Super Bowl

Thank God Politicians Are Weighing In On Packers/Seahawks Officiating [Updated with nervous Romney laughter and comment]


Back to the Lingerie Football League with you two!

If you're still sore over the bad call that turned the result in last night's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks, there's good news on the horizon. American politicians, including (twice!) the president of the United States, are giving their own opinions. 

That's a big relief, and not just because it's always good for the American people when elected officials (especially presidents) get involved with professional sports. With so many pols having free time to comment on the outcome of a football game, we can rest assured that all the country's big problems have been solved: 

Vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin)
Give me a break. It's time to get the real refs. And do you know what, it reminds me of President Obama and the economy. If you can't get it right, it's time to get out.

President Barack Obama
NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon. -bo

Wisconsin State Rep. Tyler August
Hey @danecci @necci4da when ur sworn in ur 1st action should be to file charges against those refs from last night cause that was a robbery.

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney
This past weekend in the NFL has not only made a mockery of a great sport, but shined a very bright light on how important fully trained and professional officiating is to player safety. We wouldn't allow a factory or construction site to operate without fully trained supervisors on hand to ensure the safety of employees. Why should we do anything differently when the job site is a playing field?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs

President Barack Obama
Terrible. I've been saying for months, we've gotta get our refs back.

Wisconsin State Sen. Jon Erpenbach
If tonights game doesnt make the NFL settle with the real refs this season will be a joke…
You can leave a message for nfl commish roger goodell at 212 450 2027. #NFL

Former President Bill Clinton
I would not have called that last play the way they did in that Seattle-Green Bay game last night. The Packers will wake up this morning and just sort of shake their head and say: "We should have won by two touchdowns."

Wisconsin State Sen. Chris Larson
People end up thinking you can get good work for cheap, you can always find a cheaper way and it's going to be just as good a result. I would hope that Scott Walker is just as outraged about decreased quality of teachers that we're going to get as he is with replacement refs in the NFL.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finally releases his views on the refs lockout:
I'd sure like to see some experienced referees, with NFL experience, come back out to the NFL playing fields.

When will Vice President Joe Biden speak out? How can he not have an opinion on the Seattle Giants or the San Francisco Packers when he has a comment on every other topic? What is Biden trying to hide? 

NEXT: Jacob Sullum on States Opting Out of Pot Prohibition

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  1. waaaaaaaaa!

  2. Just a bunch of greedy rich lawyers shilling for a bunch of other greedy rich lawyers.

  3. sage commander, (i) – WA

    Meanwhile there’s real shit going on #doyourfuckingjobs

    1. #doyourfuckingjobs

      Is that really what you want? Really?

      1. See the constitution for job description

        1. Still undecided.

  4. Everyone makes time to watch Monday Night Football silly.

  5. Thank Galt there’s still baseball on to distract from this bullshit.

    1. My sport’s life has been shit recently, the Packers got robbed and the Dodgers are averaging the lowest runs per game in September in 45 years despite spending over $200 million to buy the Red Sox roster.

      1. Oh boo hoo. As I said on another thread, there were so many play-changing bad calls all night that I really don’t want to hear whining from the Packers fans. Yeah, it was a shitty call, but are they going to go back on the penalty flags that kept their drives going when the Seahawks had otherwise shut them down?

        This whole thing is stupid. And the Seahawks sacked Rodgers eight times in the first half alone. Let’s not forget that.

        1. are the Edmonton Oilers going to Seattle?

          1. Well, the proposed new arena(s) were to potentially be both basketball and hockey, so it wouldn’t surprise me, it would merely enrage me. I can’t wait for my sales tax to be, oh, who knows, 12%.

            What a bunch of bullshit this is.

          2. Taxpayer subsidies for sports is such a travesty.

          3. Also:

            The new venue, to be near Safeco Field where the Seahawks play

            Look, another journalist who is an idiot. What a surprise.

            1. B-because the Seahawks don’t “play” so much as “show up to make the other team feel better”?

              1. Because the Seahawks would be even worse at baseball than they are at football.

                1. Because the Seahawks would be even worse at baseball than they are at football.

                  I believe that the Seahawks would be better at baseball than they are at football. The Mariners are better at football than the Seahawks are at football.

              2. I don’t know, did Rodgers “feel better” after getting sacked 9 times?

            2. there is no excuse for that ignorance these days. It’s no more difficult than Googling “safeco field” or “seahawks stadium” if the reporter doesn’t know the name of the football venue.

            3. The new venue, to be near Safeco Field where the Seahawks play

              Look, another journalist who is an idiot. What a surprise

              Everyone knows the Seahawks play at Key Arena.

