Roger Goodell and the NFL has begun levying fines against the coaches for mistreating the replacement referees, starting with Denver Head Coach, John Fox and Defensive Coordinator, Jack Del Rio, $30,000 and $25,000, respectively.
After this weekend, expect to see more coaches fined for mistreating the replacement refs. It was revealed that 49ers Head Coach, Jim Harbaugh was granted two video challenges after Harbaugh called timeout in the fourth quarter. Neither challenge should have been allowed once Harbaugh asked for time. Replacement officials admitted to making those two mistakes in Minnesota’s victory over San Francisco, while a few other games included questionable calls that could have affected the outcomes. Jim’s brother, John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, might face a fine for trying to explain to the referees that he was trying to call a time out. Washington Redskins’ Offensive Coordinator, Kyle Shannahan, chased a referee into the tunnel after the loss to Cincinnati.
Bill Belichick on the other hand, may be looking at more severe consequences for putting his hands on the referees last night. Bilechick and the New England Patriots were scratching their heads after a Baltimore Ravens’ field goal attempt was successful. But the ball was kicked so high, that it went over the right upright, but it is unclear to the team whether or not it veered to the right or left. Regardless, the game was over and the Ravens came out on top with the victory. As the referees are leaving the field, Belichick runs after and grabs an officials’ arm, only to be shrugged off. Belichick doesn’t expect to be fined, but he better be prepared.
The NFL is damning its own product with the institution of these replacement referees. It’s not only offensive to fans, but it can get a player injured. After all the trouble the NFL has gone to with the “roughing the passer”, the “helmet-to-helmet” and “horse collar” calls, and so much emphasis on concussions in the past few years, how are you going to tell me that you’re not damaging the product? It’s like Chris Berman just said on MNF Countdown – “It’s like having a substitute teacher teaching the class, and the kids are shooting spit balls in the back of the classroom.”
As a fan, you have to be insulted! Nobody, that watched the Eagles game last night, could tell me they weren’t yelling at the referees less than they were yelling at the team. Especially, when it takes 10 minutes to make a final call for an offensive holding penalty.
The NFL locked out the officials in June after their contract expired. Through three weeks of the regular season there has been much criticism over the way some games are being handled.
Earlier Sunday, the NFL players’ union sent an open letter to team owners calling for an end to the lockout.