Former referee says Roger Goodell ‘doesn’t care’

Fresh off what many are calling the replacement referees’ worst performance of the season, a former referee tore into NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and said the officiating will get worse before it gets better.

“It’s obvious to me that (Goodell) just doesn’t even care,” said Jerry Markbreit, a fixture in the NFL for 23 years before retiring in 1998. “Otherwise, how could they replace professionalism with unprofessionalism in a game that’s so tough to work, even for the best officials in the land?” he said on ESPN Radio’s The Mike Lupica Show. “How could he care about it?”

Markbreit scoffed at the notion the replacement refs will get better as they gain experience.

“The management of the games gets tougher (in the coming weeks),” Markbreit said. “These guys have relied on competent, top-notch, terrific officials all these years. And now they have a bunch of amateurs out there and it’s going to fall apart.

“It’s not going to get better, as the commissioner said … It’s going to get worse.”

Criticism of the replacement refs reached new highs after Monday night’s Falcons-Broncos game in which the officials seemed to have trouble controlling the game, took too much time to decide calls and even marked off an 11-yard penalty for what should have been a 5-yard defensive holding penalty.

In addition to doubts about their competency, questions have been raised about the new refs’ impartiality.

A side judge, Brian Stropolo, was yanked from the New Orleans-Carolina game just before kickoff after it was discovered he had pro-Saints messages on his Facebook page.

And Eagles running back LeSean McCoy told a Philadelphia radio station that a referee told him that he needed him to do well for his fantasy team.

“I’ll be honest, they’re like fans,” McCoy said. “One of the refs was talking about his fantasy team like, ‘McCoy, come on, I need you for my fantasy.’ Ahhh, what?”

Here’s what some fans had to say in a recent AP video.


From a fan’s perspective, have you noticed a big difference in the quality of the officiating?

104 comments Add your comment

billy

September 19th, 2012
7:35 am

Are they very good? No? Should the commissioner have called and had Denver’s coach ejected from the game for the way he was treating those guys? Absolutely. Get the coaches back to coaching their teams and not relying on intimidating fill in refs to get an advantage.

the number34

September 19th, 2012
7:37 am

I’m all for busting the union. Stay with the replacements.

bill

September 19th, 2012
7:52 am

Yeah Markbreit was real courageous . He was the referee in the Ohio State Michigan game when Crazy Woody tore the down markers to pieces and received not even a calm down from that ass kisser. If he had been the referee at the Clemson game I guess he would have held the player’s arms.

B

September 19th, 2012
7:56 am

They’re just not that good. It’s partly not their fault because they’re all new at this, but it also is their fault for taking positions for which they’re unqualified. Goodell just needs to open up his wallet and get the right guys back in there.

bill

September 19th, 2012
7:56 am

The games have not been affected by the replacement officials and they have not made any major errors like tuck, or the 50 other times bad officiating have lost or won games in the NFL.. Certainly replay helps. The only real officials left work without replay like tightrope walkers without a net because their judgement is all you have and their errors are under review but not correctable. No head coach has ever been ejected from an NFL game

Call It Like It Is

September 19th, 2012
8:03 am

They are slow yes, but even Monday night the calls they made were correct. Did they miss calls, sure, but so do the so called “real” refs. The shame is on the players and the coaches. They know their new, they smell blood and they are doing everything possible to intimidate these guys. Quite frankly the refs need to start kicking these guys off the field and let them know who the boss is and that will settle all this crap down.

Moon Mullins

September 19th, 2012
8:06 am

This “union busting” mentality that seems so prevalent today is going to bite the working guy in the butt. They appear to be so damn dumb they can’t see that the benefits they enjoy today — a fourty hour work week, vacation, healthcare and a safe working enviroment, to name just a few — didn’t happen because of the compassionate concern of employers, but though the hard-fought efforts of working guys who put it all on the line to exercise their rights to organize. Now, those rights are being systimatically destroyed by right-wing minions of the oligarchs in this country, but the courts will show the unconstitutionality of these fascist efforts and restore the rights of workers.

Bust the unions and you’ll be answering Dr. Phil’s question in the future: “How’s that working for you?”

Get real

September 19th, 2012
8:15 am

@Moon, you bust the Unions or the common working man will need to get a passport and Rossetta Stone to get a job because they will all be outside this country. We have laws that protect workers unions are a farce in these modern times.

