The Ref Mess

Non-political post this time.

If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and watch the end of last night’s NFL game. Youtube will probably take it down soon:

First, my thoughts as a Packers fan. When you give up eight sacks and score 12 points against the fricking Seahawks, you set yourself up for this kind of thing. Also, what the hell was M.D. Jennings thinking trying to intercept a Hail Mary. You’re supposed to knock those down! Ack!

Anyway, the replacement referee thing has turned into a debacle. Steve Young was on TV last night and had the best explanation I’ve heard: the game simply moves too fast for these guys. They are used to Division II and Division III and have never coached at the Division I level, least of all the pros. It takes experience to see thing happening in real time and figure out what’s happened.

But I would take it further. When I taught Intro Astronomy, I learned an important lesson. If I started out my term being a bit of a forbidding hardass, I could ease up and be more friendly as the term progressed. But I could always fall back on the hardass demeanor if I needed to. By contrast, if I started out with a friendly “call me Hal” attitude, I could never clamp down when I needed to. The students expected me to be slack the entire semester.

The referees are a small group of little men on a field with over a hundred massive bulked up guys. The only way the game works is if they command the respect of the players. It became obvious last Monday, with the Falcons-Broncos mess, that the players do not respect the replacement referees. And we’ve seen that manifest itself in chippy play, cheap shots, launch tackles, helmet-to-helmet hits and players barking and shoving after plays.

The NFL needs to either bring back the normal refs or quickly establish the authority of the new ones. I fear it’s too late for the latter. I fear that the players will never respect the new guys.

PS: While we’re on the subject, last night’s game feature a good performance by Bruce Irvin. You can read about him here. It really shows the difference that one person can make in a young man’s life.

Comments are closed.

  1. Argive

    I fear that the players will never respect the new guys.

    No chance of that happening. It looked as though the refs were trying to get some respect by calling a lot of ticky-tack penalties during the game. That pass interference call on Shields, for instance, was complete horseshit. But they dug too deep a hole during the postseason and the first few weeks of the regular season. The players will never respect these guys, and will just continue to push the envelope until somebody gets hurt even worse than Darrius Heyward-Bey did.

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  2. Hal_10000 *

    Agreed. The bad calls aren’t even the biggest problem (although last night’s was atrocious). The lack of respect being show to the refs and the game is what’s REALLY bothering me.

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  3. FPrefect89

    The blown calls in that game were nothing compared to the missed helmet-to-helmet hit that KO’ed Heyward-Bey. No flags, nothing so far on it. Sure, the game was blown on a potential bad call, by the refs and Jennings.

    To be honest, I think the call would have been the same if the “real” refs would have been there. I do not think that the piss-ant calls that led up to that play would have been called, but still, you have to play to the refs as well as the other team.

    I do agree with you on the refs needing to show dominance. If you saw Sunday night’s game they did not try to break up a fight or call an unsportsmanlike conduct call until the 2nd half, when it was too late to do much of anything to try to get control of the game.

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  4. Seattle Outcast

    Hey, we only sucked super hard last year with our two worthless QB topping out a worthless defense.

    Also, that last call blew chunks – I’m giving the Packers credit for an interception and calling it a loss for the Seahawks.

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  5. elTim

    I have to disagree about knocking the ball down. Had he knocked it down it would have been in play for a second, or so, longer. Instead he had two hands on it and could fall on it. Tate was just lucky enough to get a hand between the ball and Jennings’ chest.

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  6. Dave D

    That Seahawk defense looks PHENOMENAL. They will not take them to the superbowl, but MAN! I wish my Detroit Lions could play defense like that!

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  7. FPrefect89

    I have to disagree about knocking the ball down. Had he knocked it down it would have been in play for a second, or so, longer. Instead he had two hands on it and could fall on it. Tate was just lucky enough to get a hand between the ball and Jennings’ chest.

    If you knock a pass down to the ground, it is an incomplete pass. It will not be in play for any length of time after that. That is the reason a hail-Mary is knocked to the ground.

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  8. balthazar

    I have to disagree about knocking the ball down. Had he knocked it down it would have been in play for a second, or so, longer. Instead he had two hands on it and could fall on it. Tate was just lucky enough to get a hand between the ball and Jennings’ chest.

    Ummmm this is American football, not soccer.

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  9. Seattle Outcast

    Ummmm this is American football, not soccer

    Ummmm this is American football, not soccer that kid’s game that losers play as adults…

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  10. Section8

    You know what’s really weird is the Chiefs won on Sunday, and from a great 4th quarter comeback being down in the hole no less. Sooo exciting! That’s one in a row now for my team.

    Oh yeah, and no doubt the refs are horrible.

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  11. elTim

    If you knock a pass down to the ground, it is an incomplete pass. It will not be in play for any length of time after that. That is the reason a hail-Mary is knocked to the ground.

    But while the ball is going from knocked down to the ground anything could happen.

    Since Jennings got a solid two hands and chest catch he could control the ball and prevent a guy from the other team from getting control of it.

    Tate was lucky enough to get a hand between the ball and Jennings. And lucky that the ref did not understand how that rule is generally officiated.

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  12. Santino

    How about the bigger travesty 2 nights earlier? Denard Robinson throwing 4 picks plus a fumble recovered by the defense. Yet despite all that the Michigan D played well enough to give them a chance to tie it late in the game. ND sucks blessed donkey balls!

    They will not take them to the superbowl, but MAN! I wish my Detroit Lions could play defense like that!

    They simply need an improved secondary (with a sprinkle of on-field discipline). This was on brutal display in last year’s playoff game agains the Saints, and has reared it’s ugly head again this year.

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  13. Argive

    The lockout’s over! I agree with Drew Magary on how to welcome back one particular ref:

    Browns at Ravens: They already announced that Gene Steratore is the ref tonight, but I feel like they missed a golden opportunity not trotting Hochuli out there. They could have done a slo-mo shot of Hochuli running out, with “Big Guns” by Skid Row blaring in the background.

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