What Can We Say About The Replacements?

Roger Goodell, to fans.


I’m not one to blame the officials for bad calls costing my team a game. Not now, not ever, because rare is the case when it actually happens (and because I’m not an inbred Ravens fan). Even in examples like Ed Hochuli’s missed call that helped deliver a win in week two of the ’08 season for the Broncos over the Chargers, Jay Cutler still had to take the extra chance and exploit it to score points to win the game. It wasn’t handed to Denver, even though it sorta was.

But last night… hoo, last night. What can I say about the replacement refs that hasn’t already been said about Lindsay Lohan’s vagina? They are bombed out and depleted; drugged up and out of their depth; a shadow of the unit we’d come to complain about.

Let me go on the record: These replacement refs are terrible, need replacement themselves, and if Roger Goodell doesn’t see that, he should be removed from his office immediately. Full stop.

Of course, he won’t be. The owners are the only ones with that power, requiring a 2/3 vote (and not during the season) to remove a commish, and they don’t care so long as they’re making money.

And make no mistake about it: they’re making money. More than even a fan protest at a football game, or pledging not to watch on a given weekend, the only thing that would catch the owners’ attention is if either the players say they will stand in solidarity with the referees in a given weekend and not play, or if advertisers pledge to remove their dollars from the equation.

Neither of these things are likely.

So we’ll continue with refs who don’t know the rules, can’t keep control of the game, and are intimidated by coaches, players and fans alike into making calls for the home team.

How, for instance, does a referee not know that a tipped ball means no Pass Interference penalty? How does a ref standing three feet from a receiver, staring at said receiver, not see that the receiver gets two feet down in the end zone? How? How is that possible?

We’ve been saying this since the preseason, when the refs were merely laughably bad and we thought they could improve. It’s no longer laughable — these games actually count, in case you didn’t know — and they can’t improve because they don’t have brains in their heads. Brains have been replaced with Roger Goodell’s spooge and a dash of sawdust.

Is there proof of idiotic officiating? OF COURSE! We would have it no other way.

Here’s Deadspin’s list of the 21 biggest officiating blunders. From week one.

And here’s a pretty good round up from around the league, including from players and officials, as well as former head of referees Mike Pereira, who says he is “over it,” and that “enough is enough.” He’s right.

And perhaps the smartest man with multiple concussions I’ve ever heard of, Steve Young, is straight up telling us how it is: The NFL does not care if the product is shitty, because…

But don’t you worry, replacement ref defenders. The NFL is tone-deaf to our problems. Greg Aiello said as much in a statement. To the block quote:

Officiating is never perfect. The current officials have made great strides and are performing admirably under unprecedented scrutiny and great pressure,” Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press. “As we do every season, we will work to improve officiating and are confident that the game officials will show continued improvement.”

Reached for comment Tuesday, Aiello told ESPN in an email “that we are looking at how to improve officiating for the long term, and that is an important part of the negotiations with the NFLRA.

So there you go. The house is on fire, all of our possessions are burning, but… well, shit, we never liked that house anyway.

Fix this, Goodell. Fix it now.


  1. [...] me back up. We’ve discussed the problems with NFL replacement officials, the need for — if you’ll excuse a clumsily-created metaphor — a rocket scientist [...]

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