tv NBC Nightly News NBC September 26, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
untested and certainly untrusted replacement refs ignited a blast of rancorous criticism even the high and mighty nfl owners had to take seriously. today cbs sports report there is a tentative deal in place and the real refs could start as early as sunday. joining me to talk about the situation, the host of nfl today cbs james brown and real referee terry mccauley. it's so great to have you both here. to your knowledge, is there a tentative deal in place and, if not, what's standing in the way? >> the last notice we got early this afternoon, there is no deal imminent at this moment. >> no deal imminent. so despite the reports from cbs, you say those are premature basically. >> correct. they are closer from what we've heard but not imminent. >> i've got to get your sense of that monday night call. what would you have called? >> i guess as an official, i can't publicly talk about other
official's calls. can i go into the rule and it's -- i can go into the rule and it's pretty straightforward that the player who goes up and gets it first, if he can complete the catch coming to the ground, it's his football. >> to your mind, you can't comment on it. fans think it was so egregious and horrible we all know what we're talking about. is there a possibility they were wrong on that? >> there's always a possibility they were wrong, but i'm not going to go there and publicly criticize. >> all right. i had to give you a chance. james brown, i have to give you a chance here. >> spoken like a political campaign. i like that. >> let's talk about the possibility of the refs coming back into action thursday night. let's say there was a deal later today. could you guys be ready to ref a game tomorrow night between the ravens and the browns? >> yes. we've been studying. we're aware of all the new rules. we've been working on tests and keeping ourselves in shape and we're ready to go at a moment's notice. i mean we could from our perspective do it. it would be up to the league. >> there is word that ed
hockly, the ref most fans might not because of his bulging biceps. is that true? >> ed has been doing a really great job with it. >> john lynch, former safety in the league, now broadcaster, says the league actually asks broadcasters to go easy on the refs the first week of the season and i got to be honest with you i noticed this watching the game because here are two of my tweets from that very same game. i was watching the redskins game. the first one was so why aren't the announcers talking about the replacement refs, directive from the nfl perhaps? and the second one was again how come booth guys never say anything about the replacement refs? starting to get weird. did you hear that and did you notice it? >> there was no directive given to us in the studio not to talk about the replacement officials. i think that would not be the proper thing to do. we're paid to be objective and call it as we see it and that's
what we've done. i don't think we ought to be taking unfair shots at them. the bottom line is i think the replacement refs were placed in an untenable unwinnable position from the very beginning. have you ever seen an nfl rule book? i would dare most of us on tv to take that and pass that. it is unbelievable. so what these guys do and i'm not just saying it because he's here, it's a fact. it is a very difficult game to referee and officiate. to be getting guys from the lower level divisions in college, those doing high school or lingerie football and throwing them out there to goo dew an nfl game, please, that -- do an nfl game, please that, doesn't make sense at all. >> some fans saying they think they are arrogant do. you think that's fair? >> i'm not going to editorialize whether it's arrogant. i understand this is a labor organization and the league had to do what it felt it had to do to get replacement officials. i have to believe they were going into that with trepidation because again we all know what the nfl game is
like with the best athletes in the world out there, how fast that game is, how complicated not just the rules, but understanding the philosophy of a call to be made out there, that has to be done in a submit end and what these guys do is remarkable -- split second and what these guys do is remarkable. >> is it the things that the fans don't see? >> it absolutely is. game management and game control are the things that i think we're a victim of our own sense. people never realize what we're doing. not interfering with the rhythm of the teams and the entertainment value by keeping the game going is extremely difficult. more important is the control of as j.d. said some of the greatest athletes in the world playing at an unbelievably high level and keeping them from crossing a line and we have so many ways we've learned how to do it and you can only learn from experience. >> give me an example. we had a helmet to helmet hit
on a player who ended up in the hospital, a wide receiver hurt very badly. are there things you can do to keep from getting to that point? >> we do. those things are instantaneous. we throw penalties. >> there were no penalties, by the way. >> it's really the pushing, the shoving, the respect for the game we control. sometime it's just a look at a player that tells them don't do that again. sometimes it's word, you know, soft words. sometimes it's firm. sometime it's almost in your face to let they know you're this close from crossing the line and if they do, then we throw the flag, but we don't just go out there looking to have a police action and throw flags. >> players respect that and they expect that from these guys. 200 years ago when i played basketball, it's still the same thing. if he comes over and says look, that's the only time you're going to do that, next time you're out of here. they just set a tone. game administration is extremely important. human nature, if you have a substitute teacher in the classroom, you're going to test that teacher and that's what the players are doing, but they
understand with referee officiating crews which crews are likely to call more calls more stringently, et cetera, so they actually game plan around it, but they know the officials are in control of what's going on out there and there's that respect level. >> let's talk about some of the things that have separated you from the nfl and made it so hard to make a deal. one is the pension plan. the nfl want to change you over to a 401k. you want your defined benefit plan. you guys are part time and you ask anybody out there they'll tell you look, i'm full time and i don't have a defined benefit plan. where do these guys get off asking for a defined benefit plan? >> yes and that's understandable. it was negotiated way back in the '90s that we would have this and it was continued in our contract in '01 and '06 and now they've decided they don't want to us have it. well, yes, the economy has changed. things have changed, but we have to remember one thing. the nfl is not like caterpillar. they're a virtually monopoly with an anti-trust exemption and making record profits.
