NFL on Fox rules analyst Mike Pereira has one of the most interesting Twitter feeds in sports. He's constantly interacting with followers and answering questions during games about certain plays and refereeing decisions. On Twitter, Pereira again shows why he's been one of the most innovative and effective hires in the sports media in the last five years.
Given Pereira's history as the NFL's VP of Officiating and his current pundit role at Fox, he's in a unique position to comment on the refereeing crisis facing the league. In last week's podcast with Curt Menefee, we talked about the furor over replacement refs as being a bit overrated, but that changed Monday night. The Falcons-Broncos game was a mess and there were several glaring errors. When that's piled on a ref actually being taken off the Saints-Panthers game for being a Saints fan and a ref telling Lesean McCoy about his fantasy team, it's time to get the real refs back.
Pereira took to Twitter Monday night and blasted the replacement refs, retweeting replies from angry followers fed up with the nonsense. And, what made it all the better was Pereira had some vodka by his side while railing against the situation the league and Roger Goodell has made for itself.
Pereira also has a column at FoxSports.com saying it's time for the circus to stop. He's right. Monday night's game was so bad, Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden were openly criticizing the referees and condemning the spectacle on display. Tirico is one of the straightest of straight play by play men in sports, so viewers should know how dire the situation is when he's the one vocalizing concerns about officiating. Similarly, the relentlessly positive Gruden even took a few shots at the ugly football on hand. Making a mistake here and there is one thing, but counting off 11 yards for 5 yard penalties and awarding fumbles to teams that don't have the ball is where the line in the sand has to be drawn. But hey, it's all in the name of player safety and the integrity of the game, right Rog?