NFL replacement referee Don King had some serious trouble explaining the penalty assessment on a play during Wednesday night's preseason game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants. It was a fiasco that presented a perfect example of why the NFL needs to get the real referees back as soon as possible.
It happened with 6:08 left in the second quarter after two penalty flags were thrown during a Giants punt by Steve Weatherford. After King initially announced offsetting penalties on both teams, a whistle was blown before the replay of fourth down so that a correction could be made to announce that both penalties on the preceding play were committed by the Giants. Unfortunately, King stumbled badly while trying to make his announcement, and it was painful to watch:
A correction on the reporting on the foul. Both teams were on the...Both opp...Both fouls were on the kicking team.
The game was delayed for another couple of minutes while the referees had more conversations with themselves and with head coaches Bill Belicheck and Tom Coughlin, then King had to make one more announcement to the crowd to settle everything.
In the end, the replacement officials got the final call right by enforcing a five-yard penalty on the Giants and replaying the fourth down punt. However, with the NFL making it official that they will use replacement referees for Week 1 of the regular season, there could be a lot of unnecessary delays like this as the replacement referees try to work their way through things. That's going to make the fans, and the NFL head coaches, very unhappy. So much for speeding up the games.
H/T Sports Grid.
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