The refs are coming back

Posted by Darren Urban on September 26, 2012 – 10:02 pm

The NFL and the NFL Referees Association announced Wednesday night the two sides had finally come to an agreement and the regular officials are coming back. It won’t be ratified before Friday and Saturday, but commissioner Roger Goodell lifted the lockout so the game tomorrow night between the Browns and Ravens will be covered by the regular guys.

If nothing else, it takes away a huge distraction from the first few weeks of the season. It was inevitable after the mess Monday night in Seattle The Cardinals had been fortunate in their first three games since there really had been no major issues that affected the outcome (although the extra timeout the refs gave the Seahawks in the opener would have cost the Cards had the Seahawks won late, and imagine if Seattle was 3-0 with two wins it shouldn’t have.)

As it is, the blown call in the Seahawks-Packers game could hurt the Cardinals. The Seahawks are 2-1 and not 1-2 in the NFC West.

“Well it was upsetting, because it does affect us,” Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb said. “In my eyes, it was clearly an interception. Just like anybody else around, it’s something that doesn’t sit well with us, because it directly affects us. That’s unfortunate at this level.”

The Cardinals have been careful not to say much of anything on the subject (although Darnell Dockett did drop an expletive on Twitter Monday night — not that it mattered, because the NFL decided not to fine any players critical and Dockett wasn’t the only one to use such language.) Coach Ken Whisenhunt made sure the message was that the Cards couldn’t let it bother them, no matter who the officials were. “We just want the right calls to be made,” Kolb said.

The official press release listed these particulars for the new eight-year agreement:

The agreement includes the following key terms:

—  The current defined benefit pension plan will remain in place for current officials through the 2016 season (or until the official earns 20 years of service). The defined benefit plan will then be frozen.

—  Retirement benefits will be provided for new hires, and for all officials beginning in 2017, through a defined contribution arrangement, which will have two elements:  an annual league contribution made on behalf of each game official that will begin with an average of more than $18,000 per official and increase to more than $23,000 per official in 2019, and a partial match on any additional contribution that an official makes to his 401(k) account.

—  Apart from their benefit package, the game officials’ compensation will increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019.

— Beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option of hiring a number of officials on a full-time basis to work year-round, including on the field.

—  The NFL will have the option to retain additional officials for training and development purposes, and may assign those additional officials to work NFL games. The number of additional officials will be determined by the NFL.

Those are details I’m sure most don’t care about. Most just care that the officials are back. And we’ll see how long it is before someone complains about one of the calls they make.

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28 Responses to “The refs are coming back”

  1. By Brian R. on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply


    Now do away with the tuck rule and the one where defensive players have to get up and tackle the QB.

  2. By Cobra on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    This still effects the Cards in the long run, also Green Bay. If the NFL wants to make this right, they should overturn the decision on the last play Mon. night. I would rather have our team play the Packers straight up in the playoffs instead of the Seachickens winning in that manner.

    Our team has class. Fitz would never say, I don’t know what you’re talking about!

  3. By Procen on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply


    How much does the game official makes per season? I’m kind of confused with all this $.

  4. By Darren Urban on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Procen —

    RE: Officials salaries

    The salaries start at $173,000 I believe, and increase based on years of service. Also, officials are part-time — they have regular jobs too, so they make the officials salaries on top of whatever else they make. Ed Hochuli, for instance, is a lawyer here in Phoenix.

  5. By Rugbymuffin on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    ” And we’ll see how long it is before someone complains about one of the calls they make”

    Tuesday Morning. I hope the routine of the 1st three weeks doesn’t continue because regardless who the refs are they should be expected. The whole NFL community acting like a 1st grade class at a kickball game has been disgusting.

    The Cardinals have seen even worse calls against them, the infamous Cowboys vs Cardinals game that ended with the Sean Morey block comes to mind, how many times are you going to let Romo fumble the ball and give it back to him.

    We will see. But the replacement ref situation was blown out of proportion, mainly as Brian Urlacher said himself, it was the losing team complaining.

    Green Bay complaining about a loss ? What is new there ? We are not too far removed from “That was a face mask” are we ?

    Hope the dis-respecting and “the refs cost us the game so over turn it” non sense is gone for good, but we will see. That pandora’s box has been open for three weeks.

  6. By Cardinalmark on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    For only a part time job, the officials made out like bandits!! Where do I sign up to be an official?

