East Texas officials react to replacement refs gaffe

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The frustration over the NFL debacle during Monday Night Football spread throughout America at record pace thanks to social media. The words 'joke, ridiculous, WWE, terrible, and XFL' were seen throughout twitter and facebook, and those were the nice and censored posts.

With the game between the Packer and Seahawks on the line and coming down to a hail mary pass the highly criticized replacement referees made a questionable call. The game felt like it was given to Seattle rather than earned, and NFL fans have been irate since the replay decision.

Tuesday Big-12 official and Lufkin native Cooper Castleberry spoke about the lack of communication on that final play between the refs.

"The two officials that were standing there didn't seem to talk at all," said Castleberry, who is gearing up for yet another college game himself this weekend. "One should have asked the other what do you have before he ever even gave the touchdown signal. He should have asked what did you see."

But the ref didn't and headlines were written across the country casting these officials in a negative light. But is that fair? One East Texan with 25 years of experience as an official says the refs were put in an impossible position.

"They're doing I think the best that they can do in the situation that they have been put in," said Barry Barnett of Tyler. "There are seven officials on the field and they are all rookies. So guess what? You are going to have seven rookies making rookie mistakes."

Castleberry said Tuesday, it's not fair to expect these refs to be able to keep up with the speed the NFL demands, when their only previous experience was at low college levels or less.

"For a ref to go from the biggest game he has ever had is Tarleton State, and then go work Dallas and Washington, it is light years of difference," said Castleberry. "I really feel sorry for them because they just aren't prepared for the speed or the size or the things that go on."

According to Sports Illustrated the Officials Union and the NFL met again on Tuesday. But even after the embarrassing result of Monday's game there has been no change in negotiations.

What are your thoughts on the replacement refs?

Will you watch NFL games this weekend, or are you going to turn away because of officiating?

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