- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
NFL replacement referees are in over their heads
Officials losing control of games, getting calls wrong
Question of the Day
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco laughed that, on one call Sunday, an NFL replacement official threw a blue beanie instead of a flag. Washington Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander scoffed at a brutal personal foul penalty on teammate London Fletcher and wondered how guys could tackle each other on kickoffs and not get penalized.
Welcome to life during the lockout of the league’s regular officials, as NFL players and fans are quickly realizing you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
“In my nine years of playing in this league and even in college and all that, I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life,” Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “I guess it is a testament to how well those other guys worked.”
Officiating blunders are prevalent through the first two weeks of the regular season, bringing the league’s competitive credibility into question.
“It’s rookies. They don’t have any clout in the NFL. They’re trying to figure out everything going on,” Alexander said. “You only can get away with so much or you have a certain attitude because you’re trying to figure out everything else going on: ‘Am I making the right calls? Am I standing in the right place? Are my eyes right?’
“Before you even start worrying about trying to control or show that you need the same respect as somebody who’s been doing it for 15 years.”
When prominent players such as Flacco and Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis call out the replacement officials, it’s a public relations hit for the NFL. But it doesn’t even take that for fans to wonder why there isn’t a deal with the officials’ association.
Just watch one game, and the comedy of errors is obvious. On Monday, officials botched a recovered fumble and their ability to count to 12 men on the field was challenged. Fletcher’s hit on Rams receiver Danny Amendola that drew a 15-yard penalty was clearly in bounds, and St. Louis was flagged when Steven Jackson spiked the ball after he thought he had scored a touchdown when officials ruled he was down at the 1.
Players see rampant mistakes and just want to see the real officials work out an agreement and get back on the field.
“I don’t know what they’re arguing about, but I’ve got a couple mil on it. So let’s try to make it work,” Hall said jokingly. “I’m sure this locker room can pile up some cash to try to, you know, help the cause out.”
One replacement official was taken off the New Orleans-Carolina game Sunday when the league discovered he was a Saints fan. Another reportedly told Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy he needed him for fantasy football.
It has become embarrassing enough that fans might cheer regular officials when they return. Players and coaches will be thankful, too, because game conditions have become more dangerous.
“I’ve never been in a situation where you feel that there is going to be an explosion on the field,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said of Sunday’s game. “You’re hoping that doesn’t happen. It was very close to losing control.”
Alexander knew early on that things would spiral out of control when replacement officials didn’t throw flags to curb cheap shots and chippy play.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
How does our 50th state view D.C. politics?
White House pets gone wild!