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Thursday, August 30, 2012

OT: Sept 2012 Regular Season NFL Football Thread

New season, new threads.

First game is next Wed., on Sept. 5th, Cowboys vs Giants at Metlife Stadium in New York.

Tripon Posted: August 30, 2012 at 07:32 PM | 591 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: football

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   301. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 25, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4245180)
Did MLB ever use replacement umps? I seem to remember a labor strife with them a decade or so ago, but I can't recall the details.


The MLB umps did a mass resignation, which prompted MLB to accept several resignations and hire new ones. (Wikipedia link)
   302. UCCF Posted: September 25, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4245181)
I think we've reached that point now. My gut feeling is a 5% drop this weekend, slowly building to a fall in ratings by say 20% in a few weeks.

Unless there's an organized campaign to ask people to stop going to games and to stop watching them, it's never going to happen. Hell, more people may watch just so that they can see the crap that everyone's going to be talking about on Monday (or Tuesday). It's like rubbernecking a car accident.

I love the WWE comparison - how many matches have there been where one ref declares one winner, and another ref picks the other guy? That's one of the oldest storylines in the book to keep a feud going, or to have a title match where you don't want the champion to lose. All we need is for Gorilla Monsoon to come out and announce that the WWE Board of Governors has held up the result of the game, and Seattle/Green Bay will meet again on pay-per-view.
   303. bunyon Posted: September 25, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4245197)
Do you guys think there is a point where the fans actually start watching less?



I think we've reached that point now. My gut feeling is a 5% drop this weekend, slowly building to a fall in ratings by say 20% in a few weeks.


Yeah, I think all the "but people still watch" analysis misses that it's only been a few weeks. It'll have to be egregiously bad for a season, I'd think, for people to turn away. It has the feel now of, "it's bad but when the regular refs get back, it'll be fine."

I think if the NFL cans the regular refs and hires these guys permanently AND they don't improve, then down the road you might see people drift away. But interest in the NFL is too high - and not terribly dependent on the details - that ratings and attendance will stay high for awhile on momentum alone.


As for the details, I can only relate what I know/think about MLB. I think the league should have greater control of the officials and pay them more. A professional, quality group of officials is very important to long-term health of any game. Squandering that image to save a few hundredths of a percent of your gross seems silly to me.
   304. Shredder Posted: September 25, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4245203)
Next MNF game is Bears vs Cowboys. Ratings will not suffer.
I'm not really an NFL fan in any meaningful sense, so the league turning itself into a joke probably isn't going to make me watch any more or less than before. For the first half of the season I'm usually on the golf course all day Sunday anyway. And while I'm probably not interested in sitting through an entire game just to see something like this happen, I'm definitely more interested in the post-game comments now than I was before, just to see how bad it can get.
   305. Topher Posted: September 25, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4245216)
Hell, more people may watch just so that they can see the crap that everyone's going to be talking about on Monday (or Tuesday). It's like rubbernecking a car accident.


You just described me. Well kind of. I watched the MNF game last night after the baseball that mattered was finished for the evening. First time I've done that in a long while. Not as much to participate in the water cooler conversation but I do find the ineptitude on public display to be a somewhat twisted form of can't miss television.
   306. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4245223)
I think the key is if people start to perceive that the outcome of the games is determined more by the randomness of the officiating than by the quality of the teams. We're probably not too far away from that happening. I only really saw significant parts of two NFL games this weekend - the Ravens/Patriots and Packers/Seahawks games - but in both, I felt that the quality of play was not the determining factor in who won the game. The refereeing erased the distinctions between the teams. In both games, an entirely different set of officials could easily have led to a vastly different outcome.

People still talk about that Hochuli game - but it's because it was such a rarity to have a game decided by a bad official's call. It's the kind of thing that used to happen a couple of times a season, but this year, it's happening a couple of times each weekend.
   307. stanmvp48 Posted: September 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4245231)
Three NFC West teams in the top 8 in Sagarin. And the Saints 26th.
   308. PepTech Posted: September 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4245232)
I still think it should have been an interception, but looking at the reply has me wondering this. Where is Tate's left arm? His right arm clearly flails around as the two players are falling to the ground, and to me, Jennings lying on top of Tate is a pretty clear indicator that Jennings had primary possession. But I suppose that *if* Tate's left arm was around the ball the whole time... well, maybe that's justification for the simultaneous call. OK, it's not, but that's the NFL's story and they're sticking to it. Officially...
   309. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4245233)
if anyone is curious as to what pass defense was like in the 1970's last night's game was a fair approximation.

what happened to jennings was not uncommon and this is not hyperbole.

charles woodson would be an even bigger star if he had played when clutching/grabbing was accepted since his hands/forearms are so strong.

