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Posted at 09:28 AM ET, 08/30/2012

NFL replacement refs struggle in Giants-Patriots game (video)

“Let’s just hang out here for a while and someone upstairs will tell us what’s what.” “Okay.” “Candlesticks make a nice gift.” (Julio Cortez / AP)
As if more proof were needed that using replacement referees for the NFL’s regular-season games is an idea that should be rethunk, the preseason game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants offered a moment that, upon further review, removes the last residue of doubt.

In the Giants’ 6-3 victory Wednesday night in MetLife Stadium, both Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick — with their dials set to “2” for the fourth preseason game — were baffled to the point of gobsmackery at the display of uncertainty over a penalty on a punt by Steve Weatherford in the second quarter. (WCBS’s Ernie Palladino has the Keystone Kops play-by-play as officials struggle to get the call right. You can watch after the jump or here.)

Bill Belichick had no idea, either. (Julio Cortez / AP)
Coughlin offered only a tepid comment about the officiating afterward. “I don’t have any control over [the lockout of game officials]. For me to say there is or isn’t concern, you do the very best you can with them. You just hope these officials know the rules and can keep the game under control and keep order. Hopefully they’ll be able to do that.”

Huh? (Bill Kostroun / AP)
Easy to say on Preseason Game No. 4. In the regular season, there’s likely to be more than just funny faces from the likes of Coughlin and Belichick with so much more (and so much money) riding on every single game, on every single play.

Still, there’s no end to the lockout of regular game officials. “I think it’s going to take a debacle for the real officials to come back,” Peter King told Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon on “Pardon the Interruption” on Wednesday.

Great. Just wait ’til these games are in prime time when, you know, the NFL is the No. 1-rated show every week. Nothing against the replacement refs, who are doing the best they can, but this is like Ralph Lauren going with a fall line designed by Emmett Kelly or a Mercedes owner taking his car to Jiffy Lube.

It’s a bad idea.

H/T: SportsGrid, C.J. Fogler, SB Nation

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NFL coaches, players bash replacement refs as regular season looms

Goodell: Possibility of replacement refs worthwhile to ensure long-term improvement

By  |  09:28 AM ET, 08/30/2012

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