The Replacement Refs
Just what effect did the replacement refs have on the 2012 football season?
That’s a lot of money being laid out for one game which is in the hands of inexperienced officials. The total amount potentially affected by the replacement refs (48 games) is absolutely staggering. The call that went against the Packers was the icing on the cake, but there were some glaringly bad calls in the games leading up to it such as:
-The 49ers basically got 5 timeouts in one half when they were allowed two challenges with no timeouts left.
-Seattle was the benificiary of TWO terrible bits of officiating, the less famous one being they were awarded a 4th timeout in their week 1 game against the Cardinals.
-The Ravens were robbed of an interception after a phantom illegal contact call. Really, it just didn’t happen.
-An official threw his hat to signify Cowboys WR Kevin Ogletree went out of bounds (he did not). He threw it directly in the path of Ogletree’s route and while making a cut inside he stepped on it and slipped. Pass was thrown to him and was incomplete.
There’s no doubt this saga left a big mark on the NFL season. If Green Bay finishes a game out of the playoffs, that will be the first thing pointed to. New England fans feel the same way about their game with Baltimore. The NFL as a whole started to believe there was a real safety issue after some one the most vicious hits of the season went un-penalized. The money and stakes were just too high to let it continue.
The big winners here look to be the NFL Referees Association, as there’s no better leverage in negotiations then the fact that no one else can do your job competently. The bad call against Green Bay had Ed Hochuli throwing in jumping jacks and cartwheels to his 1,000 push up-a-day regiment and the fans seem to be just as excited. Now let’s all get back to saying how horrible these veteran refs are when calls go against our teams.
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