   310. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4245237)

Unless there's an organized campaign to ask people to stop going to games and to stop watching them, it's never going to happen.


The grassroots campaign has already begun. Turn off the NFL! Take a break! Say it with me: no football until the refs come back!
   311. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4245238)
My experience is the opposite. I know I can certainly name many more head referees than baseball umpires. We're on a baseball discussion site, of course people here will know more umpires. But among equivalent NFL fans, you'll find the refs are fairly well-known, along with their crews' tendencies (more likely to call holding? DPI? etc.).


mega fans of leagues know the officials/umps. serious college hoops fans know a lot of these refs by name, way beyond Ed Hightower.
   312. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4245240)
The NFL has come out and said the right call (touchdown) was called, but that the ref should have called pass interference on Golden Tate. The result of the game will not be overturned.
   313. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4245253)
ag1

thanks

it's a horsesh8t answer but unsurprising
   314. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4245256)
The replacement officials ruled on the field that Tate had simultaneous possession with Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, which counts as a reception. The NFL says that once that happened, the referee was correct that no indisputable visual evidence existed on review to overturn the touchdown call.

so basically the nfl is hiding behind the ruling on the field and also mistaken since it was not 'officials' but 'official'.
   315. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4245263)
This is the League as Jack Tunney now. "It's been brought to my attention that Hulk Hogan... (crowd cheers: YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!).....was involved in a controversial match with Randy Savage (Boooooooooooooooooo!!)"
   316. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4245271)
   317. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4245280)
There was no way that was simultaneous possession. As I think Steve Young noted last night, simultaneous possession involves cases in which two players, facing each other, both put hands on the ball at the same time.

What we saw last night was a case in which one player catches a ball, and then later a second player, standing behind the first player, wraps one hand around that player, and also touches the ball, much as you would if you were trying to force a fumble. Needless to say, that's not simultaneous possession.
   318. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4245289)
The NFL is basically conceding the point that can't be disputed (that Tate committed offensive pass interference) while sticking to the point that can, at least on some level, be argued (that from the naked eye Tate had the catch and replay can't overturn that). Not surprising.

By the way, this discussion here -- comments from DA and others -- has persuaded me that yes, the actual officiating is worse with the replacements.

   319. Eddo Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4245292)
There was no way that was simultaneous possession. As I think Steve Young noted last night, simultaneous possession involves cases in which two players, facing each other, both put hands on the ball at the same time.

What we saw last night was a case in which one player catches a ball, and then later a second player, standing behind the first player, wraps one hand around that player, and also touches the ball, much as you would if you were trying to force a fumble. Needless to say, that's not simultaneous possession.

To begin, I will state that I would have called the play an interception. It was close, but I do think Jennings had possession, and Tate did not.

That said, some of the explanations I've read arguing strongly against the simultaneous possession call (such as the quoted one) seem off to me. Here is the sequence of events, that very few people seem to dispute:

1) Jennings and Tate both jump and reach for the ball;
2) Jennings grabs initial possession of the ball;
3) Tate grabs for the ball while he and Jennings fall to the ground;
4) On the ground, both are wrestling for possession;
5) Jennings winds up with "more" possession at some point after they are on the ground.

There could very well be a step 3a: As they are falling, Jennings loses possession - by bobbling the ball or Tate knocking it loose (EDIT - before regaining possession). That would reset his initial possession, since he does have to complete the catch all the way to the ground. If this is the case, it didn't matter that Jennings had the initial possession - the window was open for Tate to now take control, and/or for simultaneous possession to occur.

Now, I don't think this *did* happen. On the replay, it looked to me like Jennings maintained control. However, this is the main reason why I don't think this is the egregious call many are making it out to be. I'd say it's wrong, but not one of the ten or twenty worst calls I've seen so far this season.
   320. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4245308)
if jennings has initial possession then possession is not simultaneous

that's just a clarification. my view remains that the packers should have scored a td in lieu of one of those field goals and none of this would have mattered

i am also concerned that russell wilson will begin to believe his own hype. he was awful last night and when the td was ruled he was roaming down the field with a ridiculously smug expression as if he was destined to have such things happened. i liked the lad in wisky and hope he remains grounded.
   321. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4245313)
I actually agree with that analysis but think it pinpoints the part of this call that really was the truly egregious error: The moment where the officials made their (conflicting) signals happened BETWEEN your steps 4 and 5. There was a window before the scrum ensued where both officials had a clear look at the two principal players and the football, and at that moment Jennings very clearly had complete possession of the ball and Tate very clearly did not.