Mike Geigerman

September 19th, 2012
8:17 am

The calls were correct. Bust the union. It’s a bad economy and there’s someone willing to work.

i'm a referee

September 19th, 2012
8:17 am

Please Roger Goodell – don’t give in to the greedy officials who are currently on strike. They make a ton of money already and the NFL has agreed to give them a significant increase and they want even more? I hope they never step foot on the field again. And I don’t care if the NFL is a multi billion dollar entity. If the regular refs don’t like what they are being paid then go get another job somewhere else. Unions are a joke. Unions once served a noble purpose many years ago — to protect workers who worked under horrible working conditions making very low pay, etc. Occupational safety and health laws have taken care of that so now unions simply serve to fill with money the pockets of those who run them. If you don’t like what you are making go get a job somewhere else. The regular refs are not nearly as good as everyone thinks they are and the replacement refs are not as bad either. They will get better over time as they get used to the speed of the game and become more familiar with interpreting and enforcing the rules. And one thing for the players and coaches – quit whinning and play ball!

MoonBAT Mullins

September 19th, 2012
8:21 am

Liberal agenda …
If you don’t have anything to back up your antiquated views, blame it all on right-wingers. Use words like “fascist” to describe your opponents and “hard work” to describe your allies.

Unions served a very useful purpose. Before OSHA … and labor laws …

NOW unions are the supporters of forcing pay as high as possible while fighting to do as little work as possible. I guess there is a reason that Detroit is basically empty and the south (mostly non-union) has had great success.

the number34

September 19th, 2012
8:21 am

Seems to be working quite well for the likes of employees at UPS, Coca Cola, etc. who enjoy great work environments and benefits. Unlike the ‘heartland’ of America where companies are folding in record numbers. Go back to reading your socialists propaganda, professor Whinestein.

Hoohafan

September 19th, 2012
8:22 am

Union cronies….players, refs, broadcasters were itching to make the case for a badly officiated game. It wasn’t…..keep the crew, bust the unions….more hooha for all.

Box of Rocks

September 19th, 2012
8:27 am

“It’s not going to get better, as the commissioner said … It’s going to get worse.”
We’ll see. Unions were very important. Now? The union isn’t going to get busted, anyway.

OldBravesBag

September 19th, 2012
8:31 am

For all you people promoting union busting. You do realize that the players also have a union, don’t you? So while you are critical of the referees, you say nothing about the players. Interesting. I guess it’s okay for those making high six figures to have a union and negotiate contracts for pay, but it’s horrible that the referees do this.

FALCON FAN

September 19th, 2012
8:31 am

I don’t think they know what they are doing. I was fustrated Monday night.

Tim

September 19th, 2012
8:33 am

Have I noticed a difference? Nope, but I am not trying to promote a pro-union opinion that would support the locked out refs the way most sports writes and casters are trying to promote. Even Mike Keith, the Titan’s announcer, the other day when asked on Jox radio out of Birmingham said he would give them the same grade he normally gives the regular refs.
No wonder all newspapers and broadcast news is tanking. They are more worried about promoting an agenda, rather than simply reporting the news.

Casey

September 19th, 2012
8:39 am

Roger Goodell is not the one who makes these decisions. The owners are. The commissioner is not the one who decides how much to pay the referees or anyone, else. What kind of idiot is this guy? He actually worked for the NFL for 23 years and didn’t know who signed his checks every week. What a jacka$$. As for the replacement officials, they are not doing a bad job. Obviously, they have to learn the NFL rulebook. But, they are not going to get worse before they get better. How in the hell would they get worse, then get better? They will get better each week. As far as I’m concerned, they are not much worse than the regulars. It’s not like the old refs never missed a call. If they didn’t, why do we need instant replay?

Old Timer

September 19th, 2012
8:43 am

Oldbravesbag- the players are not on syrike, the reds are. Dumbass!!

pikedawg

September 19th, 2012
8:45 am

Bill: dude, how old are you??

Old Timer

September 19th, 2012
8:47 am

Isn’t autospell a wonderful thing.

SDF Athletics

September 19th, 2012
8:48 am

Its amazing how people can sit back and criticize the officials but would never have the guts or confidence to step on to the field. http://www.sdfathletics.com

fairburn1

September 19th, 2012
8:54 am

After watching the Falcons Game on Monday Night. Noting that the refs were actually interfering with the speed, accuracy and enjoyment of the game . I believe the NFL and commissioner Goodell owes the fans resolution to this substitute referee insanity. The TV sponsors need to stand up for the fans. FOX, CBS, ESPN, NBC have paid billions of dollars for a product. The Fans tune in for the enjoyment of the game. TV gains revenue from commercial sponsors as fans tune in. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m losing interest because the Bad referee and Bad calling is taking away from the game.

pikedawg

September 19th, 2012
8:55 am

I love how the “management” cronies just ignore the fact that there were 7 different examples of improper administration of the rules across the NFL last week. Lets just ignore the facts because we want to bust a union.