so contributing 60% less to our pension through a defined contribution was simply unacceptable for us and it was a take it or leave it deal for them. >> j.b., in your sense, will the refs be appreciated more? >> for as long as i've been covering the league and what i think i understand about human nature, here's what i think may happen. the first couple weeks these guys are back. the fans and players will cheer and embrace them. after a few weeks you'll find the players and coaches screaming at them as they normally do. the bottom line is they may scream and holler, but they know that they understand the rules and they will enforce the rules. >> doesn't it bother you there was so much focus the last few weeks on the referees instead of the games themselves? >> absolutely. there are a lot of missed story lines even in the seattle/green bay game. seattle's defense played exceedingly well. russell wilson did a very nice and efficient job out there. green bay's defense even
stepped up. all those things remember lost. let me also throw kudos mike mccarthy's way. i think the coach of the green bay packers showed remarkable poise and calm in that he did not explode and i would think internally there was a volcano going on in terms of what i'm sure he wanted to scream about with that last play that in my estimation was, in fact, an interception, should have been called that way. that's my personal take, but i thought he was remarkably calm and to add insult to injury because rules do state that the team has to be out there for the point after. the game was already decided but let me say i file worse for the replacement officials. they should not have been placed in that position and these guys' names are being printed in the paper and being called out. my gosh, can you imagine a high school pitcher, no matter what kind of phenom he is, now being thrown to the washington nationals. they get to the world series and you pitch a world series game. if has a bad derek are you going to boo him? -- day, are you going to boo
him? that's going up to the phd equivalent. >> thank you both for coming in. we appreciate your time today, a lot of insight into the game and we fans all think we understand completely and could call a game ourselves. i think after these last few weeks we know maybe we could not. >> take a rules exam and see how much we do know. >> a lot more ahead on the nfl ref saga, hear what some redskins players have to say and our kristen berset talks with a usa today reporter who has been covering the lockout from the beginning. >> very nice evening, showers up north. we'll take you to the radar with all the showers up in pennsylvania. some showers still could make it to the metro area. we'll tell you when they'll roll in.
redskins earlier today to get their thoughts. >> i don't know. it would be a new experience for me. i've never experienced the original refs, so we'll see. maybe we'll get so more calls. maybe things will be cleaned up a little bit, but i'm not going to get my hopes up too high. you never know what can happen with those kind of situations, but it will be a new thing for me and i'm sure the guys will be pretty pumped about that. >> going into game personally i'm not really thinking about the refs. i'm just trying to play within the rules of the game. they're going to call what they're going to call. as players we really have no say-so. we can't even go and talk to the refs really. we just got to play the game. >> just got to play the game, a little tough, though, with the bad calls and what culminated into monday night's debacle and sparking a flurry of negotiations. our kristen berset talked with usa today's gary minhokis about the process. >> we're definitely closer to
seeing this mess come to an end than a week ago. joining me now in studio, a man who has extensively covered the lockout gary minhokis from usa today. let's start with the call at end of the seattle/green bay game monday. is it fair to say that was the tipping point? >> it was a pretty crazy sunday. i think that might have been enough, about the that was the last game of the weekend, the last play and i think it pretty much was the last straw. >> we've had two, almost three coaches already fined from this weekend. so if that didn't do it, then yes, this catch definitely would have pushed that. where do they stand right now? >> well, there are good hints of progress, but as we've seen in these disputes in the past, it's never a deal till it's done and they have had significant issues with things like their pensions, their pay, their working conditions. hopefully they'll iron out a
lot of things and they'll be signing on the dotted line in a few days. >> whether they're back this weekend or next within or whatever, we know pretty much they're going to come back, but in regards to the real refs, they're not perfect either. we've heard for years players always complaining about calls that they've made or calls they missed. so if they come back, they'll be under the microscope. i feel like players can't complain as much as they used to. i don't know how you feel about the situation when the real refs come back. >> well, i think when they do come back, they'll be greeted like old lost friends. i think we'll want to hug them and then i think that will be over the first time they throw a flag we don't like and we and the players and the coaches will be on their backs again. i think the good thing is we'll be stirred up about those kind of things, not the fact that they incorrectly spotted the ball and gave somebody a 27- yard penalty instead of a 15- yarder. >> if they come back this
weekend, that doesn't affect the ravens and browns. they play tomorrow night. they still have to have the replacement refs. is that unfair for them? >> well, i was thinking about that. i watch a lot of golf and i always think it's unfair what i golfer plays in the morning when the conditions are lousy. then other guys go out in the afternoon when scoring is easy, but hey, fair, who cares? you got to live with it. as far as complaining as you mentioned, complaining is getting expensive. bill belichick and john fox, kyle shanahan were hit in the pocketbooks. maybe it could be one last night of farewell for the replacements before they head off to small college football. >> maybe if they just played the game the way it's supposed to be played and they don't have to leave it up to the refs. gary, we really appreciate you coming in. you'll be on top of this. thanks so much. derek, back to you. >> topper will be back with your full forecast when we come back.
