Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE
NFL please bring back the real referees
The NFL is threatening the union of locked-out referees, otherwise known as the NFL Referees Association, by using replacement referees in the preseason games.
Clark Judge of CBS Sports wrote an article about the situation, in which he doesn't think it is wise for the locked-out group to be so overly critical of their performance, because we can tell they stink on our own.
The danger in what the NFLRA is doing, of course, is that they are then inviting more criticism of their work when they look bad. Even labor groups can be accused of being short-sighted.
But after reviewing the Bills versus Redskins game on NFL Network, it was obvious just how brutal the replacement referees truly are. The most obviously blatant bad call was on a punt by Brian Moorman, who made a beautiful punt that the Bills downed at the five-yard line.
Ruvell Martin was trying really hard to not cross the five-yard line stripe, and the referee must have assumed that it was the goal line, because he judged it a touchback. It didn't take long for the instant replay to show it was the five-yard line, and the call was reversed.
Besides that call, the less obvious infractions that were maddening were the number of illegal motion penalties. Steve Tasker, who was broadcasting the game, doubted that the real referees would have called that many penalties for motion.
But the biggest complaint I had regarded the lack of defensive holding and pass interference calls against the Redskins. They committed at least three holding or interference calls on crucial third downs that should have resulted in Bills drives, which would have been kept alive if the right call had been made.
Every time the foul was overlooked by the replacement zebras, and the Bills were forced to punt.
I would hate to have any regular-season game being judged by these guys. As one game can determine the difference between making the postseason and going home early, the NFL owes it to the teams, players and fans of the game to get the right people out there on the field.