CFL admits it made mistakes on two ‘close calls’ in Ticats playoff loss to Esks

The CFL has acknowledged its officials made two separate mistakes on a key play late in Hamilton Tiger-Cats loss to the Edmonton Eskimos in last Sunday’s East Semi-Final.

Both calls came on the same play late in the fourth quarter with the game time tied at 21. Ticat quarterback Zach Collaros completed a pass before taking a hit from Edmonton defensive end Odell Willis. A holding penalty against offensive tackle Brandon Revenberg negated the 17-yard gain and Hamilton challenged the hit on Collaros, looking for roughing the passer, but were denied by the replay official.

CFL vice president of football Glen Johnson said Wednesday the calls “do not meet the standard” set by the league.

On the issue of roughing the passer, Johnson said the league’s review process determined that replay official Jeff Harbin erred by not upholding the Ticats’ challenge against Willis.

“It was extremely close but when we go through it, we compare it to other ones we’ve called this season and I would have preferred that it would have been ruled differently,” Johnson said. “At the time, the replay official didn’t believe the hit was late but when we go back and look at the variety of different angles it’s clear that it’s within the tolerance we have for being called based on our video standards.”

Similarly, umpire Adam Paradowski, a four-year veteran from Moncton, New Brunswick, should not have flagged Revenberg for his block on the Eskimos’ Phillip Hunt.

“As the quarterback moves in the pocket, the official gets blocked out and by the time he gets the angle back, he sees the end of it and believes that’s enough for the holding call,” Johnson said. “But our standard is that we need to see the entire action.”

The result of the play should have given the Ticats a first down at their own 52-yard line with with just over 90 seconds on the clock. Hamilton had the wind in the fourth quarter and kicker Brett Maher tied the game with an 86-yard single just a few minutes earlier.

Instead, facing second-and-14 from their own 10-yard line, Collaros threw an interception on the next play. Edmonton kicked a field to win the game on the ensuing series. The loss ended Hamilton’s season.

“I don’t think that one play in one game affects the outcome. It affected the outcome of that play but there are many other things that go in to determining the outcome of a game,” Johnson said. “I think our guys do an excellent job under difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, both these things happened on one play.”

This is the second time this season the outcome of a Ticat game has been significantly impacted by errors in officiating acknowledged by the league.

In an October game against Ottawa, a botched replay call allowed the the Redblacks to retain possession of an apparent fumble and kick the game-winning field goal on the next play. The loss dealt a significant blow to Hamilton’s chances of winning the East Division, which was ultimately claimed by the Redblacks.

The official involved in that decision, Jeff Harbin, was also responsible for the error made on Sunday.

“There’s always concerns when we don’t get things right and it’s my job to make sure that we keep reducing errors – I’m as accountable for this as anybody,” Johnson said. “I think our officiating on the field has gotten measurable better – I’ve got that feedback from clubs and fans and now we have to ensure that we have replay in the right spot.

“These are very, very close calls.”

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1312 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

149 Comments on CFL admits it made mistakes on two ‘close calls’ in Ticats playoff loss to Esks

  1. So the Cats “corrected for officiating” record is 8-10 on the season and they are on the eastern final. Ouff. But I guess that one must give the league credit for owning their error. Will the replay official be fired?

    • They should have admitted to the Charleston Hughes hit as intent to injure.

    • CFL:DEAR cats fans we erred and stole on purpose first place then the chance of this year’s Grey Cup
      This Fan: dear CFL I erred in spending 3K on your league this year. But I’ve learned. Now you admitted this you get to have two more empty seats at GC. Btw your league I’ve loved more than anything cept family, sucks shit! I’m outa here. By 3down by cfl

  2. manny oliveira // November 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm //

    An embarrassment to us Ticat fans! Just save your sorry’s! these missed calls cost us an EF game 2 yrs counting and now and ESF this year! It’s easy to sorry, fix your officiating CFL! ASAP! Your killing us fans and taking $$ out of our owners BOB YOUNGS pocket! This has become a serious issue and needs resolving NOW! Commish balls in your field! And you better be a TigerTown buying us Ticat fans drinks all GreyCup weekend!