you're back on 9. here's a look at our live weather cam brought to you by michael and son. beautiful evening, 82, high 84, dew points low 60s, pressure up a bit, 30.08 inches of mercury. satellite picture radar combined, here's our frontal boundary with all the showers and storms and most of the showers and storms peeling from ohio directly into pennsylvania. that said there's another little batch into west virginia. i think some of those will clip our northern suburbs later
tonight. we'll keep the chance of a shower or thunderstorm in until about the midnight hour. temperatures are still very nice. you have a few more hours of dry weather to enjoy. it's 77 in great falls, fairfax, 79 arlington. it's 82 in college park and 76 in bowie. so front will hang around for a while. get used to it. storms mainly north tonight. it stays mild, a shower or thunderstorm possible again tomorrow because the front is still to our north and west and then showers linger on friday because the front will kind of bisect the metro area friday. futurecast 7:00 tonight most of the showers are north of us. we get into midnight. this is the batch of showers and storms that could kind of clip gaithersburg and frederick between 10:00 and 11:00. that goes away. then we're in good shape, sunshine returning. clouds may linger to the north, but take your shades thursday to work. we do run the risk of another shower or thunderstorm especially as we get into evening hours, about 24 hours from now. right now the computers are
picking up down to the south and west by culpeper. we'll remain unsettled a while. next three days looks like this. codes will be all green, still warm tomorrow, a couple storms, 80, do not change your plans and then 78 friday, a few showers, a little less sun friday and a little more sun saturday with just a few showers, temperatures in the mid-70s. if you are going to the ravens game tomorrow night, looks great, a slight chance of a shower but warm, temperatures in the 60s and mid-70s during the game. next seven days we'll keep a drop on saturday and sunday, but i think all the little league games, soccer games, all that will get in, temperatures generally in the mid-70s. then next week fantastic, nats back in town, low 70s monday, back to the mid-70s tuesday and back to the upper 70s wednesday. >> morning bike rides saturday? >> i think you could do that, yes. >> like to hear that. we'll be back in a minute.
in the mailbag tonight reaction to our decision last night to lead off our 11:00 news with the story on the nfl referee lockout. greg apparently of no particular address wants to know did you forget about that murder suicide down in virginia? on tonight's tease for the 11 p.m. news the announcer described channel 9news on the scene of the home where four family members were found dead. he continued to say that reporters were there talking to neighbors to find out what really happened intimating they're going to give new info. all that aside channel 9 leads the broadcast with the story of the nfl's replacement referees' botched call. come on, derek, where are your true priorities? greg, it's a fair question. we were on the scene of that tragic situation and fried our level best to get new information -- tried our level best to get new information, but we just didn't have any by the end of the night. so then the choice is lead with the important story but 1 that hasn't changed at all or lead with new info on the story
everybody is talking about. meantime on the wusa9 facebook page there was this on the prospect of a deal to end that lockout of nfl refs. sharon cooper writes week one should have ended this. i was afraid one of those helmet to helmet noncalls would take out a high dollar player before those greedy owners would do the right thing, but elizabeth putnam is apparently not amused. so many more important things in the world than this. sure there are, but let's be real. important and interesting, not always the same thing. however, kyla harold worries. where do all the other refs go off to? until they have an agreement, i'm not paying attention to this. >> i can't say i blame you, but i hope you're paying attention to mcginty's mailbag. the address around here is firstname.lastname@example.org. we've got another quick look at your seven-day forecast. top? >> a shower, thunderstorm possible later tonight and the next seven days got to keep a chance of a shower or storm in tomorrow thursday, but still
warm, up to 80 tomorrow. we were 84 today. if you're going to the ravens game, it looks nice, game time temperatures in the mid-70s, maybe falling to the upper 60s before the game is over. notice we have drops friday, saturday, sunday, but don't cancel your bike rides. i think it will be okay, upper 70s friday, mid-70s over the weekend. >> appreciate the update, sir. appreciate you being here and i'll be back here along with topper and anita at 11:00, so we'll see you then. have a great evening. bye bye. "entertainment tonight," the
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