AtlNative62

September 19th, 2012
8:56 am

The only “unprofessional” behavior I saw Monday evening was done by the coaches and players. They made several less than ideal situations (by the referees slow decisions) much, much worse. There is an obvious agenda to make the officials look as bas as possible. Even the announcers for the game were making “slanted” comments. As a Falcons season ticket holder, I hope the Falcons management will “encourage” the team (coaches and players) to focus on playing football rather than the politics of the game.

Billy Bob

September 19th, 2012
8:57 am

Union busting aside…the replaced referees all have regular jobs and the NFL is a part – time gig…paid extremely well by any standards. The NFL has offered a generous increase but some people are never satisfied. I work as a basketball official and there is always someone willing to take my place at the current price. I once thought I was indispensible until I put my arm in a bucket of water and saw the hole left when I pulled it out.

The Truth

September 19th, 2012
8:57 am

What a load of junk.

Personally, I like the replacement refs. Are they as good as the normal crews: no. This is what it must have been like back during the early days of professional football. I don’t mind they don’t get all the calls, heck the regular crews don’t get them all correct either.

I expect to see more and more players (union, duh) on board with this kind of comment. What’s more, reporters are going to harp on it more too – they have to sell their crap too.

I say, bust that worthless union, if the difference is ONLY a mere $6400 a game (which is $108,000 per year) then let the officials drop their demands and sign the new agreement. This is a typical give them an inch now next they’ll take three kind of deal. Draw the line and hold to it.

These refs won’t keep me from watching and enjoying Pro Football.

xxx

September 19th, 2012
8:57 am

Unions are for sissy mama’s boys that can’t hold down down a job by thmselves so they need a gangland style group of thugs to intimidate others to keep them employed.

Phillip Rushing

September 19th, 2012
8:57 am

The refs are not full time employees. They already have other jobs. They make a lot of money for weekend work. The NFL needs to stick to their guns on this and force them to become full time refs and get control over rating refs so poor performing refs can be fired.

Just me

September 19th, 2012
8:59 am

Seems like the refs who are “on strike” are the ones who do not care.

Gary

September 19th, 2012
9:00 am

The accuracy rate is no less than the non replacement refs according to ESPN analysts. They are just taking more time to discuss the penalties. Hopefuly what this will lead to is less calls on the field and more on the booth. WIth instant replay and HD and mutliple camera angles it is stupid to rely on humans on the field. Do it like college. Review every play.

Paul in NH

September 19th, 2012
9:13 am

There are certainly some interesting comments on here but one common refrain is completely incorrect. The referees are not on strike – this is a lock out.

FenderMan

September 19th, 2012
9:17 am

Goodell should do what Reagan did with PATCO years ago, fire them. 150K to ref football games is a good deal. Once again greed has raised its ugly head.

Don Waddell

September 19th, 2012
9:27 am

I pleased to see that NFL officiating is moving in the right direction.

Jason Hill

September 19th, 2012
9:31 am

Stop your crying. The refs are fine. They are professional and skilled.

alphadog

September 19th, 2012
9:36 am

Workers are people too, and they have a right to act in their own best interest as does management. If any one of the people posting on this blog never did anything to increase their compensation, it is a disservice to their families. The owners and commissioner have lawyers, accountants, media reps, consultants and security. The Refs only have their Union.

Jerry Markbreit = hack

September 19th, 2012
9:40 am

This guy is a sham. Back in the late 80’s he was part of the cabal of refs that treated Joe Montana like he walked on water. Anytime I sat down for a game and I saw this clown you could bet any close calls were going against the small market teams.

king of mean

September 19th, 2012
9:40 am

From a fan’s perspective, have you noticed a big difference in the quality of the officiating?

Uhh, are you kidding me? Yes I see a difference. I see offensive lineman straight tackling defensive pass rushers and not getting called for holding. I see refs being influenced by players/coaches to throw flags – this is putting control of the game in the coaches/players hands.

this reminds me of the poor little 15/16 yr. old kid trying to umpire a 9-12yr olds baseball game. All it takes is the big adult coach to get a little loud to scare the kid into reversing or making a call.

itpdude

September 19th, 2012
9:41 am

The replacements are notably worse than the regular crews. The games are longer. The officials don’t know the rule book as well. They are also missing a lot of calls, but more obviously, they are over-calling.

