Sunday, September 23, 2012

Replacement Referees Week Three

What are the highlights for the replacement referees so far?  Should coaches and players focus even more on exploiting the referees' weaknesses?

Highlights could include
  • Patriots coach Bill Belichick reaching out and trying to grab a referee at the end of the game to argue something.  A 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct against Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
  • Initially calling for a 10 second runoff against the Redskins, calling a 15-yard penalty unsportsmanlike conduct, and then marching off 5 extra yards.
  • Incorrectly allowing the 49ers to make two challenges to calls on the field.
  • Marching off an extra 12 yards against the Lions for a 15-yard penalty due to a helmet-to-helmet hit.
  • Not penalizing the Steelers for a helmet-to-helmet hit by Ryan Mundy on Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (who had to be hospitalized).
  • Possibly more chippy play after the whistle and shoving.
What do you think the differences include with the replacement referees?
  • More unconscious bias toward home teams by referees who are influenced by the home crowd.
  • More pushing and holding on pass plays.
  • More hits after the whistle.
  • More helmet-to-helmet hits because players suspect the referees will not call them as often as they should.
  • Extra advantage to no-huddle offenses because by going faster, the referees are less able to call penalties, assuming that the offense has found ways to take advantage of less penalties being called.
 If the referees are endangering player safety by not cutting down on late hits and helmet-to-helmet hits, do the players at some point have a right to demand that the owners improve the conditions of the game?  In the same way that players should try to demand improvements if owners force players to risk their health by playing on poorly maintained playing fields?


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