    • Were winning touchdowns called back as a result of these calls? NO! Get out of here

      • We will never know what the impact would have been, will we?

        Collaros could have thrown the INT anyway or the Cats could have been the team to kick a last second FG or single to win.

        If they’ve have been on their own 20 or so – then I could understand the your skeptism.

      • So kyle….. You don’t see the differece between being 1st and 10 on the 52 with 90 seconds on the clock, wind at your back and a timeout. AND being 2nd and 14 at the 10 with no timeouts???!!! How stupid are you? Don’t answer….. rhetorical question.

  3. If Johnson thinks RTP should have been called, then we have another long season of BS RTP calls in 2017. Zach was heard saying that he tried to sell it on CFL 30. As for the holding, it was a horrible call, and the Cats sure did get robbed. Even this Argo fan can admit that. Officiating needs an overhaul.

    • Video replay as reviewed by the league doesn’t take “selling it” into consideration. The league is admitting the error. Cost us in many ways. Could have had the Ticats fans filling the BMO stadium for Grey Cup.

    • Reasonable, but at the same time, just because someone was trying to sell a foul doesn’t mean that no foul was committed. I’m sure Johnson took that CFL 30 mic conversation into account. Collaros’ actions have no impact on whether or not Willis committed a penalty.

  4. UNBELIEVABLE!!! AGAIN!!! Probably cost the team first place and then an opportunity to compete in the EDF. Yes there were other plays that the Ticats should have made but this is TWICE late in the season and late in a game that officiating errors have negatively impacted the ability of the Ticats to continue (or be granted) scoring drives and possibly win those games. I haven’t heard of any other team in the league that has had as many bad calls against it that have hurt the team’s chances this season.

    • And if that’s not enough … twice if one counts last year that the CFL has admitted *two* goofs on the same play.

      As for the other teams – there have been a steady stream of those as well (ex. missing a force fumble in the BC – Winnipeg game, unnecessary roughness in the Montreal – Saskatchewan game etc.), it seems a broader issue than just Hamilton.

      At the of the day, hopefully a better O line, better defense and better play calling means the Cats can be the other team *and* the officials more regularly in 2017.

  5. It goes without saying that the poor officiating is affecting the outcome of games. However, when it is a game as important as a playoff game, the league must make it a priority to correct this. However, when the on-field officials make a mistake, it is 100% on the “Command Centre” and the replay official to make it right. They have the luxury of time and video playback. How can they be consistently incorrect? Acknowledging mistakes and apologies are meaningless if the problem isn’t corrected.

  6. I would have preferred them to just back up the calls at this point. It actually makes me so mad to hear them say this AGAIN. I have no doubt that we win that game if we got the ball at our 52 yard line. Oh well….I guess.

  7. CFL refs suck plain and simple. Need to attend school to learn the game.

  8. This is deplorable incompetence…or is it the League getting even with Kent Austin? Also, is this not the third time the twits have apologized for blowing a call against Hamilton? What a clown show!

  9. If Johnson preferred that the replay review was ruled differently why is he not in the command center as well? He can’t spare 6 hours to make sure the replay process is going properly? The replay booth is too small fore more than one person?

    • That is a good question … if Johnson is the gold standard, why isn’t in the replay booth for the the playoffs, at minimum?

      I can see where the regular season might be too much but the playoffs are a total of five games.

  10. The worst part is that Willis is a repeat offender. They also failed to address the fumble recovered by the Ti-Cats in the minute of the game. The apologies are an insult, this is happening too frequently and not just against the Ti-Cats.

  11. This season is testing the very limits of among even the most loyal of fans.
    Glen Johnson needs to be fired.
    Like, who the F is actually making the final decisions during replays?