I saw some pass interference calls that were not pass interference.

Darn it

September 19th, 2012
9:41 am

Its so bad, almost like a season or so ago when the replacement refs blew the whistle early and cost Denver the game — oh wait, that was one of the permanent refs. Um, sure, the replacement refs get it wrong more often, just trust me!

GTJohn

September 19th, 2012
9:41 am

Hey Get Real, if the unions get busted, I will be able to afford things again because high school drop outs will be making wages commensurate with their ability and education.

Darn it

September 19th, 2012
9:43 am

@alphadog — ” workers are people too” — great insight.

David

September 19th, 2012
9:43 am

Umm…Sorry I have been watching NFL games since I was a kid back in the early to mid 80’s. I have news for you the regular NFL officials have screwed up calls, let games get out of hand, missed calls, made bad calls, effect the outcome of games. I really don’t see much of a difference other than the media and players are beating on the replacements. The media because they need a story, the players becuase they are using it as an excuse for poor play.

jose

September 19th, 2012
9:47 am

The replacement refs are horrible. But, the “real” refs make mistakes also. If the NFL ever reaches an agreement with the “real” refs, I hope it contains a clause that allows punishment and corrective action for blown calls. Too often, when the “real” refs blow a call, the affected team gets a letter that says “oops” but that is all. If there was some sort of recourse, i.e. fines, the ‘real” refs might have an incentive to call a game fairly.

Leon Lett

September 19th, 2012
9:49 am

I think the players and announcers are very two-faced. On the one hand they’re dissing the union by in effect crossing the picket line. On the other hand, the players are trying to score points with the union by their fighting with each other plays and trying to show up the refs. And the announcers are in the booth saying “Gee, ain’t it awful”.

Typical liberals – trying to have it both ways – a bunch of hypocrits.

David

September 19th, 2012
9:52 am

@alphadog…Unions are not workers…Unions are organizations looking out for their own interests…nothing wrong with that; however I don’t equate Unions to workers. I am a worker, I don’t belong to a union because I value my own work and I know my own value and I don’t want to be measured by the weakest link which is what workers represented by Unions have to be measured as their weakest link. Also in the case of the NFL refs, I don’t think they have a leg to stand on when they make and are being offered betwen 150K and 250K per year for a job that requires them to work 16 games plus playoffs and pre-season

Jeff

September 19th, 2012
9:57 am

It’s funny to me that Goodell is stonewalling over $1 million total compensation for all officials per year. One million bucks–that is chump change–you could find that in between the sofa cushions in Arthur Blank’s home(s).

There are very few people in the world who have the skill set to officiate and control a game at this level. And if you have a valuable skill set that is rare and in demand, you will get paid accordingly. The officials will get what they want, it’s just a matter of time. Until then, as Jon Gruden said, games will be incredibly painful to watch.

RC

September 19th, 2012
9:58 am

The whole union thing is a joke. If the players are so gung ho for the regular refs they should not play in support, but that means no pay. Well we can’t do that,can we? Explains the hypocrisy!!

Not So Casual Observer

September 19th, 2012
10:05 am

The pro-union crowd here is not concerned with the cost or managment’s decision to hire replacement officials to save money. Unions have outlived their worth and the auto industry is the perfect example. The pro-union crowd likely believes the Obama administration, or some successor, will bail out the NFL once the unions have driven the league into bankruptcy.

For another example of union greed please examine the NBA. One player, obviously not a college graduate, wondered why the owners needed to make money. Ooops, a recent news video from the Democratic Convention revealed the delegates also believed corporations (owners) should not be allowed to earn profits.

Ignorance abounds in politics and NFL union supporters.

Not So Casual Observer

September 19th, 2012
10:08 am

Jose,

Referees are fined for mistakes in professional sports.

JP

September 19th, 2012
10:09 am

Wow. I think this thread is being populated by the replacement refs. Anyone who’s a fan of the NFL and has half an ounce of intelligence realizes that these games have been painful to watch. On the whole the officials do a decent job, apart from taking forever to make the calls and knowing when to make pass interference calls. They just don’t seem to have any idea what constitutes pass interference. They call it when it’s not there; they don’t call it when it is. Oh, also, these guys are intimidated by the players and that’s why we’re seeing so many scrums between not-so-classy teams like the Ravens and Eagles. Bottom line, the replacements are in over their heads, and the fans pay to get something better than a league where are the officials are getting a crash course in on the job training. It’s not the replacements’ fault, it’s Goodell’s. But that former league official is correct, Goodell doesn’t care about the integrity of the product the NFL puts out, only $$. As long as people continue to watch — and they will — Goodell has no reason to have a sense of urgency about this. This situation is only going to get resolved when enough owners have grown tired of seeing the outcomes of their games affected by bad calls and decide it’s worth it to open up their wallets a little.

