ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
23°
Sunny
H 48° L 27°
  • clear-night
    23°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 48° L 27°
  • clear-day
    44°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 48° L 27°
  • clear-night
    37°
    Evening
    Clear. H 48° L 27°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Replacement ref furor grows after wild Seattle win

The furor over the work of replacement officials reached a fevered pitch during Week 3 in the NFL, especially Monday night when Seattle beat Green Bay on a desperation pass that many thought was an interception.

Seahawks receiver Golden Tate was awarded a touchdown on the final play after a scrum on the ground in the end zone. Packers safety M.D. Jennings appeared to catch the ball against his body, with Tate getting his arm around the ball.

After a few seconds, one official indicated a stoppage of play, but another signaled touchdown for a conclusion former NFL coach Jon Gruden, working the game on TV, called "tragic" and "comical."

Tate clearly shoved cornerback Sam Shields to the ground on the play, but as Gruden noted, offensive pass interference almost never is called on desperation passes.

"Very hard to swallow," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "I have never seen anything like that in my time in football."

One day after New England coach Bill Belichick was confused about a decisive field goal he thought was off-target and Detroit's Jim Schwartz couldn't understand a 27-yard penalty walk-off for unnecessary roughness, things had gotten even more chaotic.

"These games are a joke," Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman tweeted.

McCarthy was measured in his postgame remarks.

"Most unusual football game I have been a part of," he said. "I know it's been a wild weekend in the NFL and I guess we are part of it."

Packers guard T.J. Lang was even more emphatic, tweeting that the Packers were robbed "by the refs. Thanks NFL."

In Sunday night's Ravens-Patriots game, shoving matches followed even insignificant plays. One TV analyst called it the substitute-teacher syndrome: See how much you can get away with before the real thing returns.

"Nature says for us that we're going to go out there and push the limit regardless," Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said. "If they're calling a game tight, if they're calling a game loose, it's going to be pushed to the limit. You are pushing it to the brink. If things are going to be called easier, and in some situations I feel like they've been less lenient, too, you've just got to play and see how (it's being called)."

If you can figure it out.

Broncos coach John Fox was fined $30,000 Monday and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio $25,000 for verbal abuse of the officials during a Monday night game against Atlanta on Sept. 17.

More fines are likely for Belichick and Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and perhaps for others.

Fox and Del Rio were hit for their sideline histrionics, particularly when Fox was told he couldn't challenge a call of 12 men on the field — he was correct that he could challenge, although replays showed the Broncos were guilty.

Before grabbing the arm of an official, Belichick wanted to know why Justin Tucker's field goal was called good in Baltimore's 31-30 victory Sunday night. He couldn't tell from his angle on the sideline, he said.

"So when the game was over, I went out and I was really looking for an explanation from the officials as to whether the play was under review," he said, "and I did try to get the official's attention as he was coming off the field to ask that, but I really wasn't able to do that."

Most confusing was the mark-off for a Lions penalty in overtime at Tennessee. Officials wound up penalizing Detroit from its 44-yard line rather than from the original line of scrimmage, the Titans 44.

Soon after, Rob Bironas kicked a go-ahead field goal.

Schwartz noted that the alternate official who helps the replacements with administrating penalties was on the Detroit sideline.

"We said, 'You're enforcing it from the wrong spot.' He was adamant that they weren't doing so," Schwartz said. "At that point, we just needed to play."

They didn't play well enough to avoid losing 44-41, and Titans coach Mike Munchak wasn't apologizing for how his team won.

"I don't feel any guilt," Munchak said. "For us, really the obvious answer is there's nothing we can do about who's officiating games. It's the same for everybody, so go out and don't get caught up in all that."

The league and the officials' union met Sunday without reaching any agreement on ending the lockout that began in June. The players' union also called on the 32 team owners to end the lockout because it is compromising the integrity of the game.

While most of the coaches are being careful what they say about the replacements, the players and broadcasters are less inhibited.

"Unfortunately, I feel like that it's like changing an intersection from a stop sign to a red light," Browns kicker Phil Dawson said. "You have to have so many car wrecks before they deem that intersection to be dangerous enough — and we're heading that way. Someone's going to lose a game, if it hasn't already happened, to get both sides to a pressure point to get a deal done. It's sad."

