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The 2011 NFL season is under way!

We’re less than two hours from the opening night kick-off — the NFL is back!

We’re still sorting out the referee assignments for this weekend, but we know that Clete Blakeman and his crew will be working the New Orleans/Green Bay game tonight.  It should be a great one to watch.

We’ll keep filling out the full week 1 assignment page, which is almost complete already so leave a comment over there if you know of any other confirmed assignments.  Enjoy the game tonight!

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Jerry Jones fined $25K for comments about the referees

Just days after Saints’ coach Sean Payton was fined $15,000 for ripping the officials, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been fined $25,000 for a similar offense.

Jones had made comments about Ed Hochuli‘s famous week one mistake in the Broncos-Chargers game.  Jones admits he was out of line, saying that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is “doing his job”.

Jones was fined more than Payton because owners are held to a higher standard.  Chargers coach Norv Turner was not fined for referring to the blown call as “unacceptable”, since he limited himself to that single word and referred all other questions about the matter to the league office.

Saints coach Sean Payton fined $15K for criticizing officials

According to ESPN, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has been fined $15,000 by the NFL for criticizing the officals after last week’s 34-32 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Specifically, Payton was upset that an obvious neutral zone infraction wasn’t called with 2:40 left in the game.  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear to all teams that they are welcome to talk to him about officiating problems, but any public criticism (like Payton’s) will result in disciplinary action.

The referee in the Saints-Broncos game last week was Ron Winter, though this call would have been the responsibility of his Head Linesman or Line Judge.