A.B. Normal

September 19th, 2012
10:26 am

Guess I’m like ol’ Roger cuz I don’t care about the overpaid, underworked union officials either. Reminds me of the air traffic controllers strike of 1980. Reagan fired ‘em all, hired replacements, and the industry kept on rockin.’ Goodell should take a lesson form Reagan and do the same. After all, someone has to make the french fries at Micky-Deez, right?

Turkey Slayer

September 19th, 2012
10:28 am

Unions of any sort are an outdated thing. Let’s move forward and bring this country back.

Southern Man

September 19th, 2012
10:30 am

Are they not aware that they’ve already been replaced and marginalized by video replay?

Just me

September 19th, 2012
10:33 am

@OldBravesBag “For all you people promoting union busting. You do realize that the players also have a union, don’t you? ”

Sure they do. That is why some guys make $8 million a year and others makes $250K a year. Keep drinking the cool aid. Don’t forget to make your uninformed vote for Obama.

Bob

September 19th, 2012
10:34 am

The replacement refs are NOT horrible. If the coaches and players would quit trying to intimidate them and once they get info from the booth in a timely manner, the game can get back up to speed. The commissioner should put a hefty fine on the Denver coach for all his mouth, as he spent more time harassing the officials than coaching. If the Denver coach who was on the field with all his players had done his job and got his players under control and off the field, there would not have been that big pushing match. I think the officials flagged the head coach during the game but ended up picking it up. Once the coaches and announcers get back to doing their job, the game will get back to normal.

Just me

September 19th, 2012
10:36 am

@JP “This situation is only going to get resolved when enough owners have grown tired of seeing the outcomes of their games affected by bad calls and decide it’s worth it to open up their wallets a little.”

So you are saying bad calls by the refs who are on strike never determined the outcome of games? Can you name a game that the outcome was determined by a bad call by the replacement refs?

THRASHERS SEASON TICKET HOLDER (Retired)

September 19th, 2012
10:43 am

BREAKING NEWS:

Compared to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on the topic of “caring,” Roger Goodell is “Jerry Sandusky” in terms of showing affection for his league and customers.

David Puddy

September 19th, 2012
10:54 am

EX Ref?….and why should we care about his opinion on anything? Bust the union. They always over reach and attempt to get more than they deserve. And believe me when I say the union bosses don’t care about anything except enriching themselves. What a bunch of nitwits.

David Puddy

September 19th, 2012
10:56 am

Goodell has gotten control of these band of nitwits and it keeps many of them on guard to not be idiots. A breath of fresh air.

BC

September 19th, 2012
11:04 am

There was a great analogy made Sunday…it is like having a substitute teacher out there!

Let's Be Real

September 19th, 2012
11:09 am

People who want to bust unions are very self-loathing and they want to see other people become as miserable as they are.

Let's Be Real

September 19th, 2012
11:12 am

Bob

September 19th, 2012
10:34 am

The replacement refs are NOT horrible.

Whoa you’re wrong

Let's Be Real

September 19th, 2012
11:13 am

Turkey Slayer

September 19th, 2012
10:28 am

Unions of any sort are an outdated thing. Let’s move forward and bring this country back.

That’s right, let’s fight for our right to earn lower wagers and fewer benefits. You’re such a good little shill!

Tag

September 19th, 2012
11:18 am

No one is indispensable!

Let's Be Real

September 19th, 2012
11:21 am

Goodell could prove he’s not a fraud, but he won’t because he is.

x union member

September 19th, 2012
11:41 am

Goodell is 100% right and I hope the Union fails…the ref’s will get better but the damn Coaches need to get under control.
Let’s be real..unions today have caused more problems than help. They trying to control not only business but now Congressmen, senator, govt, and the Pres with there money and influence buying judges and dirty tricky. Its not to help the working man but to fill their own pockets $$$ open your damn eyes.

x union member

September 19th, 2012
11:43 am

Power and control thats unions goal.