Certainly not holding back on the criticism are some of the NFL's broadcast partners. Analyst Cris Collinsworth was forthright in his evaluation of the officiating problems Sunday night, as were Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden during last Monday night's flag-fest in Atlanta.

"We don't want to talk about the officials, trust us," ESPN's Tirico said. "But it's affecting the game. When we meet with teams and coordinators, frustration boils out into limited on-the-record statements. Off the record, what guys are saying — it's a nightmare. It is impacting the game.

"It hasn't burned a team to cost them a playoff spot yet. But you should go back and watch the film. There are so many little things that players are getting away with that is absolutely impacting the game to the detriment of the product."

Yet some players aren't completely down on the performances of the replacements.

Patriots receiver Deion Branch noted all the controversy about officiating throughout the league.

"But I think the bigger picture is that we've all got to understand that, hey, they're making those calls on both sides of the ball," Branch said. "Us as players, we need to remove ourselves from what the refs are doing and just go out and play our game."

Rams defensive end Chris Long offered, apparently with no sarcasm, that the game "hasn't changed at all with the replacement officials because officials don't care about defensive linemen, replacement or first-tier officials."

Then he admitted taking the regular officials for granted.

"The NFL could really use them back," Long said.

___

Sports Writers Howard Ulman, Rachel Cohen, Tom Withers, R.B. Fallstrom, Joseph White, Noah Trister, Jon Krawczynski and Teresa M. Walker contributed to this story.

