NFL Replacement Refs Under Fire

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Photo: Erik S. Lesser/EPA/Landov
After two weeks of intense media scrutiny and considerable verbal abuse from both players and coaches, the NFL replacement officials received some extra backing from the league on Sept. 20 in the form of a memorandum. The league has been contacting teams and warning them that if the replacement officials are not respected, fines or even suspensions could be forthcoming. Several games, most notably last Monday night's between the Broncos and Falcons, have been marred by the officials misapplying the rule book and missing some blatant penalties. More and more players have started to sound off in the wake of games that are noticeably chipper, more physical, and at times seemingly uncontrollable.

Atlanta coach Mike Smith and wide receiver Roddy White bark at referee Dwayne Strozier during the Monday night mess against Denver.

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