Throughout last Sunday's matchup between the 49ers and Packers, I find myself getting all sorts of annoyed by referee mistakes. Both teams' fan bases thought the refs were killing there team, and in reality, the mistake were split fairly well between the two.
Of course, for the 49ers-Packers, at least there were not issues of giving a team an extra timeout, or butchering a minute of clock time. Ryan Van Bibber broke down some of the most egregious mistakes. SB Nation Studios also is happy to introduce Scab Tracker 2012!
I have seen a variety of columns since Week 1 wrapped and I have noticed some columns concluding that the replacement referees did not do a bad job. I recall one saying if the preseason was a D, Week 1 was a B. I don't know how many of the pro-replacement ref columns were written by those siding more with the NFL in this matter, but for the purposes of my own complaints, I don't think pro-labor versus pro-management should even need to come into play. Whatever the issues between the regular refs and the league, they need to get back on the field ASAP. The regular referees make their share of mistakes, but I do not recall nearly this many egregious mistakes by regular officials.
Aaron Rodgers had some comments about the replacement refs, openly acknowledging inconsistencies that favored both teams:
"It's just frustrating when you're positive that there's either a missed call, or that the rule was not interpreted the way that it's supposed to be interpreted," Rodgers said. "There were multiple instances of that, and when you watch the film back, it's frustrating. That being said, there were just some bizarre calls on both sides."
"There's still disbelief [about illegal block on Cobb return]," Rodgers said. "I can't say it's comical, but I don't feel bad because we had some bad ones our way as well. But I'm just surprised that you missed that one."
We also know that Jim Harbaugh was less than pleased with some of the dubious officiating. We saw this I believe following the Aldon Smith unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (helmet toss):
And this reaction on the non-call of the Cobb illegal block:
At this point, I can only hope we see improvement in Week 2, because it looks like we'll have replacement refs as far along as Week 5 at this point. So, this [site decorum]-show is going to continue for the foreseeable future. We could suck it up and "get accustomed to a degree of imperfection" but that's a cop-out. The NFL officials are incredibly important to the integrity of the game and right now either or both sides is being too stubborn to accept this.
Like I said before, this goes beyond negotiations. They are screwing with the integrity of the game. They lucked out with none of the moves appearing to cost someone a game, but at this point, it seems inevitable that somebody is going to lose a game because of a replacement ref screw-up. I hope the NFL and NFLRA are prepared for that because the responses this past weekend will be tame compared the responses when that happens.