  12. 3 Ticats games with negative impacts due to command centre errors in this season alone. Fix it or get rid of it. Human error is part of sports. Either include this as part of the game or do your job correctly at the command centre. The CFL can’t make this right by Ticats fans. Trying to grow the game in southern Ontario and they do this. Conspiracy theories say…

  13. Lindsay Wilcox // November 16, 2016 at 5:27 pm //

    Drew, can you please, use your contacts to advise/suggest to CFL re having Quality Management Officer>>> 1. to establish a yardstick of performance by on-field officials AND replay guys 2. to record/monitor ALL instances of errors in calls by on-field officials as determined by replay officials 3. to record and monitor ALL instances of errors by replay officials as determined by league admin. officials 4. then set up program of re-training for instances below the yardstick, THEN re-test before allowing to ref again 5. Following year, raise the bar and repeat.
    Please and thanks, it’s the only way to do it.

  14. Johnson is obviously an idiot. If he thinks that “one play doesn’t determine the outcome of a game,” he should read the part of your story that says if this play wasn’t completely misjudged by the officials, the Ticats not only wouldn’t have thrown the INT deep in their own end on the next play, but would also have almost been in range to kick the game winning field goal themselves!!!!! Furthermore, how many colossal mistakes does this Harbin clown get to make before he is fired/replaced????

    • While I would hope Collaros would be more careful with the ball, with a first down in hand – if the INT was a result of the hit, it may have happened anyway.

      Though – they might have tried a run to catch the Eskie defense off guard.

  15. Tremendously disappointing. The entire league can’t stand Andre Proulx and we Hamilton has suffered enough of his incompetence.

    • Stop crying about Andre Proulx. You know he had nothing to do with either of these calls, right?

      • Brian Lower // November 16, 2016 at 8:53 pm //

        Actually, that is his call. He is behind the QB watching for RTP. When KA challenged the call you can see Proulx shaking his head. He does not like Ambleton

    • Lennywasout // November 16, 2016 at 7:55 pm //

      It was not Proulx…he is a competent Referee. It’s the other officials that are useless.

      • While I would hope Collaros would be more careful with the ball, with a first down in hand – if the INT was a result of the hit, it may have happened anyway.

        Though – they might have tried a run to catch the Eskie defense off guard.

      • Keith Robbins // November 17, 2016 at 3:36 pm //

        Proulx is the worst official in the league and yes, he does make the call on RTP. Dave and Lennywasout are incorrect!

  16. I think Andy hit the nail on the head: with all the bullsh-t officiating that has taken place this year, the head of officiating could not spend an afternoon in the review center to make sure a playoff game is not negatively impacted by poor performance! Where is Glenn Johnson’s head at? And while I’m on this tangent, why isn’t the commissioner getting a little more involved, after all this is “his” league to run. I can’t believe that the owners couldn’t find a Canadian to run the league, someone with some history and skin in the game… well I love our Cats and think they had a heck of a year despite all of the adversity – injuries (sorry Jeff but this was the ‘Year of the Cast’ not the Cats) and the ridiculous officiating. Next year will be a 12 win – 6 loss season and will be the first of many true Year of the Cat! Til next season fellow fans…

    • Haha Proulx a competent official???? What games have you been watching for the last number of years????

      • Proulx is a competent official. In the end, his calls tend to be correct and fair. He’s just tragically unskilled at communicating why the calls were made.

        He is absolutely a buffoon, but in the end, he’s okay. But there’s no excuse for Harbin.

        • Marc Lebut // November 17, 2016 at 9:11 am //

          Maybe André Proulx’s alleged incompetence lies more in his name than in his calls.

          • Oh look…. a francophone playing the francophone card… how sweet. Nope…. this has NOTHING to do with his ethnicity and EVERYTHING to do with his incompetence. Comprendre?

        • If Proulx is so competent, how come he didn’t throw a flag on the Montreal defender who ran him over in the last game of the season?

          If he is allowed a judgment call (which he seems to think he had), did the official who threw the flag on Austin know he had the option to keep the flag in his pocket?