        2. How many three and outs did Seattle have? And they should be rewarded for that ineptitude?

          You can make a good case that each team sucked in one half last night. And if you’re going to use that as an argument that the Packers shouldn’t win, you also have to use it as an argument that the Seahawks shouldn’t have won.

      2. Hey speaking of which, when do you think the Dodgers are gonna pay up to repair that Matt Kemp-shaped hole in the outfield wall at Coors Field?

      3. You expected to win with the Red Sox roster? That’s unbelievable. They got rid of them for a reason.

        1. They Sox weren’t having that much trouble scoring. Their issues were more with stopping the other team from scoring.

      4. Despite? I’m pretty sure the entire world saw this coming.

        And it’s not like there weren’t warning signs. Joe Blanton?

  6. But guy’s it makes these politicians seem all normal and folks-y. Don’t you want a representative you can have a beer with?

  7. Well, the Obama was already making decisions about my healthcare, why not weigh in on football, too?

    Hell, maybe Obama’s thinking about taking over the NFL like he did GM?

    Why not? It wouldn’t be the stupidest thing he’s ever done.

    1. Was he not going to solve the college football playoff crisis as well?

      1. I remember when he said he was gonna see what he could do about having a college playoff series.…..GI5W1GwV4s

        Why not? He meddles in the rest of our lives!

        If Bloomberg can make decisions about the portion sizes New Yorkers eat, why shouldn’t Obama weigh in on college football?

        They’re lucky Obama didn’t fold the whole NCAA into the Department of Education.

        …it wouldn’t be the stupidest thing he’s ever done.

      2. I thought he did? The eventual 4-team BCS-only playoff seems a lot like Obamacare — help the well connected and make everyone else think they have a chance.

  8. Was this recent?

  9. Why is anyone still playing baseball? It’s getting COLD out.

    1. Can you think of a better time to see Clint Hurdle’s nipples poking through his jersey?

    2. It’s already down to 95 in Dallas…time to whip out the jacket.

      1. Yes, it’s fucking freezing here in Houston as well. Brrrrrrr.

  10. Orrin is Wisc. State Rep Tyler August?

  11. So Romney remains silent? Can he just this once do something to impress me, like ignore it, and if asked, say he’s got more important things on his mind and completely dismiss the question? Jesus.

      1. Yes, yes, that’s acceptable.

  12. Arguably Ryan has a right to be pissed, being from Wisconsin.

    1. Except for the irony that the reason the refs are locked out is because the NFL is smart enough to look at Detroit, state govts, and virtually every other industry that has defined benefit pensions and say “Fuck no, the refs either agree to a defined contribution, or we’ll keep using these replacements. Eventually they’ll get the hang of it.”

      It’s kinda funny seeing guys like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan flip out and and give this stupid ass #returntherealrefs hashtag when the NFL is doing EXACTLY what these guys claim to know that state govts need to do. It just goes to show you that these TEAMs don’t have any actual principles.

      1. I have my doubts that allowing referees to maintain a defined benefit pension is going to sink the NFL. We’re talking about a few million out of a multi-billion dollar industry I don’t even object to the practice in general; my position is that if it’s a tenable benefit to offer then it should be on the table. If it’s both tenable and required to get the quality of labor you want, why not offer it?

        Now, I don’t actually think that viewer demand will drop enough to stimulate a cave-in by the owners – not before the refs cave themselves, anyway.

        1. Yeah, it’s a few million dollars…

          I think the owners are just trying to project a unified front–make themselves look like they won’t budge for the players’ benefit.

          They have another round of negotiations with the players coming up, and if they cave in to the refs, they’re afraid the players will think they’ll cave in to the players, too.

          1. A plausible supposition.

          2. Exactly. This is about the players negotiations and everyone knows it. That’s why the players will do everything they can to aggravate this situation. They are like coaches arguing for the NEXT penalty.

  13. It seems like ESPN has convinced everyone that the TD call was atrocious, but it looked correct to me. If a receiver controls the ball in the airspace over the endzone, it’s not a TD until he gets both feet in. Before the GB defender did that, the Seattle receiver also got a hand on it, and the tie goes to the offense.

    Of course, the refs missed the blatant offensive interference when Tate shoved one GB guy out of his way.

    But it’s funny how soon people forget how bad the regular refs were last year and the year before that. The new guys aren’t really much worse, just less experienced and not being respected by players, coaches and announcers. Since people expect them to be crummy, they notice every mistake — it’s called confirmation bias; you see what you think you’ll see.

    1. I thought control of the ball could be attained while airborne. Since the ruling is determinant on who had control (and not possession), Jennings came down with the interception.

      1. …going by Jennings’ having tucked the ball into his chest, I mean.

