WHAT! - Who are these Replacement Referees Anyway?


by Brian Hoffmeier

We found out exactly what the word "replacement" stands for in the NFL referee book and what makes you qualified or not.

We all saw the debacle that took place this week on Monday Night Football.

We all knew the refs weren't up to par but at the same time I didn't think it would cost us so much. Sure it sound like a lot to pay the current refs $150.000 a year plus benefits and pension to work one day a week but who knew it was so difficult to be a NFL Ref?

Not me. Until now. Maybe it is such a skilled trade that they deserve every cent. If you think about it in the scale of the multi billion dollar a year business they call the NFL that is really chump change.

We can't have these clowns deciding games, and I mean no disrespect to clowns but look at this Sports Illustrated article stating the qualifications of the Refs during this weeks MNF game they stoled from the packers.

The NFL has not released any background information for its replacement officials, other than to confirm that they have called football games at some level. But given Monday’s controversial finish in Seattle, more and more people are growing curious as to where the NFL found its temporary fill-in officials.

The following info on the Monday night crew has been cobbled together from various sources …

• Wayne Elliott, head referee: Elliott is the executive secretary for the Austin Football Officials Association, which oversees high school football officiating in the Austin, Texas area. In addition, a realtor, who describes his background as: “I also officiate collegiate, high school, and indoor professional football.”

Elliott’s crew worked the Redskins-Rams game in Week 3, which involved several post-whistle scuffles.

• Derrick Rhone-Dunn, back judge: Rhone-Dunn was the official Monday who raced in after the M.D. Jennings-Golden Tate Hail Mary play and signaled for the clock to stop — usually the first move made before ruling a play like the one in question an interception and a touchback.

Rhone-Dunn has experience in the Arena Football League, as well as in the Big 12. He’s listed as one of the officials for the Jan. 3, 2007 Sugar Bowl between LSU and Notre Dame.

• Lance Easley, side judge: It was Easley who gave the touchdown signal on Monday’s final play, and his call stood through the immediate chaos after, as well as following a replay review. According to the Santa Maria Times, Easley normally officiates “high school and (junior college) games” (both football and basketball) in California’s Central Coast area.

• Tom Keeling, line judge: Keeling has extensive officiating experience within the Big 12 conference, and he officiated the Dec. 19, 2006 Poinsettia Bowl between TCU and Northern Illinois. (It’s likely that Keeling officiated other bowl games along the way — he’s found listed as a game official for Big 12 games dating back at least a decade.) A Tom Keeling also served as head linesman for the 2010 UFL championship game. Again, without the NFL providing background info, we can only assume that’s the same Tom Keeling that called Monday’s game.

• Marc Harrod, umpire: Harrod is a police officer in Corpus Christi, Texas, and appears to run the Twitter feed for the Corpus Christi Chapter of Football Officials, an organization that “provides football officials for High School and Junior High programs.”

• Mike Peek, head linesman: Peek also served as a replacement official during the brief 2001 NFL referee lockout, according to the website FootballZebras.com.

• Richard Simmons, field judge: Chiefs website BobGretz.com reported that Simmons is a Texas high school official, a background that seems to be shared by many on Monday’s crew.



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