Fruehauf Going Off 10/1/12

Story by Steve Fruehauf, Copy Editor

A week after the Green Bay-Seattle touchdown debacle, a Lambeau Field crowd of over 70,500, including myself, let out a monstrous roar welcoming back the actual NFL referees for the first time this year. But our praise didn’t last for long. Throughout the Packers-Saints game this last Sunday, fans yelled with disapproval at many of the refs calls.

They received their first razzing after a push off wasn’t called in the Packers’ end zone late in the first quarter, awarding Marques Colston and New Orleans their first touchdown of
the night.

The second big one came after Mike McCarthy challenged a Jimmy Graham catch in the fourth quarter. Replays showed that Graham didn’t have proper possession and the bottom of the ball hit the ground. Regardless, the challenge was overruled and the Saints

The last and probably most obvious of all the missed calls was when Darren Sproles fumbled on a kick return late in the fourth. The refs stood by the ruling on the field that he was down by contact but further review showed that he was still up when the ball came loose.

Although the situation seems bad, I don’t expect the refs to continue performing this way. Just like anyone who’s been away from something for a certain amount of time, there is a warming up period that takes place.

Also, I think it’s important to point out that there will be blown calls throughout the season. In no way are any officials somehow perfect by any means. Just be happy their rulings didn’t cost anyone a game.

The Packers still came out with a 28-27 win. Garrett Hartley missed a 48-yard field goal that would have landed the Saints the lead and probably their first win on the season. But instead, the Packers move to 2-2 and the Saints fall to a lowly 0-4 on the season.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 319 yards, four touchdowns and an interception on the night. Drew Brees had 446 yards through the air along with three touchdowns. James Jones highlighted the Packers’ offense, catching for 56 yards and two touchdowns, including a spectacular one-handed grab on a must-convert third down late in the fourth. Cedric Benson also had a good night, rushing for 84 yards.

The actual referees agreed to an eight year deal with the NFL September 27. In their new contracts, they will receive a pay bump totaling $179,000 come 2013 and then $209,000 in 2019. Along with that, pension plans will be kept for current officials as well as retirement benefits for all referees starting in 2017. While the officials are probably excited about their pay raises, fans are more thankful to have them back more than anything.