That's right, it is officially time for the NFL to pull the plug on embattled referee Jeff Triplette. Calling for the job of an official after one terrible game has become a common process—see: replacement referees. However, Triplette absolutely deserves this kind of criticism after years of blown calls.
Triplette's most infamous flub happened in November of 2011 during an overtime coin toss in a contest between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos.
While Triplette was going over the rules, he stated, "Each team must have an opportunity to possess the football and score." Even by today's overtime rules, that statement is completely false.
Head of officiating Mike Pereira was absolutely shocked Triplette did not know such a simple rule. However, that was not the first time Pereira was dumbfounded by Triplette's actions.
Back in 2009 during a contest between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, Triplette decided to go to the monitor and review a fumble recovery. At that time, fumble recoveries were not reviewable plays. Again, Pereira was shocked and stated, "I was shocked that we started to even go to the monitor to review it."
During that same game, Triplette also failed to penalize the Packers for attempting to challenge a play after they had already used both of their challenges (losing one). Again, Pereira responded to Triplette's actions:
It should have been a flag immediately. We compounded this by actually announcing that they were challenging and then going over to the monitor, at which point the replay assistant said, 'Green Bay has already used both their challenges. They won one and lost one which means they don’t get a third.'
Pereira added, "We should have thrown the flag right then for unsportsmanlike conduct—it’s a 15-yard penalty. We were wrong in not doing that."
Multiple transgressions were to follow.
Fast forward to the 2013 season—Triplette is at it again.
During a Week 13 contest between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, Triplette made one of the most confusing calls of his career.
As the Redskins were driving down the field for a game-tying score with under two minutes left to play, Triplette gave the Redskins a first down after a second-down reception that seemed to fall one-yard short. Rather than measuring, Triplette decided to continue with the next play, only to change his mind one play later.
An incomplete pass Robert Griffin III attempted on what was called "first down" eventually turned into the Redskins' 3rd-and-1 attempt, according to Triplette after he changed his mind about the spot. This means that when the ball was re-spotted after the play, the Redskins were left with a 4th-and-1—which resulted in a fumble.
To make matters worse, Triplette was asked for a measurement by head coach Mike Shanahan after their second-down attempt. Apparently Triplette was absolutely sure about the spot at that point in time, according to a tweet by Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated:
Confused yet? That's what Triplette will do.
The last straw came just one week later in a Week 14 matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts. This was a pivotal matchup for both teams, as they have been fighting for position for this year's playoffs.
In the waning minute of the second quarter during Sunday's contest, Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis seemed to have been tripped up in the backfield. Green-Ellis fell to the turf and slid in for the touchdown.
The officials ruled Green-Ellis down by contact in the backfield; however, any seemingly controversial play under two minutes requires a booth review. Triplette went under the hood to look it over.
It looked as though the play would stand in convincing fashion.
Not to Triplette.
He walked back out to the field and stated, "After review, the ruling on the field is reversed. The runner is not touched and slides into the end zone. It is a touchdown."
Take a look at the play in question courtesy of Bleacher Report to decide for yourself:
Apparently, Triplette failed to look in the backfield where it was clear that Colts nose tackle Josh Chapman contacted the foot of Green-Ellis. Triplette was focused on contact around the goal line—where there was none—and made his ruling based solely on that. Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated tweeted out the transcript of Triplette's decision:
Obviously, media, fans and athletes are taking notice to the incompetence of Triplette. The NFL must be seeing the same inconsistency as well by this point.
Triplette has been a cause for concern for quite some time now. His errors have affected the outcomes of games and has made the NFL look like the laughing stock of the sports world at times.
It's time for the NFL to end the madness and finally fire Jeff Triplette.
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