  7. By clssylssy on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Wow…that is a relief! It does annoy me that the league won’t admit what everybody else knows, the Hags got by with this one through ill-gotten means. If one game keeps the Packers out of the playoffs this will not be the last of it. The NFL has spent the entire off season making career altering allegations and singling out one team and it’s players with what would appear to be little or no evidence that will stand up in court and now this mess that has put player safety in jeoprody and tarnished the shield in the most outrageous manner. These past weeks have been horrific with free-for-all brawling on the field and I think the league OWES us an admission and apology and still needs to be held accountable for their mistake either by giving the Packers the win they deserve or voiding the game and scheduling a repeat game.

  8. By Dynosoar on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Based on past experience, regarding how long till complaints are made about bad calls by the regular refs, second half tonight (I am, after all an optimist).

    Average of $150K per year. I’m in the wrong business for sure. I thought they stated the replacement refs would receive the same $1500 – $2000 per game the regular refs received. Unless my math is really wrong, that’s not $200K annual salary.

    Where do I apply. Do I have to begin in the high school ranks or can I try for college level first? Does anyone know? Thanks, enjoy a good fish luncheon on Sunday.

  9. By Rio on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Wow i didn’t even know the ref’s were on strike.

  10. By D on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Guess I won’t have to worry about Guns Hochuli using the bicep curl machine at my gym anymore…

    I think if we don’t see an improvement in Kolb’s performance the rest of the year, I don’t see how AZ can bring him back next year. A QB to watch for AZ would be E.J. Manuel from FSU. He should be drafted lower part of Round 1 this spring, and if the Cards are above 500 should be drafting between 19-26 range.

  11. By Dynosoar on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply


    We’ll be drafting 32.

  12. By Rufus on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Somewhere Pete Carroll is crying right now.

  13. By clssylssy on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Of course the regular refs make mistakes and I think part of the language of the settlement is a mechanism whereby they would be held accountable for gross errors or a pattern of poor performance. While the salary sounds like a lot, the NFL is a fast game, much faster than high school or college and there is a level of knowledge and expertise that is expected. I wouldn’t have that job for any amount of money…it always looks easy when sitting on the sidelines or in front of the TV but I think the last three weeks have shown it’s more difficult than it looks. Glad to have the officials back, the NFL’s little experiment failed miserably and now it’s time for accountability. If players can be fined retroactively for plays that were never flagged, a win can surely be overturned upon further examination and review! *Note to Rugbymuffin…the Hags are in our division and this ill gotten win directly effects our divisional standing…SNAP!

  14. By Chuck 1 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Well, it appears that the officials won the negotiations standoff regarding the pension benefits.

  15. By Texascard on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Dynosoar I agree on your draft prediction. Running game will get better and we win it this time. E.j. Manuel????? You cannot be serious. Hurt all the time. Kolb is our man and skelton is our man. Kolb is who whiz thought he was. Looking forward to next years draft is no longer what cardinal fans do. I’m dead serious when I say get your hands on super bowl tickets cards will be there.

  16. By DontTakeLoses on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Ironic: refs often hated, now revered. And the world turns, lol.

    Funny how a few just can’t accept Kolb’s success. Maybe this will help: His strength lies in his faith, in his upbringing and preparation… he’s a get in the dirt, country strong, no excuses, nose to grindstone cowboy who has no quit. His character and talent have allowed him to thrive through the adversity. Whiz’ recently said some pros just accept then overcome the challenge and emerge stronger as Kolb has. One TD drive is an anomaly, 3 games are a pattern of success in leading his team. He has the ball in his hands 50% of the plays every game, the results are undeniable, 3rd in QB rating.

    Bravo Kolb … and Hoculli 😉 PS: The refs prefer their Sunday jobs.

  17. By Thomas77 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Outside of a few really bad calls (ie. Seattle/AZ, Seattle/GB), I think alot of the complaints surrounding the officiating was somewhat overblown. There’s always been complaining about officiating, regular or replacements. The fact that these guy’s were replacements lead to a greater soapbox for those complaints though. Sure they made some poor calls, took too long to decide, spotted the ball incorreclty, etc. There was definitely cause to be concerned, but I think that all the complaining surrounding the replacements is going to lead to greater scrutiny of the regular officials, because NOW the whole idea of referee decisions deciding games has been given legitimacy. NOW, there will probably be greater outcries when the regular officials get it wrong. And it is inevitable that they will.

    So anyway, my main point here is…I’m glad the regular’s are back. If only so that this season doesn’t get marked with an asterisk, and the Cardinals potentially dominating season doesn’t go down in history as a “non regular officiating year”.

