March 12, 2003

NFL requests the resignation of eight zebras.: This (NY Times) article notes that all of the refs are in their fifties or sixties and implies also that the NFL may have an issue with their weight. (Maybe they could hire this guy as a replacement since he's looking for work?) The refs asked to resign are not tied specifically to any bad calls over the season (were there any this year?) although mention is made of the Giant's missed field goal fiasco. So are these legitimate performance related firings or is something nefarious going on?

posted by vito90 to football at 08:25 AM - 9 comments

It's a very interesting question, vito, and you bring up a good point. Is it possible that the NFL could be practicing discriminating behavior? Does a football referee need to be in the same kind of physical conditioning as a basketball referee? I wonder if they are scrutinizing the performance of the judges upstairs who blew some of the replay calls?

posted by vito90 at 03:36 PM on March 12, 2003

Vito, it's funny you mention that because I was just wondering if this could be some kind of indictment on the replay. Surely they should take a look at all aspects of refereeing.

posted by vito90 at 03:36 PM on March 12, 2003

Right you are, old chum. And stop calling me Shirley.

posted by vito90 at 03:37 PM on March 12, 2003

I agree with the thing about Shirley. It's way out of line vito90.

posted by pfuller at 04:33 PM on March 12, 2003

Look, I know we have some concerns about comment totals, but this is ridiculous vito90! Anyhoo, when in doubt, always assume it's something far more sinister then it looks. Perhaps the league wants to look like it cares about it's officiating, and wants to show that it will make the necessary changes to ensure capable refereeing on future coin tosses and "upon further review..." announcements.

posted by bcb2k2 at 06:06 PM on March 12, 2003

Also, just as a side note: This AP article says that none of the officials with their walking papers were involved in the infamous Giants-49ers game this past January, so apparently that wasn't bad enough to warrant removal from the rank of officiating. I'd hate to think what did cause these guys to get the pink slip.

posted by bcb2k2 at 06:11 PM on March 12, 2003

Another note: This article says that one of the fired refs, side judge Bill Spyksma, was the official who called the infamous (to Jaguars fans anyway) touchdown play complete at the end of the Jaguars - Browns game last season. So, seems that performance, at least in this case, was a factor.

posted by bcb2k2 at 09:56 AM on March 13, 2003

Vito, nice link. I'd have preferred this (, but ... I don't think the officiating will ever get any better in the NFL until they decide to make these guys fulltime employees. When you're an insurance agent or banker all week, how does that help you get ready to referee a huge game on Sunday? And it's not like the NFL doesn't have enough cash to play these guys ... and then they could enforce the desired standards for competence and physical necessities much easier.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:38 AM on March 13, 2003

Angie Harmon - Rowrrrrrr! Law & Order is the bomb!

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:47 AM on March 13, 2003

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