I said all along that as long as the NFL stupidly continues to employ replacement officials, the fill-ins were going to be exploited in every way possible. It comes as no surprise, then, that despite an edict issued prior to the start of Week 3 play on Thursday, a couple of coaches decided to try to take liberties. With disastrous results.
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, a former quarterback, should know better. With his team trailing Minnesota, Harbaugh scammed his way into two extra challenges, even though he was out of timeouts. Guess what? It didn't work, because the Niners lost anyway! Harbaugh lost both of his bogus challenges, exacerbating his team's plight. Figure, though, they'll get well in a hurry, since they've got the Jets next, and "Gang Green" lost their best defensive player, Darrelle Revis, for the season (torn ACL) today.
Bill Belichick, Public Enemy #1 around the league, except for, of course, New England, got physical with a ref after the Patriots lost to Baltimore. His gripe? Justin Tucker's game winning field goal, he felt, wasn't good after all. Who's he trying to fool? For the Ravens, it was a case of sweet vindication, after getting screwed by the Patriots (and the regular officials) 8 months ago. Belichick claims he doesn't think he'll be fined. Oh, really? Again, who's he trying to fool? Absolutely no one! Belichick was overdue for a set of Weasel ears anyway.
The only reason Harbaugh's getting a pair as well is because he left his integrity at the box office and decided to try a scam that was doomed to fail. I already handed out a Dunce Cap for week 3, but this goes beyond stupidity. This was brazen, the kind of scam you'd expect from, oh, I don't know? Belichick? (Of course)
And you wonder why the NFL Players Association is pleading with the owners to end the lockout?