  18. By D on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Card fans need to slow down…yes the defense is playing great…but injuries are starting to be a factor and the offense is still ranked bottom of the league…I don’t want to hear all of you cry and rip Kolb when AZ has to play at MN, at SF, at GB and at Atl and not get the results you want…. this team is winning the games they need to win, let’s wait to see when they play better teams…one win vs NE doesnt’ put them in the playoffs…

  19. By Dynosoar on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply


    Please don’t think I’m drinking Kool Aid (I prefer the sugar free Hawaiian Punch) and I like where you come from when you write. Here’s a little of why I’m not slowing down and why I have faith in a #32 pick next draft.

    I agree one win against New England doesn’t put them in the playoffs. I’m looking at the body of work over the last 16 games, 10-6. That’s a Wild Card last season.

    10 wins in the last 12. Look at this team and what it’s doing. A good team is in the playoffs sometimes. They have a winning streak over several games in a season.

    We’re showing a winning streak over two seasons. We picked up where we left off and we’re beating the best, not just other lower tier teams.

    I look at injuries, the GB team that won the Superbowl a couple years ago was riddled with injuries to their starters. The good teams win in spite of injuries. We won without Wilson and Skelton. We’ll win without Beanie.

    Offenses are rated based on yards and scoring. Of course we don’t have the yards; our defense is stopping opponents or creating turnovers on their side of the field. Shorter field = less yards gained. Means by NFL standards our offense is bad.

    We’ve allowed the fewest touchdowns (despite what some pundits think regarding yardage per game, its points that win.)

    Kevin Kolb is rated 3rd in the league. Third. The thing is, unlike Big Ben at #2, he’s not 1-2.

    Sure the team could go 3-13, but I don’t see it. I see what we’ve done to opponents since the middle of last season. Look at the Super Bowl champions of the past; they had great years the previous year as well. It wasn’t a one year run.

    D, I’m enjoying the discussion we’ve begun and appreciate that Texascard has joined in.

    It remains to be seen if I’m senile (my friends say so) or if I have the same faith in our team that they have. Listen to them talk, watch them support and trust each other. I believe because they have become a team, not a collection of players. And that’s the coaches and the players. The pundits say it’s only our defense. Two thoughts, does it matter if the wins are piling up which side of the ball they come from and two, it has to start somewhere. I saw plenty of offense against the Eagles.

    If you see something different or if I’ve persuaded you to see a win in New Orleans this February, let me know.

  20. By Dynosoar on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, do I have reason to believe or am I off my rocker? You’re in the locker room, how is the feeling and belief among the players and coaches vs. two seasons ago, vs. ten years ago? Can I ask these questions?

  21. By Darren Urban on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Belief

    You can believe what you would like to believe. At least the team is 3-0, so you have some tangible reasons. I tend to be more cautious. I think the team is confident, but they aren’t going to proclaim themselves favorites or anything like that. There’s little upside in that.

  22. By Dynosoar on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, Them declaring their favorites wouldn’t seem to fit them. I agree.

    To all,

    I can exercise a little more caution in my statements. I can keep to I believe without making prophetic statements (after all I’m not a prophet.) While I believe this team is good enough to win the Superbowl, there are deffinately many other factors to winning.

    Injuries being a big one. From what I’ve seen I believe more and more. I’m enjoying the ride and am hoping (and believeing) in a trip to the Big Dance.

    Darren and everyone, have a good weekend and enjoy the game.

  23. By DontTakeLoses on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Listen to the Podcast, Wolf a little more confident than our scribe 😉

  24. By 4hzprps on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    I think they should give both packers and seahags a tie for the MNF game.

  25. By Thomas77 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    One other thing I’m interested to see, now that the regular refs are back, is if we’ll continue to see the “new Whiz” that I’ve seen this year. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never seen Whiz jaw with the ref’s and show as much emotion on the field as I have in the first three games of this season. Maybe he was really just that frustrated, or did he finally get to a point where he feels comfortable enough to get out there and get scrappy?!

  26. By joe67 on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    I agree. Real fun right now and brings back some memories of the mid-70’s. But lets be real (not negative but real) 3-0 with a wk left in sept is still a long way from the big dance.
    One game at a time. The next game is the big game. Lets just enjoy the ride as long as it lasts. Long season yet to come. Just think 4-0 right now!!

  27. By BIG RED on Sep 27, 2012 | Reply

    Why draft E.J. Manuel when we still have Big John Skelton!!!!!!!!!!

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