Replacement refs controversy proceeds Saints-Packers game - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Replacement refs controversy precedes Saints-Packers game


New Orleans, La. - The confusion unfolded on the prominent stage of Monday Night Football during the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.  When one ref called for a touchback and the other for a touchdown, it led to pandemonium on the field.

Fans of the Packers say their team was robbed and now Green Bay has to regroup as it prepares for its next opponent, the New Orleans Saints.

We talked Tuesday to a couple of players, whose reactions were somewhat restrained.

"I mean, my personal opinion, it was an interception but that's the kind of things you've got to deal with right now," says Jabari Greer.

The NFL put its stamp of approval on the still smoldering outcome of the game.  Still, the final play call remains at the center of the NFL's latest scandal involving replacement referees.

Drew Brees says they're simply out of their league.

"They're just not prepared to be in this situation. The game is so fast and the level that all of them were at and now are at, it doesn't even compare. I think it's getting to a point where it's pretty horrendous and it's an embarrassment to the league," says the Saints quarterback.

The NFL locked out the referees back in June after their contracts expired.  Unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, the league opened up the season with replacements, most with experience only in lower levels of college football.

"So this is just a business negotiation. How much money can one side get from the other is what it's about," says Director of Tulane Sports Law Gabe Feldman.

Feldman says the league certainly took a hit but it doesn't mean the negotiations between the NFL and the refs will move any quicker.  In fact, he believes the NFL will stand its ground.

"We're still willing to wait you out another week or two and that might cause the refs to say, well, if they're not willing to cave now, when are they willing to cave?  That might actually work to the NFL's advantage to say that we're sticking to this for the long haul," says Feldman.

Both sides met last week for two days but the negotiations for a new contract remain far apart.

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