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Old 01-07-2008, 08:37 AM   #1
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Default NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field

Excellent article in light of some of the officiating we have witnessed this year...Dont let the fact that Gosselin in from Dallas turn you off, he is one of the best writers covering sports and perhaps THE leading NFL draft expert in the country.


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Rick Gosselin Dallas Morning News
NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field
07:19 PM CST on Thursday, December 27, 2007


I’ve never been a fan of the concept of full-time officials in the NFL. I’ve long believed that human error is part of sports. If and when the NFL gets perfect players, then get perfect officials.

But I’m coming off that stance.

The inconsistency of the officiating each weekend needs to be addressed. There are 17 officiating crews and what one sees as offensive holding, another may not. What one sees as illegal contact, another may not.

The crews rotate each week. They rarely see the same team twice in a season. They may be assigned to a game in Miami one week, Buffalo the next and St. Louis the next. But the bottom line is they are all watching the same 32 teams in the same 31 buildings on the same weekends over the same four months.

Yet why do these crews see the games so differently?

The crew of referee Ron Winter has worked 14 of the 16 NFL weekends this season. His crew has doled out 204 penalties for 1,487 yards. The crew of Gerry Austin also has worked 14 of the 16 NFL weekends. His crew has doled 118 penalties for 1,045 yards. How is it possible that one crew can assess 86 more penalties for 442 more yards than another crew?

Of the 16 NFL weekends thus far, Winter’s crew has officiated the high-penalty game in five of them. No other crew has officiated more than two high-penalty games. There have been only nine 20-penalty games in 2007, and Winter’s crew has officiated three of them. Six times, Winter’s crew has assessed at least 10 penalties against one team on a given weekend. That’s a league-high.

Austin’s crew has assessed 10 penalties against a team only once in 2007. There have been only three games this season when a team was not assessed any penalties – and Austin’s crew worked two of them. His crew has officiated the low-penalty game in four of the 16 weekends. No other crew has officiated more than two of the low-penalty games.

Terry McAulay’s crew has worked 14 games, and the home team has won 11 of them. His crew has called 29 more penalties against the road teams for 239 more yards than the home teams. League-wide, there have been 170 more penalties called against the road teams for 1,411 more yards than home teams.

The NFL has 125 officials, and working football games is a weekend job for most of them. During the week they are teachers, administrators, bankers, CPAs and probation officers. On Saturdays, they head out for NFL games. On Monday, they return to their day jobs.

It may be time for the NFL to hire full-time officials. Have them live in a central location – Dallas, for instance. Or Kansas City. Or Omaha. The where doesn’t really matter.

They would work games on Sundays, then return to home base on Monday. Then I’d have them spend Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the classroom. Group all the back judges together, all the line judges, field judges, back judges, umpires and so on and have them study games tapes, just like NFL teams do.

Then instruct each group what a penalty is. This is offensive holding, this is not. This is pass interference, this is not. This is illegal contact, this is not. Maybe if every set of eyes can agree what a penalty is on Wednesday, they’ll call it the same way on Sunday.

NFL teams strive for consistency each week. The NFL ought to demand the same out of its officials.

Here’s a chart of penalties by each crew this season. Each crew is identified by its referee, listing the numbers of games, penalties and yards:


Crew.........Games.........Penalties........Yards
Winter........14.....................204.......... .....1,487
Corrente....14.....................188............ ...1,515
Hochuli......15.....................184........... ....1,399
Anderson ..14....................181...............1,388
Boger..........14....................178.......... .....1,352
Parry............14....................171........ .......1,421
McAulay.......14....................169........... ....1,345
Carey...........14....................167......... ......1,248
Leavy...........14....................162 ..............1,238
Coleman.....14....................154 .............1,142
Steratore.....14....................153........... ...1,159
Green...........14...................151.......... .....1,304
Nemmers....14...................149............... 1,271
Triplette........14...................145......... ......1,069
Morelli...........14..................137......... .......1,077
Carollo..........14..................135.......... ......1,002
Austin ...........14..................118................ 1,045


Winter’s crew, by the way, also called an NFL-high 208 penalties in 2006. And Corrente’s crew was selected to work the Super Bowl last February.