Prior to the review I honestly thought that the most likely explanation for the conflicting signals was that the official signaling touchdown was mixed up for an instant about which team was on offense, saw clear possession in the end zone, and threw his arms up. I figured on review they'd correct the discrepancy and rule that the Packers had won.
   322. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4245316)
I'd say it's wrong, but not one of the ten or twenty worst calls I've seen so far this season.


To be fair to the replacement refs, also, my understanding is that whether your 3a did or did not happen ("as they are falling, Jennings loses possession") is apparently not reviewable. So a large part of the blame for this play getting called wrong falls on the NFL's replay rules (which is what allows the NFL to make its bullshit statement that the call "should not have been overturned").
   323. esseff Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4245321)
Did MLB ever use replacement umps? I seem to remember a labor strife with them a decade or so ago, but I can't recall the details.


Yes, at the start of the 1979 season, when the umpires went on strike. And it created the same kind of problems we're seeing with the NFL now, with a consensus that the umpires were overmatched and that the game was being damaged. I don't recall a tipping point as dramatic as last night's, however.

It took a month or so into the season for MLB and the real umps to reach an agreement.
   324. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4245324)
It isn't clear to me - can the reply overturn who had possession?

I was thinking about what constitutes a catch, as Eddo mentioned in his "3a" scenario in #319. If Jennings didn't have clear possession over Tate when their feet hit the ground, is that important? Or can you have possession without having a catch?

HW, I think Russell Wilson has been pretty well grounded here, whatever expression you saw on his face aside. He didn't boast in the postgame interviews that it was clearly the right call, and he's shown confidence without cockiness in every interview that I have seen.
   325. Eddo Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4245325)
if jennings has initial possession then possession is not simultaneous

that's just a clarification. my view remains that the packers should have scored a td in lieu of one of those field goals and none of this would have mattered

i am also concerned that russell wilson will begin to believe his own hype. he was awful last night and when the td was ruled he was roaming down the field with a ridiculously smug expression as if he was destined to have such things happened. i liked the lad in wisky and hope he remains grounded.

HW - not sure if you saw my post before writing this, but Jennings could have lost possession after the initial gaining of it, which would allow for simultaneous possession. (Note: I don't believe this happened, but the "initial possession" argument is a bit of a red herring.)

Interesting take on Wilson - I certainly listen to you when it comes to UW players.

------

I actually agree with that analysis but think it pinpoints the part of this call that really was the truly egregious error: The moment where the officials made their (conflicting) signals happened BETWEEN your steps 4 and 5. There was a window before the scrum ensued where both officials had a clear look at the two principal players and the football, and at that moment Jennings very clearly had complete possession of the ball and Tate very clearly did not.

The timing of the conflicting signals is correct: step 5 occurs after the play is over, since once they are on the ground in possession, they are down.

Step 4 is a gray area in that regard. If, while falling (and in this hypothetical, after Jennings lost possession), they both had possession, then as soon as they hit the ground, the play is dead.

Basically, Jennings having clear possession while on the ground means nothing in and of itself. The key is if he had full possession upon hitting the ground.
   326. zenbitz Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4245328)
I think there are two likely explanations:

1) the ref that called TD consciously or unconsciously favored Seattle, and made a biased call. It's been shown that a big chunk of home field advantage (in football and other sports) is due to unconscious referee bias for the home team. Or he could just be a fan (not necessarily for or against either team, but say, he's a Bears or Vikings fan). Not ruling out money changing hands here, either.

from the ESPN betting article linked above:
Perry said that 70 to 80 percent of the money on his site was put on the Packers, which is in line with the percentage bet in Vegas. At Mandalay Bay, the sportsbook took in about $500,000 in total bets, with about 85 percent of the money on the Packers.


This is extremely fishy to me. Aren't the lines set to get roughly equal action!?!?! Unless all that money comes in very late, don't the lines adjust? Isn't it near-suicidal for a bookmaker to not adjust unless the fix is in? (even a partial or statistical fix).

I guess you have to be a bookmaker to know quantitatively which way people are betting... there's not like a free public webservice that you can troll.

2) the ref that called TD misunderstood the simultaneous possession rule, and applied it incorrectly.

