Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Replacement Referee Gaffes

     Want to know how much attention the issue involving the NFL and its referees has gotten? The botched call on Monday Night Football yesterday involving a supposed touchdown reception by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate in the final seconds made the front page of CNN's website and news sites around the globe. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw up a 24-yard "Hail Mary" as time expired to Tate, who shoved down Green Bay's Sam Shields in the process. Then he wrestled with Packers safety M.D. Jennings for possession. After a lengthy review (The initial ruling was a touchdown), referee Wayne Elliott confirmed the call. But the call had immediate backlash.
     Jennings stated that he had the ball pinned to his chest the entire time and Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang challenged the NFL to "Fine him any money and use it to pay the referees" on Twitter. As you know, the actual NFL referees are currently on strike due to labor dispute, prompting the NFL to use referees from Division II and Division III football. The final Monday Night Football call also shifted $150 million in Vegas bets. The NFL has stood by the touchdown call, stating that the only missed call on that play was the apparent pass interference by Tate. 
     But that's not the only incident this season that involved the replacement referees. These are some examples of the calls that were botched (Most of them happening in week 3):
  • In the Tennessee-Detroit game, one of the referees spotted the ball at the Lions' 44-yard line instead of the Titans' 44-yard line after an unnecessary roughness call against Detroit in overtime. This turned out to be a 27-yard penalty on the Lions instead of a 15-yard penalty and led to Rob Bironas kicking the game-winning field goal.
  • On the previous Monday Night Football game between the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons, Broncos head coach John Fox was told that he couldn't challenge a call of twelve men on the field against Denver. Replays showed that the Broncos did have twelve men on the field at the time, but Fox was right in attempting to challenge the call. This game was an absolute flag-fest, too.
  • In Baltimore's last-second 31-30 Sunday Night win over New England, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker's 27-yard field goal was called good when the field goal went over the posts rather than through it or wide left/right. This prompted Bill Belichick to grab one of the referees, trying to find a logical explanation. 
  • In the San Francisco-Minnesota game, the officials would call out a penalty against a team without specifying the number of the player that committed the penalty. In the fourth quarter of this game, the 49ers were allowed to withdraw called timeouts, two in a six-play span, so that they could challenge plays. The first play was reversed, which involved a Toby Gerhart fumble given to the Niners after video review.
     For the most part, this has been a black eye for the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell. This has also resulted in only three undefeated teams and two winless teams through week 3. Luckily, the NFL and the referees are close to getting a deal done. And you know what that means! You won't have to see any more of this!

      NOTE: Just before the stroke of midnight a deal got done. So now you will get good old Mike Carey calling penalties instead of these buffoons. Enjoy!!

"Replacement Ref Furor Grows After Seattle Seahawks' Wild Win over Green Bay Packers"
      Disney, 25 Sept. 2012. Web. 26 Sept. 2012.

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