___

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and

Copyright The Associated Press

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • Police in say officers have found Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinkski dead Tuesday in an apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.  >> Read more trending news At about 4:30 p.m., officers responded to an apartment to check on the welfare of a football player who did not show up for practice earlier in the day.  When officers arrived, they found Hilinkski, 21, deceased with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  Police said a rifle was recovered next to Hilinski and a note was found.  Washington State president Kirk Schulz tweeted, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hilinski family.” Former Washington State linebackers coach Roy Manning, who recently left for a position at UCLA, tweeted , “Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. My heart is beyond saddened. Please pray for the family and all of us affected!” Hilinski, from Claremont, Calif., recently finished his redshirt sophomore season for the Cougars. He started in place of Senior Luke Falk in the Cougars loss to Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl.  Hilinski played 11 games in his Cougars career, passing for 1,149 yards and seven touchdowns. Hilinski was the presumptive starting quarterback going into next season.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Making his first foray on to the campaign trail in 2018, President Donald Trump goes to southwestern Pennsylvania on Thursday to stump for a GOP candidate running for Congress, as Republicans have encountered some troubling signs in this mid-term election year, struggling with an election playing field that seems tilted against their party. In stops near Pittsburgh, Mr. Trump will help Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone, who is trying to win a March 13 special election for Congress, in a U.S. House district that voted for for the President by 19 points in November 2016.   The campaign trip comes two days after the latest evidence of a voting surge for Democrats, as they flipped a state legislative seat in Wisconsin, in a district that voted for President Trump by 17 points in 2016. “That sound you hear is a tsunami alert,” said election handicapper Stu Rothenberg, who like many in Washington, sees the possibility of a wave election in 2018 for the Democrats. The Wisconsin outcome was not ignored by the state’s Governor, Scott Walker, who is up for re-election this year. Senate District 10 special election win by a Democrat is a wake up call for Republicans in Wisconsin. — Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) January 17, 2018 In a fundraising email sent to supporters on Wednesday night, Governor Walker’s subject line was, “SHOCKING LOSS.” “Wisconsin conservatives just received a much-needed WAKE UP CALL,” the missive began. “Typically we’ve held this seat,” said House Speaker and Wisconsin native Paul Ryan to reporters. “Yeah, I think we should pay attention to it.” “We all have to work,” said Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), who finds himself under great pressure as the head of the campaign arm of House Republicans. But the shift hasn’t just been in Wisconsin, as Democrats have seen their vote share increase across the board, in red states like Oklahoma and South Dakota, red districts in Georgia and South Carolina, and then in a big upset win in December in Alabama, where Doug Jones won a U.S. Senate seat. “These results continue the trend we saw in 2017,” said Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. “Voters are flat-out rejecting the Trump-GOP agenda.” Whether that’s the case is not yet clear – but the numbers do show what Democrats have been able to do in race after race – get more of their own people out to vote, and attract more Independents as well. Here is a breakdown of Democrats' over performance tonight in all 4 contested special elections: SC #HD99: D+13.08% WI #AD58: D+24.90% WI #SD10: D+27.52% IA #HD06: D+20.44% That is an average Dem over performance tonight of D+21.49% That's… significant. — Aaron Booth (@ActorAaronBooth) January 17, 2018 In 2017, while Republicans were able to win a series of special elections for the U.S. House, the margins were much closer than normal – and that has campaign experts wondering if Democrats can maintain that momentum into November of 2018. “I don’t think people have fully priced in how much *worse* things could get for House Republicans in the next 300 days,” tweeted Dave Wasserman, an expert on House elections for the Cook Political Report. So far in 2018, all of the news about retiring lawmakers in Congress has come from the GOP side, as 31 House Republicans won’t be back next January, compared to 14 Democrats. That turnover – before even one vote has been cast in a Congressional primary – is higher than normal, and even higher than the number of Democrats who left in 1994 – when the GOP had a huge mid-term victory, and took control of both houses of Congress. All of that is getting noticed by those who have been in politics, like ex-Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), who now does talk radio. There is a blue Democrat tsunami wave coming in 2018 like we've never seen. Our side better wake up. https://t.co/ejVkigQlMW — Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) January 17, 2018 The game plan for the GOP in 2018 is straightforward at this point – President Trump and Republican lawmakers are doing all they can to highlight the tax cuts enacted into law late last year, and how that’s going to help working Americans right away. On Thursday, Mr. Trump will stop at H&K Equipment near Pittsburgh, a company that White House officials say is going to benefit from the new tax plan. “2017 was the best year in company history, which they credit to the President’s pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-growth economic agenda,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Thanks to the passage of the Trump tax cuts, H&K will now be able to expense 100 percent of the investments they make in new equipment in the same year they buy it,” Sanders added. On Capitol Hill, it’s also a daily drumbeat for GOP lawmakers, as they tout the tax cuts at every opportunity – like this speech on the Seante floor from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA). While the polls have shown weak numbers for Congressional Republicans in recent months, some of the new data indicates an uptick in public support for the tax cuts, and GOP lawmakers believe that can only help as more people see more money in their paychecks. “Had the other side gotten in, the market would have gone down fifty percent,” the President told an audience at the White House on Tuesday, as he is ready to make the case repeatedly this year that his election over Hillary Clinton was key to more economic growth and jobs. “You know what we’ve done in our tax bill, and you know how successful it’s been,” Mr. Trump added. He’ll make that case again Thursday in Pennsylvania, as Republicans try to make sure 2018 isn’t remembered for an election tide that swept them out of the Congress.  
  • More than a half dozen school districts in Oklahoma have closed for at least a day because of the flu outbreak. The Morris, Quinton, Swink, Hugo and Valliant districts are closed until next week. Cleveland and Union City schools both closed for a day earlier this week. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports at least 22 flu-related deaths this flu season.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports widespread flu in 49 states.  
  • Even thermometers can’t keep up with the plunging temperatures in Russia’s remote Yakutia region, which hit minus 88.6 degrees in some areas Tuesday. In Yakutia — a region of 1 million people about 3,300 miles east of Moscow — students routinely go to school even in minus 40 degrees. But school was canceled Tuesday throughout the region and police ordered parents to keep their children inside. In the village of Oymyakon, one of the coldest inhabited places on earth, state-owned Russian television showed the mercury falling to the bottom of a thermometer that was only set up to measure down to minus 50 degrees. In 2013, Oymyakon recorded an all-time low of minus 98 degrees. Over the weekend, two men froze to death when they tried to walk to a nearby farm after their car broke down. Three other men with them survived because they were wearing warmer clothes, investigators reported. But the press office for Yakutia’s governor said Tuesday that all households and businesses in the region have working central heating and access to backup power generators.  Residents of Yakutia are no strangers to cold weather and this week’s cold spell was not even dominating local news headlines Tuesday.
  • Steve Bannon has struck a deal to be interviewed by a special prosecutor in the Robert Mueller investigation, according to reports. >> Read more trending news Check back for the latest updates in this developing story.