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posted: 9/28/2012 5:01 AM

For NFL, mistake-free officiating not possible

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  • NFL referee Gene Steratore was picked to lead a seven-man crew of regular officials in calling Thursday night's game between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. The union and league agreed to a new deal at midnight Thursday.

      NFL referee Gene Steratore was picked to lead a seven-man crew of regular officials in calling Thursday night's game between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. The union and league agreed to a new deal at midnight Thursday.
    Associated Press/2009 file

By Mike North
The Rebel Insider

Every Sunday night on Fox Sports radio and XM 169, I have a segment with Mike Pereira, the former NFL head of officials who has become the resident Fox TV guru when it comes to rules and regulations in the NFL.

Last year, Mike and I had no problem filling time with mistakes by the regular officials.

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Before we say bon voyage to the replacement officials, I want to set the facts straight. And in doing so, I must take on a lot of the people who do what I do for a living.

It seems the four-letter sports network wants to have the final word. If you listened to the final call made by Mike Tirico in the Green Bay/Seattle game Monday night, you heard him make the same mistake the officials in the end zone made.

Tirico, who made a great call, says the word "simultaneously" when talking about the reception. When they show it now, all you see is the video with no audio.

Tirico did change his mind, but his first reaction was the same as the officials. He has monitors in the booth, so we can't use distance as an excuse.

By definition it was a catch, regardless of what happened on the ground. The NFL backed the refs and stuck to their guns, but it has been a classic case of piling on ever since.

I've heard on various outlets that the replacement refs were a complete tragedy.


I watch almost every game on Sunday and I saw 10 to 12 games being well officiated. The glaring problem was with the three or four games each week that had worse-than-bad officiating. We're talking horrible, and the NFL cannot afford so many games to have subpar officiating.

The best part, however, is the ratings are still through the roof, and the NFL is making a ton of dollars.

Take it from me, I don't believe Roger Goodell could run a hot-dog stand.

Can the Sox get hot?

It's nervous times for Chicago White Sox fans because the team is struggling with consistency right now.

After playing great for five months, the Sox have unfortunately hit the wall.

Where have you gone Paul Konerko, Sox nation turns its lonely eyes to you. With Konerko hitting .244 in September and over the last week just .174, we need the captain to get hot.

In the meantime, look for Jerry Reinsdorf to address the dwindling attendance numbers. For the sixth straight season, the White Sox have experienced a decline in attendance averaging 24,000. Those numbers are unacceptable in this market, especially with the team having such a good year.


My wife, Be-Be, and I are pretty proud we are celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary on Monday. Wow! Also, congratulations to my good friend Dick Portillo on the grand opening of his newest location in New Lennox.

NFL picks

I finished 1-2 last week, putting my overall record at 3-5-1 through the third week of the NFL season.

Let's go with Minnesota (+5) versus Detroit. I think the Detroit D is oversold.

I like Cincinnati (-1 ) over Jacksonville. The Bengals are for real.

Buffalo (+4) is my pick over New England. The Pats are losing magic, but they'll win by just a field goal.

Program note

I'm sitting in tonight (Friday evening) from 2-6 p.m. on Fox Sports radio. Listen in on XM169, iHeart radio or

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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