          In both cases, hitting the official was described as “accidental”.

  17. General Mayhem // November 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm //

    ‘Die hard’ fan here. Been going to Cats games since 2000 when I first moved to Hamilton. Season ticket holder. Got the autographs, jerseys, the cereal boxes, the Morreale Macaroni. Stickers on my car, Canadian football in my rear window. Sat in the stands alone in early 2000’s cheering on the team. Regularly bring new people, people who have never been to a cfl game before, to the games. I buy hot dogs and shirts and stupid little trinkets.

    I will not be renewing my tickets.

    1) Grey Cup ticket pricing fiasco, and my dealings with ‘customer service’ arms of the cfl

    2) Officiating errors that my 5 year old daughter gets right, but the officials get wrong. Important errors. Game breaking errors. Standings changing, playoff implicating, championship costing errors. I have seen the same apology on this page too many times in a row.

    Another thing my 5 year old daughter knows that the cfl doesn’t, is that what sorry actually means is ‘it won’t happen again’.

    I’ve decided to spend my football allowance next year on a college game or two in Michigan. I hate the American rules, but man, that looks like fun doesn’t it? I’m still going to cheer on my Cats, of course, but until the league smartens up, I think I’ll take my money (and my friends) elsewhere.

    • Marc Lebut // November 17, 2016 at 9:13 am //

      Die hard? Really?

      • I’ve done more die hard things that most if not all here, but I too am tired of giving my money to this bs cfl. Not the Cats, they are great, but to pay money towards these officials pay. Don’t think so.
        During playoff week, I have butterflies all week. During the Grey Cup weeks (one I spent 96 hours on a bus to be there for Cats in GC) I can’t hardly sleep all week. Yet, still… I’m not alone.
        Bad plays can be adjusted, injuries healed, players and coaches replaced, but what cannot be currently replaced is the entertainment value, that the cfl has allowed to nose dive to bush league bs

  18. “It was extremely close but when we go through it, we compare it to other ones we’ve called this season and I would have preferred that it would have been ruled differently,” Johnson said.”

    This suggests the “other ones” called this season were also borderline and should not have been called either!

  19. Steve Skuse // November 16, 2016 at 6:04 pm //

    It would almost appear that it was rigged so that Hamilton didn’t win, due to blatantly substandard reffing of the game.That one play did cost Hamilton the game, regardless. Had it been called properly, the Collaros may have chosen a different play for the next play, instead of throwing what turned out to be an interception. The reffing in the league is definitely substandard & needs to be improved considerably!!!

    • One correction … I don’t believe Collaros calls the plays, though I suspect he has the green light to audible.

      That said, I put it at 80% that the Cats find a way to win, if called correctly.

      I’d like to think with first down Austin would call a run to give Collaros more time to recover but I have seen some questionable calls on offense.

      Agree on needing improvement … I don’t think the problems can be 100% eliminated but I don’t recall seeing so many important blown calls in the league.

  20. It proves just how little Glen Johnson knows and highlights both his arrogance and incompetence when he says “I don’t think that one play in one game affects the outcome.”

    Damn right it does… if not for one play that the refs got wrong in three separate games the Ticats finish first in the east… and the Bombers finish second in the west…

    I wonder if Glen Johnson would tolerate such incompetence from his doctors or dentist or auto mechanic??? I guess If they say their sorry for performing the wrong operation or tooth extraction it’s OK it’s all good…

    I reall like @General Mayhem’s comments above… too bad we’re losing you but maybe if more people stood up against this BS the league might actually do something…

    I personally don’t know how to do it but I would definitely support an online petition addressed to Bob Young and the CFL Board of Governors demanding action…

    Another sad day for the CFL…

    Cheers… Snake

    • Snake, I’ve been reading your comments for a long time and are always spot on! Please start a petition and I will gladly sign it. Enough is enough!