Possibly both.



I think there are rules about which official has priority on which type of call - and clearly the TD guy had priority.
   327. Eddo Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4245331)
I was thinking about what constitutes a catch, as Eddo mentioned in his "3a" scenario in #319. If Jennings didn't have clear possession over Tate when their feet hit the ground, is that important? Or can you have possession without having a catch?

It is important, but what's more important is when the are completely on the ground. You must maintain control through landing on the ground. If you land on your feet, great, but if you fall all the way, you must maintain control all the way until your body is down.
   328. zenbitz Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4245333)
It isn't clear to me - can the reply overturn who had possession?


Yes, because it's in the endzone. This was in the NFL's statement.
   329. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4245335)
Not ruling out money changing hands here, either.


I wouldn't at all be surprised if it comes out in a year or two (or even during this season) that one of these replacement refs is on the take for some bookies. These guys have one shot to make good money, its probably worth the risk to them.
   330. Eddo Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4245336)
2) the ref that called TD misunderstood the simultaneous possession rule, and applied it incorrectly.

This is extremely more likely than some kind of purposeful (conscious or subconscious) favoring of Seattle.

Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
   331. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4245337)
There could very well be a step 3a: As they are falling, Jennings loses possession - by bobbling the ball or Tate knocking it loose (EDIT - before regaining possession). That would reset his initial possession, since he does have to complete the catch all the way to the ground. If this is the case, it didn't matter that Jennings had the initial possession - the window was open for Tate to now take control, and/or for simultaneous possession to occur.


True to an extent. But the part about the offensive player "winning ties" in cases of simultaneous possession only applies, I believe to the initial moment of possession. At the moment of 'reset', that you describe (which, to be clear, I don't think happens in this case), then the offensive player loses the benefit of the doubt. Or so I have heard several talking heads opine.
   332. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4245340)
2) the ref that called TD misunderstood the simultaneous possession rule, and applied it incorrectly.

This is extremely more likely than some kind of purposeful (conscious or subconscious) favoring of Seattle.
But we already have good evidence that elite professional refs give slightly more calls to the home team. It's not because they're biased, it's because they're subconsciously affected by the crowd and the context of the game. Given that most of the replacement refs (including the one who called touchdown) have never experienced anything like the pressure of NFL games and the intensity of NFL crowds, it makes sense they'd be even more susceptible to this effect.

Malice has nothing to do with it. Being susceptible to home crowd pressure is a subset of incompetence, related to inexperience.
   333. Eddo Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4245345)
Malice has nothing to do with it. Being susceptible to home crowd pressure is a subset of incompetence, related to inexperience.

Gotcha. I thought the quoted post was implying malice, perhaps I read too much into it.
   334. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4245347)
It isn't clear to me - can the reply overturn who had possession?


I stand corrected, actually. From the NFL's official statement supporting the refs, "In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable." They also quote the relevant rule on "simultaneous catches", "If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control."

That's just an indefensible statement by the NFL. If possession is reviewable, there's just no excuse for not overturning the TD. Has anybody in this thread (or elsewhere - not employed by the Seahawks) disputed that after looking at the thing in super slo-mo?
   335. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4245349)

Malice has nothing to do with it.


Well, they may have wanted to avoid malice from Seahawk fans.
   336. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4245354)
Aren't the lines set to get roughly equal action!?!?! Unless all that money comes in very late, don't the lines adjust? Isn't it near-suicidal for a bookmaker to not adjust unless the fix is in? (even a partial or statistical fix).


Lines are set to maximize profits for bookmakers. It would be near-suicidal to take 85% of the action on one side if that's the only game you're ever going make book on, but perfectly reasonable on any given game assuming a long-term plan and knowledge of your customers.
   337. JJ1986 Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4245363)
Lines are set to maximize profits for bookmakers. It would be near-suicidal to take 85% of the action on one side if that's the only game you're ever going make book on, but perfectly reasonable on any given game assuming a long-term plan and knowledge of your customers.


I think it is still a bit suspicious that the line was so low in the first place. The bookies knew most of the action would come down on GB at -3 .
   338. Eddo Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4245365)
Betting on the Packers -3 may have been down to something like -125. If so, that makes the 85% figure a little less harsh.
   339. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4245368)
Malice has nothing to do with it. Being susceptible to home crowd pressure is a subset of incompetence, related to inexperience.