Big D

September 19th, 2012
11:47 am

The ref’s are doing okay. The regulars made plenty of mistakes. It is a part time job not a career. I say let the strikers stay on strike.

Casey

September 19th, 2012
11:48 am

I will say this once again for those of you who didn’t understand the first time. ROGER GOODELL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE LOCKOUT! All of that is decided by the OWNERS!

tardawg

September 19th, 2012
11:50 am

D I and II officals refused to do NFL games because they want OT make the next step up or they are already part of the union, that’s part of the problem too. If I was a D III ref and had a chance to make the money in one game than I make all year for some I calling a NFL game who wouldn’t.

Slimmer Shady

September 19th, 2012
11:50 am

The striking referees choose not to work. The NFL revolves around teams @ players not referees. The games will go on without those money grubbing losers.

tardawg

September 19th, 2012
11:52 am

should had read want to

Let's Be Real

September 19th, 2012
11:55 am

x union member

September 19th, 2012
11:41 am

Goodell is 100% right and I hope the Union fails…the ref’s will get better but the damn Coaches need to get under control.
Let’s be real..unions today have caused more problems than help. They trying to control not only business but now Congressmen, senator, govt, and the Pres with there money and influence buying judges and dirty tricky. Its not to help the working man but to fill their own pockets $$$ open your damn eyes.

Yet you’re oblivious to corporate lobbying, which outspends labor lobbying many times over. And you seem to think that only union officials are trying to line their own pockets, not corporate executives. You’re just another boring reactionary child.

Old Dawg

September 19th, 2012
11:56 am

I can see both sides. Yes, the regular officials are members of a union and, yes, they have full-time professions. They have numerous meetings throughout the year to receive updates on rules changes and other issues. They meet before and after games for meetings with league officials.

As a business, the NFL is responsible for increasing revenues etc so that the league prospers. Part of that responsibility is to manage costs, like labor, etc.

Another responsibility is to a quality product and brand image. The replacement officials is damaging the product and the brand. The league and refs need to work this out, and quick. Until the strike is over, the league also needs to inform coaches that this is the National Football League and not professional wrestling.

If they don’t, the product and brand will quickly be on equal footing with the guys with tights and masks and fake blood.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Let's Be Real

September 19th, 2012
11:57 am

Slimmer Shady

September 19th, 2012
11:50 am

The striking referees choose not to work. The NFL revolves around teams @ players not referees. The games will go on without those money grubbing losers.

You probably said the same thing about the players when they were locked out last year.

Right-wing Minion of the Oligarchs

September 19th, 2012
12:07 pm

Who cares? It’s just football refs, not something critical like air traffic controllers…

Michael

September 19th, 2012
12:18 pm

if Men could study how to run a family like they know football, what a difference this country would see.

Brasstown

September 19th, 2012
12:24 pm

Old Dog-Seems to be the heart of the matter. The owners made a bad business decision. It’s hurting their brand and now how will they back out of it without looking weak? It’s become comical. Monday night’s game took so long, I finally just went to bed. I probably missed a lot of commericals. Managing your labor costs are part of running a business.

aon

September 19th, 2012
12:45 pm

I watched the Falcons’ game on television and I agree that the focus needs to move away from the refs and put on the players and the coaches. It was frustrating listening to the announcers as one was trying to do just that while the other wanted to keep focusing on the referees. In my opinion the game was long but it was one of the BEST Falcons games I have seen in years! As far as the comment the Eagles running back made about the referee, that is definitely a problem and that ref needs to go. As far as the Denver coach goes, showing your a– is never attractive.

Let's Be Real

September 19th, 2012
12:50 pm

Why do so many whiners think the coaches should shut up instead of just getting the regular refs back who are used to that kind of pressure. The coaches are doing their jobs, screaming at incompetent referees isn’t a big deal. No one ever cared about coaches hassling the refs before the strike.

Paul in NH

September 19th, 2012
12:54 pm

There is no strike – this is a lock out.

FalconFann

September 19th, 2012
1:21 pm

Finally!!! Thanks Paul in NH!!! The refs are not on strike they have been locked out by the owners… While I’m not a fan of unions I do recognize their place in the American workplace but this is not about unions. This is about the replacement refs doing a poor job. I was at the game Monday and it was painful to watch. The first quarter took almost an hour to complete. I have never been to game where a quarter lasted that long and it was due to the replacement refs not having control of the game. Plain and Simple!!!

Arlo

September 19th, 2012
1:22 pm

I wouldn’t mind making six figures to work 16 games in a 17 week period. Yor union is asking for too much, shut up and get back to work!!!

