Are Replacement Officials Detracting From Your Viewing Experience?

Are Replacement Officials Detracting From Your Viewing Experience?

As Enrico mentioned earlier, the referees for Monday night's contest between the Falcons and Broncos took a beating from the ESPN broadcast team, and they certainly weren't the first crew to lay waste to replacement officials. I didn't notice the NFL's own network had silenced their booth on the matter either, and even college football announcers have been taking shots. Heck, just listen to the soundbites or read the comments by players and coaches all over the league.

There have been massive blunders, and lately officials are losing control on the field, the scheduled action giving way to an increasing number of shoving matches after the whistle. Yet as bad a job as the replacements are doing, that's not even what I think is making many of these games borderline unwatchable so far. Actually, the staggering level of incompetence is almost humorous -- admittedly only until it comes back to bite the home team.

The true problem is the heavy amount of procedure involved with officiating football seems completely lost on the folks in the striped shirts, and many of these games are taking for-e-ver to play out. Practically every tilt feels like it's marred by delays as officials hold long conferences on the field, debating what the yellow flag was for and against whom, wildly guessing at where the ball is supposed to be spotted, and struggling to figure out when the clock is or isn't supposed to be running, followed by more conferencing with a pseudo-official on the sidelines, then a brawl breaks out because everybody is trying to turn this spectacle into a competitive advantage...

It's awful.

So far, both 1 o'clock Eagles games have run deep into the first quarter of the afternoon slate, several of which were actually pushed back 10 minutes to 4:25 for the first time this season. A big part of the problem against the Browns was there were so many clock stoppages from incomplete passes, numerous penalties, and other, but why did it happen again in Week 2? Brawls and official gaffes. I mean, the first half had two two-minute warnings!

Most fans will probably watch the Eagles no matter what, but what about the rest of the sideshow? It's a miracle the Monday night game didn't last four hours, as it was on pace to do so at the end of the first half -- I suppose we can thank both teams for running the ball quite a bit more in the second half (they must've been checking their watches, too). Add in the fact that it's 8:40 p.m. until they finally kick off, and it's a mess. Who wants to sit for that long and watch anything, let alone two teams they don't care about, and so late into the night for that matter?

It's not just a question of whether the officiating is detracting from your viewing experience as is posed above (it is), but will you continue tuning in to these other games at this rate? NFL ratings continue to soar, but because people genuinely enjoy watching the product. There was little enjoyment to be had watching on Monday night, which for the viewer at home with little or no stake in the outcome boiled down to a time-consuming exercise in tedium.

The reality that's being pushed by some in the media is the NFL doesn't care what the players and coaches think, and they don't care much more what you think, either. However, if ratings start to experience some measure of decline, the league might start to reconsider they lockout with the regular officials right quick. I know I personally am not quite prepared to send that message, but are you?

NFL to reopen investigation into Giants' Brown for domestic violence


NFL to reopen investigation into Giants' Brown for domestic violence

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The NFL is going to re-open its investigation of New York Giants placekicker Josh Brown after police released journal entries and emails in which he admitted that he verbally and physically abused his former wife.

The NFL issued a statement on Thursday saying the league's investigators made repeated verbal and written attempts to obtain any and all evidence and relevant information in the May 2015 case from the King County Sheriff's Office in Washington, but were denied.

The sheriff's office released the journals and emails late Wednesday to SportsNet New York.

The league said law enforcement's response limited its yearlong investigation of the domestic abuse incident that led to Brown's arrest on suspicion of domestic violence. No charges were filed against the 37-year-old player.

"We concluded our own investigation, more than a year after the initial incident, based on the facts and evidence available to us at the time and after making exhaustive attempts to obtain information in a timely fashion," the league said. "It is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials at the time."

Brown, who was suspended by the NFL Brown for the opening game of the season for a violation of its personal conduct policy, practice on Thursday but he was not in the locker room afterward as the team prepared to leave for its game against the Los Angeles Rams in London on Sunday.

Tom Quinn, the Giants' special teams coach, said that Brown remains the Giants kicker. He said that any change in Brown's status would have to be made by someone above him.

That could be the league or the Giants, who have not issued a statement on the latest revelations.

"In light of the release of these documents yesterday, we will thoroughly review the additional information and determine next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy," the league said. "We will not be making any comments on potential discipline until that time."

Giants spokesman Corry Rush declined comment Thursday.

"I have physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally been a repulsive man," Brown wrote in one journal entry. "I have abused my wife."

The journal was part of was part of 165 pages of documents that were turned over to authorities by Brown's former wife, Molly, after his arrest. She had accused him of more than 20 instances of domestic violence.

One of the documents dated more than two years before Brown's arrest was called a "Contract for Change" and appeared to be signed by both the kicker and his former wife.

"I have controlled her by making her feel less human than me, and manipulated her with money," said one of the eight items in the list. "I have disregarded my stepsons' feelings and they have witnessed me abusing their mother."

In a 2013 email, Brown said he caused his wife to fear him.

"From the bruise on your leg when we argued ... to the zipper that caught you last April. I am ashamed and disgraced to call myself a husband," Brown said.

Brown is one of the top placekickers in the NFL. He scored a career-high 134 points last season. He has made 11 of 12 field goal attempts this season and all eight extra points.

Report: Sixers have shown interest in Timberwolves PG Tyus Jones

Report: Sixers have shown interest in Timberwolves PG Tyus Jones

With Ben Simmons and Jerryd Bayless hurt, the Sixers are still lacking a distributor, and so it makes sense that they've been in contact with the point guard-rich Timberwolves.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Sixers and New Orleans Pelicans have shown interest in T'wolves backup point guard Tyus Jones. 

With fifth overall pick Kris Dunn and Ricky Rubio, Minnesota is set at PG. Jones, 20, is third on the totem pole a year after being drafted 24th overall. 

According to Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves are more inclined to trade Jones than Rubio. 

Jones has a connection to the Sixers in Jahlil Okafor, a former teammate at Duke. Both were one-and-dones for the 2014-15 National Championship team. Jones averaged 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists for the Blue Devils. 

He played sparingly as a rookie last season with Minnesota (37 games), averaging 4.2 points and 2.9 assists in 15.5 minutes, but stood out this summer, winning Las Vegas Summer League MVP.

T.J. McConnell has started the majority of the preseason at point guard for the Sixers. Sergio Rodriguez got the nod in the last game against the Pistons. Brett Brown is also looking at Nik Stauskas to fill the spot in a non-traditional role.