    • Snake, I’ll sign it too!! With the technology, camera angles and right personnel, getting it right is not too much to ask!! You go man!! I’m all in!!

  21. I think Johnson is an idiot. There is no way Willis was late with that hit. It was bang bang. He hit him hard but not late and not high. It was hard because collaros was running towards the line as he threw.

    • You say “no way”, Johnson says “close but would prefer it had been called” and the colour commentators initially were saying RTP.

      Sorry … but “no way” implies it was an obvious situation, which it was not.

  22. Man I am so fuc#$n pissed right now there needs to be punishment from the league to the officials that not only screwed this game up but every other game this season . I think I would have not been told this …this one hurts man …

  23. I know we shouldnt take our anger out on the Cats but I cant continue to support this league the way things are run now. One STH here that won’t be renewing.

  24. I’ve only been following the Ticats after attending my first game at the ol Ivor Wynne in 2010. I love the atmosphere of the games in the Hammer and trek down at least 3-4 times each year from Scarborough. That being said, after closely following the team for an entire season and of course, spending money, why would I subject myself and my son to a defective product? I mean, when you closely follow a team for an entire season, you grow attached to them, but then to have the league on many different occasions admit they erred at the command center level, it becomes apparent that it may not be the ideal league to follow. Unfortunately, that’s where I stand today. My sentiments may change by training camp, but it’s puzzling to say the least.

  25. Oh yeah one more thought…

    The CFL is a QB driven league… they are the most important player on the field and the CFL’s most valuable assets… they should be protected at all cost… especially from hits that have the intent to injure…

    Anything that closely resembles RTP should always be called in favour of the QB… and the penalty for flagrant RTP should include ejection from the game… this way defenders might be less likely to intentionally injure opposing QBs…

    Just saying…

    Cheers… Snake

    • What makes me wonder about the Stampeder hit on Collaros is that Cat defenders have been called where literally a few fingers grazed the helmet.

      Yet ensuring one lands on top of Collaros, where he is already falling away is okay.

      Funny but Rule 7, Article 4, part A says “Contacting the passer in an unnecessary manner, including stuffing him to the ground, violently throwing him to the ground, and landing on him with most of the defender’s weight”.

    • Willis an Hughes are damaging the brains of their fellow players.Collaro’s may suffer from brain injury the rest of his life. SCREW FOOTBALL…..FOOTBALL players LIVES do matter!

  26. the officials and even the replay guys were brutal this year…they may have cost the Cats 2 more wins during the season and maybe this playoff win…and the Tigercats werent the only games they screwed up on…Collaros got hit late in another game and the officials never called it, suppose to be protecting QB’s…and poor players dont make much as it is and the refs may have screwed them out of a chance at Grey Cup $$$…

  27. Debbie hiltner // November 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm //

    Hi folks. .

    What is the CFL going to do about it..NOTHING. …they are just admitting what they can’t lie about

  28. It’s pretty bad we get messes over again from cfl officiating. Cfl is byest against the ticats after Austin’s incident with ref. These refs need to go go back to ref school and learn the rules of their own league. TOO FUNNY

  29. i have suggested this and so have others: have johnson call the shots at the command centre. it’s that simple.
    if his subordinates are not able to calibrate what they see to what falls within the paramaters of an infraction, then have johnson do it himself, rather than have another lamentable sad-ass sorry delivered mid-week. if calls are to be measured in large part to benchmarks supplied by johnson, then have johnson make the calls. all the calls.
    this proven-unsatisfactory status quo (harbin/ireland) system has cost the tiger-cats an eastern final home game (and bye), and then gets us knocked out of the ESF.
    this is ludicrous and unsustainable and unprofessional. too much is at stake — other posters have tallied the costs! — for this to be allowed to continue.