Gotcha. I thought the quoted post was implying malice, perhaps I read too much into it.
zenbitz suggested in his option (1) that the bias could have been conscious or subconscious. You seemed to be rejecting both possibilities, including subconscious bias, and I didn't think that was supportable.
   340. Eddo Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4245378)
zenbitz suggested in his option (1) that the bias could have been conscious or subconscious. You seemed to be rejecting both possibilities, including subconscious bias, and I didn't think that was supportable.

OK. My mistake.
   341. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4245395)
i do not think anything but subpar officiating expertise was at work last night

but if i were one to 'rig' things it would be pretty tempting to entice a guy getting paid chump change, who is never going to be considered for a full time nfl job and likely is working a 'joe job' that ain't all that and a bag of chips

i think that person is pretty susceptible to an approach

that is, if i were so inclined
   342. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4245444)
If you're rigging a game, do you really think it is best to wait for a 4th and 10 last play of the game Hail Mary situation?
   343. spycake Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4245445)
No way the refs were in on any betting or fixing. For one thing, they wouldn't have waited until that late moment to swing things around -- I mean, what could the ref do if that pass fell incomplete? It would have been more likely to make a move earlier to put Seattle ahead, and then if necessary make another call later to prevent Green Bay from retaking the lead.
   344. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4245448)
mrams

absolutely not. one would be calling or not calling items throughout the game

and for the third time this thread i don't think anything untoward was happening. just guys not up to the job and if the packers had done their job it would not have mattered

my last post was merely pointing out that if you were to ever have a situation ripe for someone or someones be willing to consider taking money to throw games this would be that scenario. and even then it's shaving points not necessarily generating actual wins or losses
   345. stanmvp48 Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4245493)
And I doubt these guys have been vetted very well.
   346. Shredder Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4245496)
No way the refs were in on any betting or fixing. For one thing, they wouldn't have waited until that late moment to swing things around -- I mean, what could the ref do if that pass fell incomplete?
New conspiracy theory: They're ALL on the take, but because all of the people on these crews are new to one another, they weren't able to coordinate beforehand, and they're the guys who are working to help one team are cancelled out by the guys working to help the other team. That explains why there are so many bad calls each way in every game.
And I doubt these guys have been vetted very well.
Considering there are guys (plural) working these games who were fired for incompetence by the Lingerie Football League, that's probably a safe bet.
   347. PeteF3 Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4245497)
If you're rigging a game, do you really think it is best to wait for a 4th and 10 last play of the game Hail Mary situation?


I agree. An official out to rig the game in Seattle's favor would probably have to make their mark earlier. Strictly hypothetically, perhaps they could have waved off a critical Packers interception with a roughing-the-passer penalty, or called pass interference on the team that was affected rather than the team that committed the foul.

   348. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4245498)
stan

wasn't there a guy where some news agency found his facebook page with him in saints gear right before he reffed a saints game?
   349. stanmvp48 Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4245515)
Yes that was week two I believe. While I certainly agree that grotesque incompetence is the explanation for all this-it certainly smells bad
   350. Gaelan Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4245522)
The call was terrible and the NFL response was worse. These people have no shame.

As to whether this will hurt the bottom line, I can't see how it doesn't. In the long run the ability to extract economic value from sports is dependent upon the integrity of the competition. If the players, the media and the fans no longer think that the game has integrity then the long term viability of the sport is compromised. Everybody has a different point where this happens. I started the season where Ray is, thinking that people were looking for errors and that the officiating wasn't so bad. I now find it hard to find a reason to watch a game that is fixed. Now I'm only one customer, but I should be an easy sell and they are losing me.

The other interesting thing is how this incident proves what a waste of time instant replay is. The call was obviously wrong. Yet given the opportunity to review they didn't change the call. Instant replay is no substitute for competence or in this case courage.

Which goes to the home field advantage point. There was no way in hell they were going to overturn that call while playing in Seattle. That would have required a kind of moral courage that these people clearly don't have. If this game had been played in Green Bay the initial call would have been an interception. No intelligent person can deny this.

We are at a nadir in sports right now. Every single bit of news is driven by a crescendo of greed from the NHL to the NFL. These people (that own sports franchises) are parasitical leeches. They should be purged from society.
   351. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4245526)
Considering there are guys (plural) working these games who were fired for incompetence by the Lingerie Football League, that's probably a safe bet.

That might be true since the Lingerie League put out a statement to that effect. But the League is apparently close to bankrupt - now in barnstorming mode rather than fixed franchises - so it seems possible their statement was an attempt to garner some publicity for a forgotten endeavor. They didn't mention any names.