Last edited by lamberts-lost-tooth; 01-07-2008 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field

You know, with video and communication technology becoming cheaper and better almost week by week, what would prevent having a camera on each player, and an audio signal into the ear of the officials? Holding would definitely have to be redefined, of course, because there is holding on every play.... But, when a penalty is called, the film of the infraction can go onto the jumbotron, and everyone can say, "Oh, yeah. I see, he had his arm wrapped."

Getting it right would be easy, but the powers that be don't want to get it right. They like it messy, because controversy breeds interest.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field

Quote:
Terry McAulay?s crew has worked 14 games, and the home team has won 11 of them. His crew has called 29 more penalties against the road teams for 239 more yards than the home teams. League-wide, there have been 170 more penalties called against the road teams for 1,411 more yards than home teams.
......i guess they tried to "balance it out" on saturday night.....
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Old 01-07-2008, 04:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field

Calling penalties based on video would ultimately slow the game down because there is so much that goes on every play.

If nothing else, I have two suggestions:

1. why not simply allow coaches to challenge key penalties in addition to what they are already permitted to. In my mind, why is it not OK for officials to review such calls as the 'push out' of WInslow verses the Cardinals, or the 'holding' call called against the Steelers, or the MANY MANY MANY calls that were called against the Patriots involving opposing cornerbacks 'interfering with' the receiver, even though Moss can push off every play.

2. Allow an official, rotating each week amongst refereeing staffs, to be able to call plays. Do not allow on the field refs to make the calls from challenges, but rather allow the booth to handle it and permit the on the field refs to simply refer the message. Again, where refs have different opinions about holdings, who's to say that once a member of a ref'ing staff makes a call on the field the referee himself isn't going into the booth knowing he's going to keep the play anyways. In the instance of hte Ravens game, officials upstairs would have made the appropriate call had they been allowed to make the ruling. I just know it.

I love the idea of full-time refs, and i'm sure there would be many qualified applicants to be getting in that close to the action. Before I read this, I never knew they were just part-time!
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field

LLT... this is some amazing stufff.... u may not have wrote it but still idk where u find this.. good read
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field

I'd go for educating the individuals who perpetrate false penalties or completely forget to call one. I mean I can't imagine what type of game we would watch if the referees actually understood the rules to the game.
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field

Yet again, as evidence in the Colts game today, that rulings should be challenged.

That phenomenal return by Cromarte was erased due to a 'holding' call that was bogus. I cannot stand how that was holding in this game but in the game last night the same thing took place and it wasn't called time and time again. The differing opinions of referees sure are taking excitement away anymore. It just seems like on the play I've mentioned they're looking for something, ya know?
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelers2685 View Post
Yet again, as evidence in the Colts game today, that rulings should be challenged.

That phenomenal return by Cromarte was erased due to a 'holding' call that was bogus. I cannot stand how that was holding in this game but in the game last night the same thing took place and it wasn't called time and time again. The differing opinions of referees sure are taking excitement away anymore. It just seems like on the play I've mentioned they're looking for something, ya know?
that would definitely get overturned if this were the case. t-t-terrible call
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field

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Originally Posted by steelers2685 View Post
Yet again, as evidence in the Colts game today, that rulings should be challenged.

That phenomenal return by Cromarte was erased due to a 'holding' call that was bogus. I cannot stand how that was holding in this game but in the game last night the same thing took place and it wasn't called time and time again. The differing opinions of referees sure are taking excitement away anymore. It just seems like on the play I've mentioned they're looking for something, ya know?
It's calls like that...that make you wonder. The NFL wants NE/Indy in the worst way.

That was a terrible call.
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: NFL needs to challenge the rulings on the field

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It's calls like that...that make you wonder. The NFL wants NE/Indy in the worst way.

That was a terrible call.
Same with the Hines catch recently and ESPECIALLY the Winslow catch at the end of the AZ game that was dubbed 'unreviewable'. Ridiculous. So many memorable plays anymore are being washed away.
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