      1. Not even close. Does this mean that interceptions are now catches for the offense if the receiver touches the ball?

      2. You keep showing that picture like it’s definitive of the entire play. A single freeze frame of the “right” angle proves nothing. I don’t understand why, but replay was not an option, and in the heat of the moment (even in replay, I thought) it looked like they both could’ve come down with it.

        1. The NFL in their statement yesterday actually said that replay was allowed.

  14. I like a good game of football, but am I the only person who can’t work himself up to be upset about a zero-sum result activity in which the outcome is being directed by inept regulators (in this case, referees)?

    1. I’m here for ya, bruh.

    2. Many things are like markets, but football isn’t.

  15. Is the NFL actively trying to self-destruct? Because that would be totally fine by me.

    1. Ratings are up, and everyone is talking about each and every play of each and every game. Sounds like a successful product to me.

      1. Sure, at the moment. But the NCAA has done a pretty good job of getting everyone to talk about it, yet I get the sense that people are becoming fed up with it.

        Maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

        Maybe the NFL is trying to distract everyone from the other, hairier legal and health issues that seem to come up with increasing regularity.

        I dunno. Still starting to get the sense that the NFL is at the beginning of its end.

        1. The NFL replacement referees would look practically Solomonic compared to the World Cup refs.

          1. Well, in soccer, you have 3 guys. Mistakes are bound to happen. Plus, most of them have day jobs (except some of the BPL).

            In football, you have eleventy thousand. You’d think with the extra scrutiny, they’d manage not to fuck up too much.

            1. Not true. They added two more referees (or maybe that was for the Women’s World Cup?) for each of the goal lines for the sole purpose of watching to see if the ball crosses the line as a goal. And they still miss those calls all the time.

              1. They added it for the Champions League and the Europa League in the last two years and at this year’s European Championship.

                At Euro 2012, there was one incident of controversy on goal line calls. In the CL and EL, there haven’t been enough incidents to say they “miss those calls all the time”.

                1. The point, really, is that when FIFA (really IFAB) finally caves on some sort of goal line technology, the need for the “additional assistant referees” will pretty much go away unless they want to try to give them more powers.

                  So we’ll be back to 3 officials plus the 4th whose main job is to handle substitutions and keep the managers in line.

  16. Political leaders make non-official statements about American culture.

    Tim Cavanaugh is outraged!

    1. joe says something stupid! No one is surprised!

      Oh joe, you moronic loser midget. Don’t you have a race to prepare for or a lawn to decorate?

      1. He’s probably too busy fappin’ it to his heroes.

    2. The Derider| 9.25.12 @ 7:29PM |#
      “Political leaders make non-official statements about American culture.”

      Deidiot, those folks are on my pay; they should be fired.

  17. With so many pols having free time to comment on the outcome of a football game, we can rest assured that all the country’s big problems have been solved

    If only they would quit “solving” the country’s problems and become full-time sports commenters.

    Also, it’s nice to see that BO calls himself “bo”. Here I thought I was insulting him.

  18. The Packers are such crybabys. If you’re depending on having a close play like that go in your favor to beat the She-Hawks, you don’t deserve to be thought of as a good team. yeah, they probably should have won, but they’re carrying on like they dominated the game yet lost because of the officials.

    So far they got hammered at home by the 49ers, needed a trick play to beat the Bears in GB, and now this. Not looking very good.

    1. This has been my point to many people the start of this season. Green Bay does not look intimidating, and if anything I think the replacement referees are just showing that without the benefit of biased calls in a regular season Green Bay is nothing special.

      1. Now that I’ve actually seen the catch with my own two eyes (I don’t have cable) I’m not sure it’s the wrong call anyway. The defender didn’t have two feet down before Tate got possession. I suppose it depends on how you interpret the simultaneous possession rule… does the ball have to simultaneously enter the two players’ arms, or do both confirm possession by having their feet come down at the same time?

  19. Scott Walker wants the unions back? THE IRONY

    1. Why is it ironic? He saved the Wisconsin teachers from their own self inflicted destruction. The public employee unions of Wisconsin should be building a statue to Scott Walker for looking after their interest when they were indulging in a bat shit crazy self deluded hysteria.

  20. There is nothing so trivial that at least one congress sub-human won’t spout off about it.

  21. There are two things I can guaran-fucking-tee all of you:

    1) A study that catalogued the number and severity of mistakes (in any meaningful way) for the first 3 weeks of this season and the first three weeks of the previous 5 seasons would find this season about average.

    2) The first three weeks that the “regular” refs are back will have about the same number of mistakes with the same severity as these past three weeks with replacement refs.