That said, the replacement refs aren't up to the job they are being asked to do.
   352. esseff Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4245527)
I wonder if some of the best potential replacements turned down the gig because they didn't want to be scabs.
   353. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4245528)
If you were going to rig a game, the best way would be to do so to get a result on the over/under number. The easiest way would be to bet the under and have the refs call ticky-tac penalties that stall scoring drives.

Twenty-four penalties in a game should just about do it.
   354. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4245554)

I wonder if some of the best potential replacements turned down the gig because they didn't want to be scabs.


Absolutely. If you are a top level college or NFL Europe official, then 1)you doubtless aspire to one day be and NFL official, and 2)your current job is probably better than becoming an NFL scab.
   355. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4245571)
There have always been whispers even with the full-time refs that there are games throughout the season that are not on the level. Look at all the money issues that these athletes run into after they are away from the game (i.e Vince Young)so it isnt crazy to think with the millions of dollars on the line that some of these soon to be ex-refs could not be bought.
   356. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4245594)
We are at a nadir in sports right now. Every single bit of news is driven by a crescendo of greed from the NHL to the NFL. These people (that own sports franchises) are parasitical leeches.

Correct. Greed for greed's sake. The money the sides are bickering over in the NFL ref dispute is the functional equivalent of the change lying around the car ashtray.

It's also appalling that essentially no rhetorical heed is being paid to the fact that the replacement refs are scab labor, directly interfering with the economic benefits of the union refs. When did being a scab become respectable?
   357. DA Baracus Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4245607)
And I doubt these guys have been vetted very well.


We know they weren't because they assigned a ref who's Facebook profile picture was him in Saints gear to a Saints game, although they did catch that before the game and replaced him.
   358. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: September 25, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4245608)
When did being a scab become respectable?


The '80s. Reagan. Air traffic controllers.
   359. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4245629)
Plus, organized labor no longer represents a majority of the workforce, or even close to it.

That's not a judgement on my part, incidentally; I am neither pro-union nor anti-union. But yeah, #358 is also spot on.
   360. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4245647)
I remember looking this up not too long ago because of a stupid argument on Facebook that the current percentage of labor that is organized is around 11-12%.
   361. zack Posted: September 25, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4245658)
I remember looking this up not too long ago because of a stupid argument on Facebook that the current percentage of labor that is organized is around 11-12%.


Yeah, a measly 11.8% as members (13% represented by) in 2011, down from 20.1% in 1983.

Private sector is down to 6.9%. I doubt most college kids today even know what a scab is.
   362. Tripon Posted: September 25, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4245692)
Considering there are guys (plural) working these games who were fired for incompetence by the Lingerie Football League, that's probably a safe bet.


That was a huge exaggeration. It was one guy working a pre season game, and hasn't worked a regular season game all season. The guy who made that claim is just an attention seeking #########.

Mortaza was surprised to learn a referee he says he dismissed for poor performance, Craig Ochoa, had been picked up by the NFL and placed into the NFL's marquee Hall of Fame game. Ochoa has not served in a regular-season game so far, but he remains with the NFL as an alternate. And Mortaza just can't get over it.


Ochoa himself is a longtime referee who worked for decades. So yeah, Mortaza can eat his own #### for all I care.
   363. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4245744)
If someone wanted to change my defined benefit pension into a 401(k) or some other defined contribution scam, I'd strike too.
   364. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4245763)
If someone wanted to change my defined benefit pension into a 401(k) or some other defined contribution scam, I'd strike too.


They're not striking. It's a lockout.
   365. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4245766)
If someone wanted to change my defined benefit pension into a 401(k) or some other defined contribution scam, I'd strike too.


not really an option for 'at will' employees. I'm in a rare spot where I actually get both, but the DB portion has been totally overhauled over the years, no surprise to me. I get a good look under the hood around here, I wouldn't keep it under the old DB plan either. With that said, new employees still get both, and the DB 'vests' if you're here 5 years. It ain't a jackpot but its not pocket change either.

