Any sympathy for replacement refs? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Any sympathy for replacement refs?


Local football referees in our area are also sounding off on the controversial call. Some of them kind of sympathize.

Monday's call by the replacement refs seemed to lack judgment or fairness. But local referees say the job isn't as easy as it looks.

Replacement referees are now fully in the spotlight, all due to this call.
Most of the replacement refs have worked at lower levels of football, but not the NFL. Which is why moving to the big league, can be a big struggle.

"The games are so fast paced you have to make quick decisions and you're not always going to get them right," said referee Gregg Langbehn.

 "I think the whole situation of replacement referees is really something that's interfering with the product as we know it," said referee James Brown.

Brown has been a youth football referee in the Wausau area for 54 years.

"That really was a wrong call, it was a mistake and I was stunned," said Brown.

But he says he can sympathize with those refs, because it's not an easy job.

"I feel sorry for the fact they had to be put in a situation they couldn't handle, when your put in a position of anything that goes over your head, that's a problem," had said.

Which is why for Brown following two simple rules makes calling the shots that much easier.

"It's about the safety of the players and fairness of the ball game," said Brown. 

Fairness, that he says didn't happen at Monday night's game. But Brown says he's had his fair share of making the wrong calls too.

"Swear words, threats, phone calls home, being an official is a very complicated occupation, you're always half-way wrong," said Brown.

Referees I spoke with say they hope NFL officials and the Referee's Union reach an agreement soon.

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