  30. I understand that human error is a part of the game…but as well there need to be appropriate consequences and hopefully lessons learned to prevent further mistakes…I just don’t any evidence of the latter and so Senior CFL leadership need to be held accountable

  31. If Glen Johnson is not fired,the Cats can keep my deposit for my 2017 season tickets and i am done.

  32. Sad to see some people saying they may not renew their season tickets next year but that’s exactly how I felt when leaving the game on Sunday. The CFL should be very concerned about the horrible officiating costing teams loyal fans who can’t take it anymore. I’m probably going to renew because I don’t think it’s fair that the Ticats lose customers because of officiating. But the CFL better do something soon to improve officiating if they want to considered a professional league …..start with the firing of the video official who ripped off the Ticats twice.

  33. I don’t like being s__t on. And that’s exactly what the CFL expects to get away with in their comments of ‘sorry’ to the hard working fans that pay to see a professional football game! This is NOT right!
    The CFL comments wreak of the stink of the S__T they just flung in our faces once more. Guess what? Sorrys not good enough this time.
    Andre Proulx could barely get the calls out of his mouth on Sunday on SO many occasions it was comical…repeating himself…saying the wrong team…he looked desperate at times to make sense of the situation and desperate to verbalize what he wanted to say. Watch the game again and decide for yourself.
    The fans of the CFL see a product that could be great…but you are destroying that notion with such bush league statements and decisions.
    Believe me I know…because I get made fun of everyday in my workplace for devouring ANY interest, time, or money into it. It’s beyond laughable this year. It’s time to make this right! Hamilton has a working class image and PROUD OF it! It doesn’t mean we’re stupid, CFL. Too bad you think you’re better than the fans that deserve to be shown respect rather than your S__T.

  34. The CFL cannot undo what has transpired, but it is time to look forward to avoid this scenario in the future. Here are some suggestions:
    a)either fix the situation at the ‘command centre’ or do away with it
    b)since video review is not going away, some changes need to be made. At the command centre itself, it appears that the decisions are in the hands of one person – there needs to be three at minimum to reach a concensous or at worst 2/3 decision. (Sorry CFL, you are going to have to pay some off-duty officials, or have local CIS officials if necessary: consider it on-the-job training).
    c)eliminate the contacting the receiver review. If the on-field team sees it great, if not let it go.
    The whole process should be reviewed in depth by the CFL with input from all parties including Management, Coaches and most importantly the Players.
    I’ve been following the CFL since 1967 and can honestly say this is the worst I have seen in terms of the magnitude of the calls made (or not made as the case may be.
    Please get this right!

  35. HEADS should roll….people NEED to be held to account and should be FIRED.
    Plain and simple.
    Starting with Glen Johnson, then next up the freak in the Command Centre.
    Saying “we are sorry” just does not cut it…period.

  36. Lennywasout // November 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm //

    The NFL officiating has become as bad. They too do not have full time officials who’s livelihood depends on being competent. Part time people who have a finacial fall back to a day job have little fear of losing their part time jobs. They don’t need it.
    Hire full time officials. Pay them a decent salary. Fire those who don’t cut it.
    Charge every team a set amount to support this. We fans will end up paying through our ticket purchases but I don’t know any other way than fear of losing the job your using to live on.

  37. It’s interesting that the CFL never acknowledged the officiating errors on their own site … At least nothing that I could find as at 7:45pm 16/11/2016.

    It’s time that the CFL commissioner, Jeffrey Orridge, apologised to outraged Ticat fans for the repeated incompetence of his officiating staff. We’ve had just about enough of him and his gang of ‘nincompoop’ officials.

  38. All CFL teams and a lot of NFL teams have been hooped by poor officiating. Missed calls, ghost calls and ongoing inconsistency off calls are problems experienced in both leagues. And. The solution is the same for both leagues … invest time and money into our officials who have such a significant bearing on our great game.

  39. Phil Nicholson // November 16, 2016 at 8:28 pm //

    Ya’ know, I don’t recall these issues and related angst before the advent of video replay, command centres, and all that jazz. I was much happier in the earlier days of shitty officiating without the added layers of complexity that have done NOTHING to improve the officiating or the quality of the game. Games are longer than ever and the reviews and challenges have sucked the life out of a previously fun game. Welcome to NFL North.

