Okay, enough is enough. It's time to pay the real referees whatever the hell they want to get back on the field, so we can get rid of these shitty, wannabe, two-bit, near-sighted, deaf, stupid, gullible, spineless, half-assed, sorry poor-man's excuses for referees and get some real mother fucking referees already. First, they had the player lockout last year, which was bad enough. Then, the NFL followed it up by locking out the referees. Who's going to be locked out next? The commentators? Are we going to have to listen to shitty local homer commentators who can't even pretend to be unbiased doing play-by-play on Monday Night Football?
Seriously, it's gone far enough, these posers are not real referees and they're fucking up every game they're in charge of. It takes a LOT for me to get really riled up about something in the fucking preseason, but these shitty wannabe refs have managed to do it. Now, I realize that referees are human, and humans make mistakes sometimes. I get it. I expect that even the most experienced referee squad is going to miss a couple calls each game. But these asshole pretenders are missing several calls each quarter and they very clearly don't even know the rulebook as well as every drunk Tom, Dick, and Harry on their living room couch with their Coors Light.
For example, I was watching the Lions-Ravens game last week and saw one of the biggest officiating clusterfucks I've seen since Phil Luckett fucked up the coin toss on the Lions-Steelers Thanksgiving Day game well over a decade ago. The Lions ran a pass play, the receiver caught the ball and ducked out of bounds at least a half yard short of the first down marker, but amazingly, the official on the spot signaled for a first down. So they spotted the ball and the Lions called a play and went to get set for what they thought was a first and ten. Then the referee signaled that it was third down and they hadn't gotten the first down after all, even though a first down had been signaled. At this point, Jim Schwartz was being angry Jim Schwartz and yelling and jumping up and down because now they were in the position of having to call a timeout because they had called a play for first and ten, not for third and short. Obviously, the plays you would call on first and ten are not the same plays you would call on third and short. So the referees all huddled up and jerked off for a couple minutes, then emerged from their huddle, decided it was a first down after all, and restarted play. So now John Harbaugh was screaming on the sideline because frankly, his team got screwed hard. The receiver was CLEARLY short of the first down marker when it was shown on replay, but the bungling wannabe refs took five minutes, changed their minds twice, and managed to piss off everyone in the entire stadium on both sides of the field, and they still got the call wrong.
But then they made up for that shitty call by making two equally shitty calls against the Lions in the next two possessions. When the Ravens got the ball, they called a Lion for a facemask penalty on a sack, when on replay you could see that he hadn't actually hit the facemask. So instead of a sack for the Lions, the Ravens got a free fifteen yards and a first down. And then when the Lions got the ball back, the refs missed a hit to the head on Stafford, which is really impressive considering that there's a referee whose sole job is to watch the quarterback and nothing else. So the ref whose ONLY JOB is to watch the quarterback was apparently playing with his dick and totally missed Stafford's face mask getting turned to the side after he got hit in the face. So after the first three drives of the game, the shitty referees had managed to make three terrible calls that each altered the course of those drives. Oh, and then they followed it up by missing three separate cases of obvious holding that the announcers showed on replay just because they were so incredulous that it hadn't been called, and two more penalties called that got the "Mmmmmmm, boy, I don't know about that call" treatment from the announcers. And that was all in the first quarter of that one game. It was actually pretty hilarious because one of the commentators was Brian Billick, who was a former coach hates referees anyway, so he was shitting on them every chance he got. And these posers were certainly giving him plenty of chances.
Just for shits and giggles, I kept notes during the Lions' third preseason game to see if they were getting better. They aren't. Just in the first half alone, I counted up three penalties or challenges in which the idiot replacements applied a rule incorrectly, or flat out didn't know the rule. Mind you, these are not missed calls or questionable calls. These are calls where the call made was wrong according to the current rules of the NFL. Those three calls in which the referees didn't know the rules were:
- In the first quarter, a Raiders receiver was going to the ground as he caught the ball. He had possession of the ball, got two feet down, but lost control of the ball as he hit the ground. It was called a catch on the field, but Jim Schwartz challenged the call because by rule, if a player is going to the ground while making a catch, they must maintain control "throughout the process of the catch" which includes hitting the ground, in order for it to be a completed catch. That is the "Calvin Johnson rule" which will never be missed in Detroit as that rule cost the Lions a win vs the Bears in Chicago two years ago. Stupid rule, yes, but it's on the books, and these chuckleheads got it wrong in a game against the Lions. The rule is nicknamed after Calvin Johnson, for Christ's sake, and they still missed it. That rule is possibly the single most debated rule on the books (with the possible exception of the "Tuck Rule") so there is absolutely no excuse for not knowing it. The replacements didn't know it, so they fucked up.