(Wrong thread, I know but...) I don't get how a DC plan is a scam? The worst elements of it are (in theory and at times in reality) Investment options, and until recently thanks to new DOL disclosure rules, the transparency of the costs/expenses was pathetic. I'm in the biz and it was extraordinarily difficult to find out the expense ratio for the plan participant. Investor education is typically non-existent to be sure, particularly the further away you are from a large DC plan. Employee does have to take responsibility to the ownership of their own finances. I acknowledge good debates on both sides of the tax treatment of the idea of the 401(k). I weep for the day when ETFs get better traction in the 401k space.

side note: based on what I know about this case, I side with this particular private sector union (and I'm about 100% anti public unions in nearly all matters.)

edit: coke to Ray.
   366. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4245773)
In my New Jersey public job, the older folks all have the PERS pension plan and are getting set to retire on $70,000 a year for life, plus benefits. We young 'uns have been moved over to the "Alternative Benefits Program," a glorifed 401k that is mandatory with an employer match. I won't have a guaranteed income, and my money will be subject to the whims of financial markets, but, oh joy, I get to make "decisions" and have "control" over how TIAA CREF invests my money.
   367. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 25, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4245775)
I don't get how a DC plan is a scam?

Maybe scam was the wrong word. \"#### sandwich" might have been better.
   368. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 26, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4246642)
Reportedly the two sides are close to an agreement.
   369. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4246883)
Done deal

"Our officials will be back on the field starting tomorrow night," Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "We appreciate the commitment of the NFLRA in working through the issues to reach this important agreement."
   370. Tripon Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:35 AM (#4246890)
Man, there was way too much whining about last monday's game.
   371. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4247076)
Per Football Outsiders (via the league), here are the main terms of the agreement:

The current defined benefit pension plan will remain in place for current officials through the 2016 season (or until the official earns 20 years of service). The defined benefit plan then will be frozen.

Retirement benefits will be provided for new hires, and for all officials beginning in 2017, through a defined contribution arrangement, which will have two elements: an annual league contribution made on behalf of each game official that will begin with an average of more than $18,000 per official and increase to more than $23,000 per official in 2019, and a partial match on any additional contribution that an official makes to his 401(k) account.

Apart from their benefit package, the game officials' compensation will increase from an average of $149,000 per year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019.

Beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option of hiring a number of officials on a full-time basis to work year-round, including on the field.

The NFL will have the option to retain additional officials for training and development purposes and can assign those additional officials to work NFL games. The number of additional officials will be determined by the NFL.
   372. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4247102)
Thank you Golden Tate.
   373. JJ1986 Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4247108)
an average of $149,000 per year


I always heard that these guys didn't make enough so they had to have other jobs.
   374. hokieneer Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4247137)
I always heard that these guys didn't make enough so they had to have other jobs.


Yeah me too.

At the same time, you can't say they are overpaid. The NFL product is worth a lot of money, and we all saw the backlash against the scabs. Whether that backlash would have ever translated to the NFL's revenue, I have no idea.
   375. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4247147)
By contrast, the average MLB umpire makes $120,000 for 10 times the amount of games.
   376. BDC Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4247191)
Worst decision of my life was to opt for a contribution retirement plan instead of a pension plan. True, this was 24 years ago when I wasn't sure I'd stay in this job long enough to vest, but in the years to come it would have made the difference between a comfortable retirement with plenty of travel and quality-of-life options, and basically, spending a lot of time around the house if I ever do have to retire, thinking of ways to make Cheerios and cat food go further. And hoping I die before my partner does, because I will never be able to afford to live independently.
   377. hokieneer Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4247250)
By contrast, the average MLB umpire makes $120,000 for 10 times the amount of games.


So MLB umpires are underpaid?

   378. zenbitz Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4247260)
Man, there was way too much whining about last monday's game.


Au contraire. I agree that it WAS mostly whining. But it worked!

Even better - we can actually compare pro refs with scab refs using penalty counts (for example, did you know that the replacement refs called roughly 2x the number of DPIs than the 2011 refs?) and all-22 film.
   379. JJ1986 Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4249468)
I'll bet Graham Gano is going to have a job soon.
   380. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4249471)
the replacement refs would have called that pass simultaneous possession

certainly the new orleans guy had more of the ball than the seattle player
   381. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4249475)
mike, you only have yourself to blame. you blew challenges on dumb challenges
   382. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4249480)
everybody and their cousin is getting in the face of packer receivers and yet nobody in the packer secondary will get in the face of a receiver
   383. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4249484)
despite their own stupidity
   384. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4249486)
mike

you need to try and score

relying on your defense to stop drew brees again is foolish
   385. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4249491)
mike

you either trust your best player to make a play or you don't

even a sack the time runs

go for the first down

do you really trust cedric benson over aaron rodgers???
   386. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4249494)
james jones is a great american hero
   387. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4249500)
boy that cundiff kick was hooking left
   388. JJ1986 Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4249501)
I'll bet Graham Gano is going to have a job soon.


