense at the Global Initiative! Talking UP America.

I was trepidatious when I heard he was speaking there. But this may work out well for him.

esr1951 on September 25, 2012 at 9:20 AM

It doesn’t really matter, because all teams are subject to the same referees and it’s a long season.

Didn’t see the game, but saw a clip of Rodgers at a press conference…. “Suck it up, champ”. You’re the QB and should have put up more than 14 points.

It’s not just expertise but it’s also confidence and all this complaining by players and coaches and the non-stop attention from the sports media is actually making the problem worse, because these refs aren’t sequestered somewhere for the duration of the season. There will be more reluctance and hesitation and bad calls.

Players are trying to take advantage of these refs every chance they get and then crying like kids when the outcome doesn’t go their way. Shut up and play.

reaganaut on September 25, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Who cares? It’s still baseball season.

tommy-t on September 25, 2012 at 9:20 AM

And the Raiders cheated.

Bishop on September 25, 2012 at 9:17 AM

Well, at least *some* things are a constant in this crazy world.

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Is this really what America is worried about? No wonder Obama is about to be reelected.

Mark1971 on September 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

*WOW* Life at your household must be AWFUL, kinda a Conservative version of a Marxist/Progressive family unit….

“Hey dad, I need some help with my math homework.”

Mark1971: “You’re focused on you MATH homework, NOW!?!?! YOU’RE the reason why Obama is going to be re-elected!”

“Say honey, would you pass the mashed potatoes?”
Mark1971: “You can worry about MASHED POTATOES, at a time like this. YOU’RE the reason Obama is about to be re-elected!”

Lighten up Frances. We can chew gum and walk at the same time. My life and most folks lives don’t revolve around getting Obama out of office, and if yours does, I Pity You.

You’re no different, in that case, than those drudges who spent all of Bush’s term trying to relitigate the 2000 and 2004 elections, and whose lives became focused on Bush and his defeat.

JFKY on September 25, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Haha. These refs remind me of the MSM calling the election.
BJ* on September 25, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Yes!!

NebCon on September 25, 2012 at 9:21 AM

I was wondering when a blown call would cost a team a game, and that clearly happened last night. (By the way, these two teams will probably be in the playoff hunt at the end of the year, so expect this call to be revisited constantly in December.) The only other thing that would finally push the league to settle would be a major injury to a marquee player, and that almost happened Sunday in Denver when Houston QB Matt Schaub nearly had his head taken off by a helmet on helmet blow. The league takes player safety very seriously these days, and if it becomes clear that the replacement refs are endangering the safety of the players, the league will have to act. The chorus of criticism is rising, so there will probably be a settlement soon.

TouchdownBuddha on September 25, 2012 at 9:21 AM

There is simply no version of reality where you would ever find fault with one of your deities.

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

…says the lib who wants to hand the White House back to a community organizer who has presided over a disastrous economy and a foreign policy going up in flames.
There is no better example of the delusional messiah worship of liberals than their support for the disastrous joke that is “Hope and Change”….

Baxter Greene on September 25, 2012 at 9:21 AM

I wonder why the players don’t pay their fair? Put a cool million each in the pot for the Ref pension.

The calls kinda suck for sure, but I guess I have to research it more. Are they currently getting a pension? The owners want to take the promised pension and turn it into a 401K? How much do ref’s make? I’ll check it out, but if they were promised a pension and they are changing the call, I guess I have to side with the ref’s. They could just cancel the entire season until it is settled I suppose.

shar61 on September 25, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Seems as if the ‘possession’ rulings after fumbles, while in those huge piles of humanity, are wrong too.

( But what really galls me is the 0-3 teams haven’t caught much of the Replacement’s largesse).

socalcon on September 25, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Mike and Mike have been killing it this morning. Also pointing out that the replacement refs are putting players safety at risk. There are a host of chop blocks that are not being called this season. Those can end a player’s career. Union busting is disgusting.

libfreeordie on September 25, 2012 at 9:19 AM

The players are putting players’ safety at risk.

crash72 on September 25, 2012 at 9:22 AM

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