- In the first quarter, a Raider defender was lined up in the neutral zone when the ball was snapped. That is offsides, but if the defender DOES NOT touch an offensive player, the play is supposed to continue and not be blown dead, and the offense is given the option of whether to take the result of the play or a five-yard penalty. If the defensive player DOES touch an offensive player, the play is blown dead and it is simply a five yard penalty with no play. On this play, the Raider was in the neutral zone, but did not touch an offensive player, so the play should have continued, and the Lions should've had the opportunity to choose the penalty or the play. However, the replacement ref blew the play dead and marked off the penalty without giving them the option.
- In the second quarter, the exact reversal of that situation happened, and they got it wrong once again in the opposite direction. The Lions were on defense and a Lion went offsides, and in the process touched an offensive player. That is supposed to be whistled dead and an automatic five-yard penalty. However, the replacement ref allowed the play to continue, which the Lions weren't expecting since it was the wrong call, so they got caught flat-footed and the Raiders got a fifteen yard run off,largely uncontested because the Lions had assumed the play would be whistled dead since an offensive player had been touched so the defensive linemen weren't prepared. But the replacements managed to screw it up AGAIN, and essentially gave the Raiders a free ten yards because of their inability to get a call right. The really amazing thing is, they applied the same rule wrong in two different ways, which is kind of an accomplishment, if you think about it. That takes some doing to be that big of a fuckup.
However, the crowning fuckup was in the closing seconds of the first half when the replacement refs all but just gave the Raiders a free field goal due to their inability to manage the game clock. Taiwan Jones was running the ball for the Raiders just toward the end of the half. He was tackled in bounds with thirteen seconds left in the half. After Jones was down, he "fumbled" the ball out of bounds (it almost looked like he threw it out of bounds because he wanted to stop the clock), and even though he had been ruled down by contact in bounds, the refs stopped the clock. After what I counted as eight seconds, they realized they'd fucked up and restarted the clock. After three seconds went off, and the clock was down to ten seconds, the Raiders called a timeout. However, when they went back to the line to run the next play, the refs inexplicably had put three seconds back on the clock to put it back at thirteen seconds left in the half, which is what it had been at when Taiwan Jones had been ruled down by contact. So counting the eight seconds I counted during which the clock was stopped incorrectly, it was eleven seconds between the time Taiwan Jones was ruled down in bounds at thirteen seconds left, and the time the Raiders called a timeout. However, when the Raiders ran their next play, the officials gave them thirteen seconds on the clock still so those eleven seconds were a free gift. The end result of this was that the Raiders were able to run two additional short pass plays which got them into range for a 50-yard field goal as time expired. They should not have had time for those two additional plays plus the field goal attempt, so the net effect of this clusterfuck was that the idiot replacement refs gave the Raiders a free field goal. Can you imagine the uproar that would happen if this were to happen in a regular-season game? How many games are won and lost by a single score that's scored in the last seconds of a half or the game? When you're driving near midfield as the clock is about to expire, eleven seconds can easily be the difference between winning and losing a game.
Mind you, these examples don't even count the rest of the colossal fuckups I've heard about in other games, because I only listed ones that I've actually witnessed myself, and I typically only watch the Lions' preseason games because, well, it's the fucking preseason and I'm not going to torture myself unnecessarily. But other games have had problems with officials calling penalties on the wrong team, messing up the coin toss, and they even gave one offense an untimed play at the end of the first quarter in one game, because they didn't think a quarter could end on a defensive penalty.
In short, Roger Goodell, it's time to pay the piper. I don't care what it takes to get the real referees back, because whatever the price, it's worth it. And if that requires you getting on your knees and sucking Ed Hochuli's dick, then you'd better start sucking, because this shit's gone on way too long already.
P.S. And can I just say how brilliant it was to hire a female referee? Referees need to be decisive, unbiased, and unemotional. And if women are known for one thing, it's being decisive, unbiased, and unemotional. Oh wait...
people could do a better job than these shitty replacement referees