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SBD/September 18, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Blowing The Whistle: Shoddy Officiating Mars Broncos-Falcons Game Monday Night
Published September 18, 2012
LOSING CONTROL: Before the Falcons ran the next play following the Moreno fumble, there was a six-minute, two-second real time delay in the game. After the play, players began pushing and shoving, almost escalating to a fight. ESPN’s Mike Tirico said, “As we mentioned, yesterday the officials lost control of the Philadelphia-Baltimore game, among others, and a similar situation here after the controversy with this fumble.” He noted that as the officials tried to make the call on the fumble and the ensuing penalty for the altercation, there were “a lot of Broncos players crowding around the officials.” Gruden: “It’s taking a long time to organize justice here. ... The officials have to take control of this. They have to be emphatic about clearing these players off the pile, finding out whose ball it is. That one got out of hand. That could have gotten really ugly.” Tirico said the players after Week 1 “figured out what the parameters are with substitute teachers, and now they’re taking advantage of them whenever they can.” Tirico: “For all the people over the years who have complained about the officials in the National Football League, you gain a great appreciation for how good a job they did relative to what we’re seeing here over the last couple of weeks” (“MNF,” ESPN, 9/17).
CONFLICTING INTERESTS: ESPN’s Steve Young following last night's game said there are a "lot of people in the league that would rather break the union" than take care of the on-field product. Young: "There’s a lot of people who don’t feel like officiating is an on-field personality, they feel like it’s a commodity. But more importantly … there’s nothing that they can do to hurt the demand for the game, so the bottom line is they don’t care. Player safety -- doesn’t matter in this case. Bring in Division III officials. Doesn’t matter because in the end you’re still going to watch the game.” He added, "We’re going to all complain and moan and gripe and say there’s all these problems ... but it doesn’t matter. Go ahead, gripe all you want, I’m going to rest. Let them eat cake.” Young said if using replacement refs "affected the desire for the game,” the NFL would “come up with a few million dollars.” ESPN's Trent Dilfer said he was concerned about player safety and “it’s such hypocrisy by the league to make such a push for players safety the last four or five years and then allow this to happen.” Young: “If they cared, they wouldn’t do it.” ESPN's Bill Polian: “It’s a labor situation and when that occurs, all bets tend to be off” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 9/18).