HSRef

September 19th, 2012
1:26 pm

For All Of You Stating Facts about how much NFL Referees Make & What Should Be Done To The Union #GetFactsFirst

Annual Salary
As of May 2011, NFL referees earn anywhere from $25,000 to $70,000 per season, according to Job Employment Guide’s website. This is among the lowest annual salary for any group of referees for professional sports in the United States. The 16-game NFL season — the shortest in professional sports — somewhat mitigates this low salary. The short season also makes NFL referees part-time employees, leaving these professionals to pursue other employment during the off-season, which can help increase overall income for the year.

Pay Per Game
Games officiated determines the pay structure for an NFL referee. A referee only gets paid for games he actually officiates, just as NFL players receive varying degrees of pay based on being on the active roster or on the inactive list. This accounts for the wide swing in referee salary, as not every official is available for every game. The sporadic nature of pay for an NFL referee is part of the reason why the NFL Referee’s Association has repeatedly sought pay increases over the years.

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HumanResources.CampusCorner.comReferee Union Representation
NFL referees sought nearly a 400-percent increase in annual salary in 2001, according to ESPN’s website. The NFL countered with a 40-percent pay increase proposal. The referees’ union representation sought this increase to bring annual salaries more in line with the salaries of referees in higher-earning sports leagues, such as Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. NFL referees lost the bid for the staggering wage increase during collective bargaining discussions, in part because the NFL still considers referees as part-time employees. Since 2001, NFL referee salary has doubled, but has never reached the original 400-percent proposal of that year.

Required Experience
An official must have prior experience in football officiating before garnering a job as an NFL referee. According to the National Football League’s website, a candidate must have a minimum of 10 years of experience in officiating football. At least five of these years must be at the collegiate varsity or minor professional level. A prospective NFL referee must also belong to an accredited football officials association, or have previous experience in football as a player or coach. The more experience a candidate brings to the position, the higher the starting salary.

Read more: How Much Do NFL Referees Make a Year? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8484787_much-nfl-referees-make-year.html#ixzz26wBMKY5G

Elroy

September 19th, 2012
1:26 pm

How can anyone seriously use the lame excuse of cost…you have hundred+ billion dollar asset and you are worried about 10 million dollars for the ref’s….I despise most Unions , but this is joke not to meet these guys halfway. Enough said, oh, and by the way…have you noticed that these replacement turds kinda appear just as lousey as ACC refs! Yikes!!!!

HSRef

September 19th, 2012
1:42 pm

Some More Information on the LOCKOUT (Not Strike)

Union chief gives NFL referees’ side on lockout in open letter – I did a little research on the NFL referee dispute. It’s not a dispute and definitely NOT A STRIKE, but an outright lockout — which means that the NFL has reneged on a long-term CONTRACT with the NFL Referee Union and has said if you won’t renegotiate with lower pay and benefits, you are not allowed to return to work and we will not honor that contract. The value of those benefits that the NFL no longer wants to pay its referees, even though it’s in their contract, is worth probably a few hundred million dollars in future pension funding by the NFL, which equates down to about $10 million to 20 million a year right now that the NFL doesn’t want to pay their 180 referees.

The NFL, which is a not-for-profit that includes an arrangement in which the owners get to deduct their $5 million to $10 million a year in fees from their own taxes like a church or the Red Cross’s own donors do (and keep in mind that the owners’ stadiums are also recipients of billions in direct and indirect welfare for “their” stadiums, parking, real estate and other taxpayer help), will do nearly $10 billion in revenues this year, including donations from the billionaire owners into the league’s coffers. Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner and my old beer-drinking buddy when I hosted my Fox show out of the Waldorf Astoria, and one other guy, the NFL president, will take home about $20 million in salary this year. I am not a commie and I am not a socialist, and if that is capitalism then I guess I’m not a capitalist either — at least not in this crony-capitalist 21st century. Please spread the word and maybe at least the referees can benefit from the welfare the NFL gets. Not cool at all.

omg

September 19th, 2012
1:48 pm

This would not be a debate if Payten Manning had beaten the Falcons! The Falcons played a great game and the ESPN guys who thinks football is about them paid little recognition to the play of the Falcons. ESPN commentators during the game is ok as long as I can hear them and watch the game. But do you realize I DO NOT CARE TO SEE THEM OR WATCH THEM TALK TO ONE ANOTHER. I could care less about the new refs if they would stop showing the ESPN guys and gals.

