Two of the NFL’s replacement officials who worked the first seven weeks of the NFL season (including preseason) appeared on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” Wednesday night to share some of their experiences. As expected, Jim Core and Wayne Elliott had a number of interesting stories to share with the show’s viewers, including accounts of players who swore at them and fans who left them voicemails telling them to kill themselves.
One particularly interesting piece of info came when the officials were asked who the most difficult coach to deal with was. With little hesitation, Core singled out Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano.
“He’s college,” Core explained. “The rest of them acted at a different level. You could just tell working with them that they were at a different level than what I felt he was at.”
A lot of NFL coaches would agree that Schiano is still “college,” as evidenced by the outrage he has caused by instructing his players to play hard until the final whistle under any circumstances. But with all the yelling and insults replacement refs had to hear, that says a lot that Core was able to single out one head coach.
Elliott, who was the official who made the announcement that the Seahawks Hail Mary stood as called on the field, said he received hundreds of angry voicemails from Wisconsin fans but one admirable one from Mike McCarthy. He said McCarthy told him he handled himself with class whether he agreed with the call or not.
Surprisingly enough, both officials said they would do it again if they had the chance. Some of their coworkers have said they were nothing but pawns in a business deal, but it sounds like Elliott and Core were willing to accept that for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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