With news breaking that the NFL and the NFLRA have an agreement at hand and still reeling after watching a victory stolen away from my team, I felt compelled to collect the best of the replacement refs.
9. “Double time”
Who loves two minutes warnings? These refs! In week 2, the refs got so excited about the two minute warning in the Eagles/Ravens game that they called for it with 2:05 left. The broadcast cut to commercial, only to come back, have one play run and then have the real two minute warning.
8. “Hats off to you”
In the NFL, if a player runs out of bounds and then back into the field of play, a member of the officiating crew takes off his hat and throws it to signify that the player cannot be the first to touch the ball. In replacement ref NFL, when a player does not run out of bounds, a replacement ref should throw a hat at the feet of the player, tripping him and then point and laugh. Which is what happened in week three to Cowboy's Kevin Ogletree.
7. “I’m not reviewing that”
In week three, Joshua Cribbs fumbled the ball, but the refs ruled he was down by contact. Buffalo challenged the play. But the refs told Buffalo that it wasn’t reviewable. While recovery of a loose ball is not reviewable, down by contact is.
6. “Sure we’ll review that”
In week two, Steven Jackson fumbled and the Rams challenged the play. After reviewing the fumble, St. Louis was awarded the ball back, kicked a field goal and ended up winning the game by a margin of three. But if you read the point above, recovery of a loose ball on the field of play is not reviewable. What should have happened? The Rams should have been penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, as the Packers were in preseason when McCarthy tried to challenge a play that was already being reviewed.
5. “I stopped the world and gave a timeout for you”
In week one, Seattle got to take an extra timeout with 30 seconds left in the game. The refs conferenced, and decided that the “extra” timeout wasn’t really extra, since when Seattle actually used its final time out there was an injury and an incompletion so the clock would have stopped anyways.
4. “Can’t stop, won’t stop”
In the week two game between Cincinnati and Cleveland, 29 seconds ran off the clock after Bengals QB, Andy Dalton threw an incomplete pass.
3. “Just giving time away”
In week three, the refs were in a very giving mood to the 49ers. Despite not having any timeouts remaining, the refs allowed San Francisco to challenge a call. They even decided to give them an extra timeout. (not sure where all this extra timeout stuff came from, but I’d like some). Since they now had an extra one, San Fran was then able to challenge another call later in the game.
2. “Mark it off”
The refs don’t only give out timeouts, but they also hand out free yards. In week three the replacement refs called a helmet-to-helmet penalty against Detroit on a Titans incomplete pass. Normally, this would cause the ball to be moved 15 yards from the line of scrimmage, but not with these refs. They decided that marking the yards off from the spot of the foul would be more fun, and gave the Titans 12 extra yards. This all happened in overtime, so the Lions were unable to challenge. The Titans went on to kick the game winning field goal on that drive.
There’s so many fun things that these refs have done. Warm memories that will fill our hearts for years to come. Even if they do sign a new deal today, I can’t imagine the regular refs will be back by tomorrow. So maybe if we’re really really lucky, we can add more to this list!