Shane Lechler Explains His Displeasure For Replacement Refs And How They Refused To Let Him Use A Kicking BallSeptember 27, 2012 – 9:00 am by Steven Cuce
Although the NFL referee lockout came to a close overnight, that doesn’t change the fact that the replacement officials blew a call on a walk-off Hail Mary that cost the Green Bay Packers a football game. The displeasure for the replacement officials’ performance continues to grow by the day.
Count Shane Lechler on the list. The Oakland Raiders punter was even surprised with how bad the replacement officials got over the past three weeks.
Shane Lechler joined 95.7 The Game in San Francisco with The Wheelhouse to discuss the NFL’s replacement officials steadily getting worse week-by-week and a replacement official refusing to let him use a punter’s football during the game against the Miami Dolphins two weeks ago. (Editor’s Note: This interview took place before the agreement between the NFL and NFLRA.)
What do you think about the replacement officials over the past three weeks?
“Going through Week 1, we felt these guys, they haven’t been around the game and they don’t know the speed, they’ll get better and better as we go on. They’ve absolutely gotten worse and worse and worse. I mean it’s a total disrespect to the game, I think. For something like that to happen to the Packers and, granted if you are a Seattle fan you are probably as happy as you can be, but to be true to the football game there’s no way that was a touchdown.”
What is it like on the field with the replacement officials? Is it complete anarchy?
“Well it’s become that. My first punt down in Miami, if you were watching the game, of course I saw it because on the first punt of the game, the guy refused to put the kicking ball in the game. Then you go and kick a quarterback ball, with me being the punter, you only touch the ball for about a second. There’s no way to know. I tried to hit the punter’s ball and all throughout the pre-game, I hit that ball to the 10, 8-yard line and I hit that quarterback ball and you know they are not nearly as good as the kicker’s ball. The ball went through the 25-yard line and I went down there and got the ball. I explained to the refs, ‘Can you guys just at least show enough respect to get the kicking ball?’ The guy [replacement referee] looked dead at me and goes, ‘Dude, does it really matter?’ I had a lot of choice words for him after that.”
The replacement referee said those words to you about the kicking ball?
“Well, they fumbled it on the sideline a little bit. So they just threw a ball in and it wasn’t a kicker’s ball and just threw a ball in. … That’s like trying to kick a spiral with a pencil. It’s impossible.”