Are Replacement NFL Refs Affecting Game Quality? - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Are Replacement NFL Refs Affecting Game Quality?

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There's something different about NFL games this season: they're being refereed by fill-in refs. And some say it's affecting the quality of the game.

At the Peppermill they say fans who are watching in the sports book are complaining and even booing when they don't agree with a call.

And they may have a legitimate point.

"I've seen the same thing most people have seen which is that it's diminishing the quality of the product on the field, there's no doubt about that. These referees don't seem to be able to handle the speed of the NFL game," says Terry Cox of the Peppermill Sports Book.

Cox says that's causing the games to drag on while the referees confer or even call upstairs to get rulings on plays.

The replacement referees are filling in for more seasoned NFL refs who have been locked out by the NFL because a dispute over pensions. That dispute is now causing arguments on the field between coaches and the referees who are filling in.

And staff at the local sports books say they hear more booing over calls during the games.

"The classic one yesterday was while we were watching the 49ers game and the 49ers were awarded two additional challenges, which according to the rule book, they should never have had, and this was just a ref who was not clear on the rules."

You might wonder if all this controversy is affecting business at the sports books.

They say no.

As a matter of fact, business here was standing room only this weekend. And they expect a big crowd tonight for Monday Night Football.

Written by Jennifer Burton 

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