    The focus on mistakes by these refs is a clear example of selection bias in the service of a foregone conclusion. The standards for refereeing an NFL game have never been so unachievable that only a small cadre of genius officials could do it. The replacement refs are easier to get rid of when they screw up.

    1. A study that catalogued the number and severity of mistakes (in any meaningful way) for the first 3 weeks of this season and the first three weeks of the previous 5 seasons would find this season about average.

      That doesn’t seem obvious to me at all. Everyone who’s actually coming up with equally bad calls/game administration is drawing on like 10 years of NFL football and comparing it to the past three weeks. it would be an interesting (if very subjective) study.

    2. I believe you’re right.

      The pre-season was fine. It’s gotten progressively worse, although no worse in my recollection than any of the past seasons in recent memory.

      Esp. re: the replay – that was actually WORSE before. Overly-long waits while they reran the tape from every conceivable angle. That actually seems not to be quite as bad so far this season.

      Whatever. I’m against the refs just because I hate unions. Fuck ’em.

  22. When having this discussion people need to remember there are stark difference between public and private sector unions. Remember that public sector unions are negotiating for a larger stake in public, government money, as opposed to privately earned capital. The real problem is that in the public sector you have unions essentially electing the officials they negotiate with thanks to the huge lobbying impact they generate ( You have a public entity negotiating with a special interest group behind closed doors. It’s the reason FDR was always against collective bargaining in the public sector ( If you support the referees in this lockout, it doesn’t mean that you automatically have to support public sector unions.

    1. Fuck all unions, public and private.

  23. It is my understanding that the refs and owners are at odds about the refs’ defined benefits pension. I’m no sure the refs are wise to insist on the defined benefits. My dad worked for RCA during 50’s and 60’s as a union technician and was given a defined benefits retirement package. No one at that time could have imagined that RCA would go away. But sure enough, RCA was sliced and diced, each piece bought and sold, over and over again. He ended up with very little when he did retire – a couple of hundred bucks a month and a discount drug program. He would have been much better off saving the money himself. While the NFL is a huge business, it’s teams are owned for vanity over profit. A radical change in the business model for team ownership is not out of the question. The refs, if they win, might end up regretting the victory later.

  24. Are you ready for some fuck ups?
    Some high school refs failing?
    We got pen-al-ties
    For stuuuuuff we
    Diddddn’t even think o-o-o-o-of

    So sit back and cringe
    And watch in fright
    Cause ain’t nothin’ but bad calls
    By the refs tonight!

    1. Well done

  25. You gave Obama two tweets and Romney only one.

  26. Bill Clinton is twelve years removed from being a politician. I can’t get too worked up over his taking ten seconds to express an opinion about a football game.

  27. Gotta love them crooked, bought and paid for politicians.

  28. My question: If the call was so obviously wrong that even people watching on TV can tell, doesn’t that mean we don’t really need unionized professional refs? Just let fans officiate and they’ll make better calls.

    1. For this call yes, but not for things like defensive holding vs a legal jam. Or whether field goals can be reviewed when they are higher than the top of the uprights. Or the tuck rule.

  29. Another news cycle consumed without mention of the collapse of the Obama Mideast policy, the collapse of the labor market (especially for young people), the collapse of fiscal policy, the debacle in Afghanistan, the pandering to Muslim extremists, the historic losses in median income, etc.

    Its a win for Obama.

  30. Any news on the NHL? I wouldn’t mind skipping hoofball in favor of hickey this year.

  31. can’t help but notice Pack fans are not livid about the bogus PI call that kept their go ahead drive alive. they want that NBA style star system officiating they got the last 2 years dammit!

    1. Which bogus PI call? There were at least 2 – one that kept the Packer’s drive alive, and one that kept Seattle’s drive going. There were also at least 2 bogus roughing the passer calls – one on Seattle, and one on Green Bay that negated the interception that SHOULD have ended the game. So what’s your fucking point?

  32. Former President Bill Clinton:
    I would not have called that last play the way they did in that Seattle-Green Bay game last night. The Packers will wake up this morning and just sort of shake their head and say: “We should have won by two touchdowns.”

    How? Even if it had been called correctly, it would have been ruled a touchback, and Green Bay would have won 12-7. Clearly bubba doesn’t know shit about football. Now if only we could get him to keep his fucking mouth shut about this and everything else he doesn’t know shit about.

  33. The NFL is like the US Government – far too many rules, therefore far too much of the outcome depends on the authorities in charge who can’t do a good job (regardless of training) because there’s so many damn rules. Now everything is under surveillance but even video evidence is open to interpretation. Each team is going to need a “Rules Counsel” to argue their case against calls and rule interpretations.

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