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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

‘Worst Call In NFL History’ Spotlights Replacement Ref Performance

One official, left, signals a Seattle Seahawks touchdown, while the other official signals a touchback for the Green Bay Packers, Monday night in Seattle. (AP)

One official, left, signals a Seattle Seahawks touchdown, while the other official signals a touchback for the Green Bay Packers, Monday night in Seattle. (AP)

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King called it one of the great disgraces in NFL history, when a Green Bay Packers interception of a hail mary pass Monday night was ruled a touchdown for the Seattle Seahawks.

The call was made by replacement referees that are officiating games during a contract dispute between the NFL and the league’s regular officials.

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said he had never seen anything like the call in all his years of football.

And Wisconsin state senator John Erpenbach tweeted out NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s phone number.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who became a national figure when he went after public employee unions last year, even sent out a tweet calling for the return of the NFL’s locked-out unionized officials following the call.

The NFL has released a statement saying that there was an error in the call, but they upheld the result.

Replacement Refs Hurting The Game

Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim looked at the data from the first three weeks of NFL games with the replacement refs and concluded in an upcoming article that the officials have hurt the game:

Upon review, it’s impossible not to conclude that the replacements are inferior. It’s not that this season’s unofficial officials are calling more penalties. It’s the types of penalties they’re calling. It’s when they are making— and not making— calls. It’s which teams are, to use the term of art, getting hosed. Overall the data suggest that the replacement refs are, if not outright bad, certainly highly vulnerable to the types of behavioral biases and social pressures we expect officials to overcome.

Wertheim writes that the statistics point to an inferior performance by the replacement refs in everything from defensive pass interference calls to personal fouls:

Personal fouls are being called at the highest rate since 2000. Maybe this is the “substitute- teacher effect,” i.e., the players are testing the new authority figures. But the replacement refs may also fear losing control and having their authority undermined.

Wertheim is calling on the NFL to quickly resolve the dispute:

Now it’s time for the NFL to face the facts, make the necessary concessions and replace the replacements with the real thing.

Guest:

  • Wes Hodkowitz, reporter for the Green Bay Press Gazette

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003000884786 Navin R Johnson

     When you make a mistake, admit it, try to fix it, and move on.  I guess someone clearly missed this lesson in kindergarten.  I don’t really care about football, but I find the hubris of these NFL executives appalling if they think they can just fix this by telling lies.

  • C. Carney

    The referee lock-out is not just about football; it’s high-profile proof that workers who have the training and experience to do a job well can not be as easily replaced as management might hope. 

  • Master1mdp2004

    I enrolled in a cooking class next sunday so i don’t have to watch  the nfl.

  • Clara

    Football also known as “video cigar smoke”.

    Who cares? When Americans are more concerned or at least from the way the media portrays it, something is serious wrong across the land.
    The hell with if you are working a part time job at minimum wage, you have no health insurance, you are probably in debt, your food and fuel prices keep going up, etc., but who cares. 
    Football man, thats what matters.

    “We’ve turned into this nation of overfed clowns, riding around in clown cars, eating clown food, watching clown shows. We’ve become a nation of cringing, craven f*ckups.”  James Howard Kunstler, author of “The Long Emergency” 

    • Ted

      This reminds me of something I read several years ago.

       The American people are sheep. They’re comfortable, rich, working. It’s like the Romans, they’re happy with bread and their spectator sports. The Super Bowl means more to them than any right. Jack Kevorkian  

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