WhoCares?

September 19th, 2012
1:54 pm

Thank you, HFRef, for a little research. I don’t follow all the issues, but I do understand this is a lockout by an NFL that doesn’t want to pay even a tiny part of its resources to keep the game at a high level. It’s insulting to the players and coaches and to us fans. Roger Goddell needs to settle this.

Ted Striker

September 19th, 2012
1:58 pm

I’m not a fan of the replacement refs however I’m less a fan of Joel Provano’s articles on the AJC.

Please do this reader a favor.

Label Provano’s writings on the sports page (or wherever else) so I don’t click them and inadvertently give him a page hit for his bush league drivel.

David Puddy

September 19th, 2012
2:04 pm

“Goodell could prove he’s not a fraud, but he won’t because he is.”

He is running a business.

HERE COMES THE JUDGE!

September 19th, 2012
2:14 pm

Apparently very few of the bloggers did not see the stats compiled by ESPN…three categories. Replacement refs had lower percentage of overturned calls…lower percentage of penalties called per game and a small average in length of games – regular refs: 3 hrs 3 minutes – replacement refs: 3 hours 10 minutes. These stats may not be exactly what I saw but they’re close. My opinion is that they have a tough job under tough circumstances. My opinion of the toughest call: Pass interference or defensive holding by corners or safeties. Hang in there refs!!

Dawginit

September 19th, 2012
2:23 pm

Shocker, I’d imagine the Chicago teachers who were on strike would say the superintendent “doesn’t care” either.

Let's Be Real

September 19th, 2012
2:39 pm

David Puddy

September 19th, 2012
2:04 pm

“Goodell could prove he’s not a fraud, but he won’t because he is.”

He is running a business.

Thank you for saying what little needed to be said, Cap’n Obvious.

Bob

September 19th, 2012
6:25 pm

It’s a game that has morphed into a mega business. Just because the players are overpaid doesn’t mean the refs have to be overpaid, too. If you are good at your job, you’ll get a raise…unions only reward mediocrity. Just my opinion and I am not a replacement ref.

Delbert D.

September 19th, 2012
6:30 pm

Keep the replacements, I say. It makes for better theatre. Sooner or later, the owners will come to inevitable conclusion that they need me for that job. I’m very available.

Delbert D.

September 19th, 2012
6:31 pm

This blogging environment is now leaving out words, what’s with that?

tdawgmoney

September 19th, 2012
7:26 pm

Unions have nearly ruined this country…….Union bosses spend gazillions for 3 causes…..1) more money (they never get enough), 2) better benefits (they could care less if they bankrupt a company) 3) the right and threat to fight or strike if they don’t get enough of 1 and 2.
The fact is…..we need to treat the lazy, worthless shickheads like Reagan did……give ‘em 48 hours to report or they are fired. Air traffic controlllers were a far more “professionally trained” group…..and we did just fine without them. Trust me, we would be better off without these jerks…….they are an abomination to capitalism.

Paul in NH

September 19th, 2012
8:57 pm

tdawgmoney
If the NFL is going to be a capitalist organization they need to get rid of the following:
Revenue sharing – talk about socialism in action
The salary cap – wage controls! another socialist principle
The draft – Is this the USSR? What an infringement upon the rights of an individual

Greg

September 19th, 2012
9:02 pm

The NFL has no respect for the fans or the players. They are willing to risk player safety and put out a very inferior product over a few thousand dollars in a billion dollar business. I will not be watching or attending any NFL games.

Casey

September 20th, 2012
2:59 am

All of you morons whining about how terrible the referees are, just don’t watch anymore. If it is ruining your enjoyment of the game, then don’t watch. If that really happened, the regular referees would be back. But, you won’t stop watching, will you? In spite of all of this nonsense about how this is hurting the league, you keep watching, don’t you?

pctvguy

September 20th, 2012
10:49 am

I work 50 hrs a week. Not 4 months a year. The average ref makes 3x’s what I do working 4 month a year. They make over 100K a year. It’s hard for me to be supportive of them.

icons pack

September 21st, 2012
1:03 pm

Bob I

September 22nd, 2012
6:58 am

When you have the best athletes in the world playing NFL games, why on earth would you allow Division III officials calling the games? Forget union busting or billionaire owners being cheap. Everyone should have the same goal and that is to have the best games played at all levels. I have never complained about officiating in my 60 years of watching the NFL. But that will change very soon if the NFL does not get the best of the best on the field and that includes players and refs. It’s that simple.