Posted October 04, 2012

Replacement refs told no whistles on hail mary, one admits wrong call on Golden Tate touchdown


The replacement refs are opening up about their experience in the NFL. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

NFL replacement refs Wayne Elliot and Jim Core opened up to Inside the NFL about life over the past few months, offering anecdotes about their conversations on the field with players to more serious talks about being trained not to call interceptions or pass interferences in hail mary situations.

Elliot, a real estate agent from Texas who has officiated high school, college and indoor football leagues, was the head referee for the now-controversial Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers game. He made the announcement that the play stands after the Seahawks’ Golden Tate caught the game-winning touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Russell Wilson, giving the team a last second win over the Packers in Week 3.

He and Core explained that they were taught by the officials who trained the replacement refs that there’s a philosophy for every rule in the NFL. The philosophy regarding hail mary situations, they were told, is to not call an interception or pass interference. Instead, they were told to just let the play unfold because there’s too many hands in the situation.

Elliot said that his cell phone wouldn’t stop ringing for the 72 hours following his controversial ruling on the field, getting calls from hundreds of people reacting to the game-changing decision. Some of those callers, he said, told him to commit suicide. He said that “1 out of 100″ thanked him for letting the play stand as a touchdown. After the game, Elliot described the refs’ locker room as a “losing locker room.” He admitted that after looking at the play several times, he would’ve ruled it an interception by the Packers, which would’ve ended the game as a loss for the Seahawks.

Core, a geography teacher at a middle school in Iowa, said he had received an e-mail in the spring, with about a week left of school, asking him if he wanted to apply to become an NFL replacement ref. He went ahead with the application because he said he had “tried to get up the ladder for a number of years and for whatever reason it wasn’t happening.”

Core, who last officiated the San Diego Chargers-Atlanta Falcons game, said that one of the Chargers approached him as the final seconds ticked off the game clock. The player, who Core did not identify, reportedly told him that in rating his performance as a replacement ref on a scale of 1 to 10, he was a “negative 10.” The Falcons won the game 27-3.

Core also said that during a Bears game that he worked, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler reportedly called him an expletive to his face because he didn’t reset the game clock. Core said Cutler later came up to him during a time out and told him that he called him that name because it was the only way he could get his attention, and then he offered Core some of his water. Core also said that the hardest coach to deal with during his short-lived time in the NFL was Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano. He said Schiano, who is in his first stint as an NFL head coach after more than two decades with college teams , is on “a different level” than other NFL coaches.

Footage of the interview with Elliot and Core can be seen here.


This is the replacement refs finding a weak excuse when obvious common sense should be occuring.


When they say "dont call pass interference on Hail Mary plays" it means "dont call pass interference for simple contact since everybody will be jumping for the ball anyway and there will be a lot of mid-air collisions." It doesn't mean "don't call pass interference when a player shoves another player clear out of the way before the ball even arrives".


You  would change your story, too, if people were calling and threatening your life.  The NFL has never called PI on hail mary plays.  The Packers knocked  the Seahawk receiver Charlie Martin to the ground, also.  Jennings came over the back of Tate and Martin to get hands on the ball.  It was reviewe by the booth and the league office.  Tie goes to the offense.  Game over!  Get over it!!


I do believe him. Most analysts agree that pass interference is rarely called on Hail Marys because there's too many people going for the ball. What the replacement refs didn't get is that when it's blatant the way Tate's interference was, you're still supposed to call it. And interference or not, that was still an interception.


If you think the NFL instructed the replacement refs not to call pass interference on "Hail Mary" passes you are the most gullible fool in the world.  The reality is that the "catch" by Golden "the Doughnut Thief" Tate was immediately preceded by blatant offensive pass interference by Tate.  The replacement refs then must not have figured that the play could be reviewed (literally) millions and millions of times on the internet.  

How about this"  The replacement refs missed a penalty which altered the outcome of a game.  The replacement refs were exposed for their incompetence and are now making idiotic and unbelievable claims.

You decide:  

1.  The NFL told replacement refs not to call pass interference on "Hail Mary" passes,


2.  The replacement refs missed a very obvious offensive pass interference call and their incompetence altered an outcome of a game.

I think #2 is more probable, but make your own judgement.

If you think that Golden "the doughnut thief" Tate did not commit offensive pass interference on the play, you should really consider coming back to reality.  

A more obvious offensive pass interference call I cannot recall.  Tate forcibly pushed #37 of the Packers in the back with both hands while the ball was in the air, just prior to contact.  Clear as day.  

(But remember, replacement refs do not call pass interference on "Hail Mary" passes).  You cannot be serious.

John Mayo 


LOL, I was going to say the exact same thing!