...or maybe not. Cundiff finally (barely) gets one in.
   389. Howie Menckel Posted: September 30, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4249588)
"Aren't the lines set to get roughly equal action!?!?!"

Not in games with teams that routinely get overbet, like the Cowboys often and the Packers on national TV. If the computer analysis has Seahawks as a 61 pct winner with 4 pts there, then the books are comfortable taking that much money on the other side, basically. Over thousands of contests, stands to reason that this works out a little better in the long run than the more primitive 'get 50 pct on each and go home with your vig.'


   390. JJ1986 Posted: September 30, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4249628)
Eagles are settling for a lot of field goals. I don't know why they don't run Shady more inside the 10.
   391. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 01:49 AM (#4249675)
Michael Vick: "I don't believe in icing the kicker."

Is there an intelligent coach who shares this view? Every time they call a timeout for this I can't help but think how retarded they are.
   392. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4249676)
This just in: The regular refs suck also.
   393. Yardape Posted: October 01, 2012 at 02:00 AM (#4249678)
This just in: The regular refs suck also.


It was kind of funny, after all the fury over the replacements, to watch the regular refs just completely guessing on pass interference calls all day.
   394. Tripon Posted: October 01, 2012 at 02:05 AM (#4249679)
No, but you see, the players just respect the regular refs so much. (/sarcasm)
   395. steagles Posted: October 01, 2012 at 03:20 AM (#4249681)
Eagles are settling for a lot of field goals. I don't know why they don't run Shady more inside the 10.
the eagles are now 3-1. the margin of victory in their 3 wins is...4 points. not per game, but total.

as for why they don't use mccoy more inside the 10, well, he actually is very effective running in short yardage, but i'd say that they don't use him in the redzone for the same reason they don't use him on the other 80 yards of the field -- reid just doesn't think to run the ball. i would bet that, on his laminated playcard, he has about 40 different passing plays to use in the redzone, and they're all just too tempting not to use.

just one last thought for the night:

the defense has been pretty ####### great. they've been put in awful positions by the offense (12 turnovers in the first 3 weeks, including 2 that were taken back for touchdowns) and by the special teams (opponents are averaging 10+ yards per punt return and 30+ yards per kick return). the combination of that, means that, while the eagles are one of the best defenses in the league in terms of yards allowed and 3rd down conversion %, they could be doing so much better in terms of points allowed if the rest of the ####### team would stop putting them in a ####### hole.

seriously, looking at football outsiders, the eagles are last in turnovers, bottom 5 in special teams, and last in opponents starting field position.


and the more annoying thing is that, the eagles coaching staff recognizes this. and their response:

“It’s just philosophical — some teams go about it different,” said Mornhinweg. “But look, if your defense is really good you can take more calculated risks because they are going to cover it up. That’s the way I think."
   396. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4249722)
The regular refs get lots of calls wrong ("lots" being my way of saying "a call now and then"). However, the replacement refs were making as many egregious calls in one game as the regular refs were making in an entire week.
   397. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:55 AM (#4249732)
i do want to acknowledge again the incredibly gutsy call my head mike mccarthy of the packers having his team run for it on fourth down inside their own 20 on a punt formation. the saints clearly set up for a return, the up guy called the fake and the team got the first down easily. pretty bold
   398. JJ1986 Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4249736)
I thought the refs were fine last night. They stopped calling holding on Sean Locklear because he did it every play, but that always happens. Of the three PI calls on the last drive, I thought the first and third (OPI) were clearly correct and the 2nd was at least holding. The worst call on the last drive was that Reid's timeout was clearly late.
   399. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4249810)
I think the problem with the refs is that humans just aren't capable of doing this. Take the problem with calling balls and strikes in baseball and multiply it by 100. It permeates the league. Same with the foul calls in basketball, which are seemingly random at times.

At least in baseball what humans are incapable of is essentially limited to the one aspect of calling the plate. Yes, they mess up other calls, but they have a fighting chance with those.

But people here last week persuaded me that the real NFL refs are better, so I agree with that. But there's a fundamental problem here that's not really correctable.
   400. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4249814)
I forget which game last night I saw a fake field goal. But as much as I would like to applaud the head coach for trying it, it's a really retarded play to have the place kicker behind the line of scrimmage trying to throw a pass amidst chaos. He can't throw passes, and it's silly to watch him try.

Teams are better off just running a play on 4th down. I'd be shocked if the success rate wasn't higher.
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