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The 2016 season is here!

The 2016 season is finally here, and week one is nearly complete.

What do you think of the job the refs are doing so far in this young season?

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Bill Vinovich returns to the field in Week 6!

Exciting news today for officiating fans, as Bill Vinovich will once again don a white hat for this weekend’s game between the Lions and Eagles.

Vinovich last worked in the 2006 season, and retired before 2007 due to his health.  At that time, John Parry took his place.

This information was learned by Football Zebras, an allied site whose founder Ben regularly contributes assignments here at Football-Refs.

While Football-Refs puts all of its focus on assignments (and will continue to do so), Football Zebras focuses heavily on news and discussion.  If you’re interested in officiating news, discussion about specific calls or opinion articles, Football Zebras comes highly recommended!

How big of a deal will it be to have replacement referees for a few games?

It’s sounding more and more likely that the NFL will have to use replacement referees for the first few weeks of the regular season, as the NFL and the NFL Referees Association are continuing to fail to make progress toward a new deal.

How bad will this be?  Big deal, small deal, or no problem at all?

Bill Leavy apologizes for mistakes in 2006 Super Bowl

A few years too late, Bill Leavy has apologized for mistakes he made in the 2006 Super Bowl though he hasn’t said exactly which calls he is referring to.

There are a handful of calls that are in dispute, but none that were outlandishly bad as we’ve seen in a variety of games in recent years.  Here’s a good clip that covers most of them from Super Bowl XL:

What do you think?  Which calls is he referring to?

Mike Pereira, Head of NFL Officials, to retire

According to ESPN, Mike Pereira is set to retire at the end of this season.  The 59-year-old Pereira has been a very open and well-liked chief, and he’ll be returning to California with wife to enjoy his retirement.  This decision was made during the previous off-season and had nothing to do with any of the controversies of this season.

No successor has yet been named.

Did Wilbur Hackett Jr. intentionally tackle SC QB Stephen Garcia

There is a lot of talk about bad calls from this past weekend, but the play getting the most attention is when umpire Wilbur Hackett Jr. collided with South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia.  Depending on who you ask, it was either intentionally and very inappropriate, or it was just an unfortunate collision.

The SEC, along with SC coach Steve Spurrier, have cleared Hackett of any wrongdoing.  When I saw the play live, it looked that way to me as well.  If someone was coming at me, instinct would be to raise my arm and deflect the blow.

However, slow-motion replays tell a somewhat different story.  They make it look more like it was intentional, so I don’t know what to think.

The video is below.  What do you think?

Hochuli unsure about working this Sunday?

It seems that Ed Hochuli may be considering taking a week off, based on a small change on his “official” website.

As of yesterday, the site proudly proclaimed that Ed would be working the Browns-Ravens game this Sunday.  Today, that message changed to:

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 21st – Check back Sunday Morning

I’ll admit — this might not mean anything.  Still, I find it quite odd that they’d take down the game listing at this point in time.

Mike Pereira, the NFL’s supervisor of officials, has already come out and encouraged Ed to get back out there.  Between that, Ed’s apology, no suspension from the league, and the listing on his site, I assumed he was good go to.  Maybe not.

Anyone have any good information about this?  If so, please leave it in the comments below.