NFL Preseason 2012: Jim Harbaugh on the Confusion of NFL Replacement Referees

Colan Lamont@clamontsportAnalyst IIAugust 19, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 10: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter during an NFL pre-season football game at Candlestick Park on August 10, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Matt Maiocco of reports that San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was left perplexed by some of the decisions made by the interim refs in San Francisco's Week 2 preseason game against the Houston Texans.

Harbaugh had earlier said in a Q&A session that he would avoid talking about the officiating, but in that typical ninja style of his, he sent some cryptic messages regarding the capabilities of the replacement refs:

I don't know. It's interesting. I don't have the pulse on this game. What was it exactly? Us? Them? Some crazy, wild calls. Were they accurate? Weren't they? We'll see. I have a headache (from yelling), though. I have a darned headache. A lot of [the calls] didn't seem like they were in the ballpark.

I don't think any of what he said was actually that bad, but it probably does go against what has been requested by the NFL.

Mike Freeman of reports that a memo was sent out instructing NFL organizations to play nice. The memo reads, in part:

[I]t's imperative that your entire organization welcomes these officials and provides them with an environment that maximizes their training opportunities and encourages their development.

But Harbaugh's bewilderment at some of the decisions isn't that surprising when you consider some other poor, high-profile calls made by the replacement referees.

All in all, it's not very promising for teams and fans when you consider these apparently inept officials could be controlling games for a fair bit of the regular season. reports that Harbaugh even said to CBS sideline reporter Verne Gagne, "Fighting a lot of people here tonight."

He could have been discussing something else, but it's likely he was taking a dig at some of the strange calls by the officials.

Poor timekeeping and strange holding calls seem to be the most publicised poor decisions made by the refs last night, but I think the blatant ignorance toward pass interference was even worse. I could maybe get into double digits when recalling times that the secondaries of both teams could have had calls made against them.

It sure will be fun to see how Harbaugh uses his words if he has to put up with these replacement refs too far into the season.