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How does Roger Goodell save face over the NFL's replacement refs?

September 25, 2012
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is facing criticism while the regular officiating crews are locked out in a labor dispute.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is facing criticism while the regular officiating… (David Goldman / Associated…)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is under increasing fire after replacement officials made even more controversial calls during Week 3. Writers from around the Tribune Co. offer their opinions on what Goodell should do. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the conversation with a comment of your own.

Ron Fritz, Baltimore Sun

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell won’t be able to save face over the replacement refs, nor should he. What the NFL owners and referees are haggling over can’t possibly be worth the integrity of the game. Whatever it might be -- money, benefits, pride, principle -- get over it. Goodell needs to be a leader and get a new deal done. Today is too late, but if that’s the soonest it can be completed, make it happen.

But he still won’t save face. The "Monday Night Football" debacle assured that. I am sick and tired of hearing how the replacement refs blew the Ravens-Patriots game, and should have reviewed the kick. IT WASN’T REVIEWABLE. And if you can tell from the replays shown whether the kick was good or not, you’re delusional. The only way you could tell is if NBC had a camera looking straight up the upright. I haven’t seen that angle. But that game’s finish was nothing compared to the Monday night ending.

Save face? Goodell needs to save the game.

Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune

It is getting so that the 2012 season is going to be known as the year of the replacement refs. They have been close to a disaster, and it was all very predictable.

Even if they had been as efficient as the regular refs, this still would have been a problem because of the scrutiny on them and the perception that they are incompetent. If the replacement refs continue to leave marks on games the way they did the Packers’ loss to the Seahawks Monday, some people will put an asterisk next to the 2012 standings. 

The NFL is so big and successful that the league can shrug off blown calls and the ensuing firestorms they create every week. And eventually, the real refs will return and the league will carry on as if nothing happened.

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