    • A lot of the smaller stuff may be from the ability of the fans through PVRs or YouTube to see the controversial plays.

      At the same time, I can recall Dieter Brock being incensed after the 1983 EDF where a Cat defender was called to wipe out an INT and I am sure Ottawa Rough Rider fans recall that where they should have had the completion to Gabriel to set them up to run out the clock, penalties were called on *both* the receiver (Gabriel) and the defender.

      I agree that either the extra layers need to be fixed as well as shortened or just drop them all together.

  40. Because of the number and magnitude of the errors against the Ticats this season, is it possible that Young, Austin, et al. somehow financially benefit from these “errors”? I can’t understand how Young doesn’t publically speak out against the league or better yet, just take his ball and go home. I’m thinking if I’m the owner, I lose my mind and want some recompense behind closed doors. Otherwise, what’s the point of owning a team which doesn’t get calls until after fact and furthermore, a team which isn’t given a Grey Cup game to host.

    Not one for conspiracies, but this is bloody odd.

    • I’m sure Mr. Young is adressing it internally with the league. Going public would probably only result in fines. It wouldn’t be the first time the league fined someone when it was the league, itself, that was wrong……

  41. Two major mistakes by the “eye in the sky” replay official that cost the Ticats games with major playoff implications. An apology by the league is not suffice. This replay official must lose his job, because it is negatively impacting the outcome of games. I hope the commish is willing to address this before the Grey Cup, because this is a MAJOR MAJOR issue.

  42. I really can’t add to this other than to say this makes me

  43. Maybe we could use Jeff Harbin as a tackling dummy in training camp?

  44. I thought the officiating last year was terrible, but this year is pathetic. It’s time to clean house and get some people in there that know what they’re doing, because my blind dog could make better calls than these guys.

  45. Dougall Cameron // November 16, 2016 at 9:17 pm //

    I am a lifelong Stampeders fan(50 years) but I wish the repay cameras would just get ripped out of the game. 2 reasons: it makes the onfield officials pay attention and it will eliminate interminable delays in the game, for reviews that are screwed up at critical junctures in a game. But that probably ain’t gonna happen. But here’s how to fix it:

    1). Who the hell is Jeff Harbin? I am a CFL junkie, but not ONCE have I EVER heard his name announced as a HEAD referee or actually an onfield official of any kind in a CFL game, of any kind. Correct me if I am wrong. Begs the question, why is he now a REPLAY official. To be a replay official, you must have AT LEAST 10 years experience as a HEAD REFEREE before you get to go to Commsnd central. You preferably have played the game at least at a college level. That may be a start.
    Here’s hoping no one gets screwed out of a Grey Cup be bad officiating the rest of the way this year.and Harbin has been banished from any further games. This year at least. For ever preferably.

  46. Creeker Bob // November 16, 2016 at 9:38 pm //

    Lost 4 STH after this crap we have had to put up with. The Ottawa game in Hamilton, sorry we made a mistake. Edmonton game, sorry we made a mistake. I have watched Zac and RR get pounded this year like no other and no calls. BLM gets brushed and the flag is out. We only protect certain QB’s. GJ has no idea about football when he says this did not impact the game. Ball on the 52? Wind at your back, a timeout, time on the clock, and a first down and only needing a single point to win. Hamilton players should be outraged as this is $$$ out of their pockets. Sorry guys I cannot support this league anymoe.

  47. Eddy Rayner // November 16, 2016 at 9:47 pm //

    I … CAN’T … EVEN ….

  48. There’s clearly a pattern here…these two calls weren’t even close. The game was lost on this one play as it turned the whole game around. This Jeff Harbin is either bias or inept…he should be fired. This league should be embarrassed…when calls like that can end your season someone has to step up and take responsibility for their actions…this will not bring in new fans and it’ll chase the old ones away….bush league

    • RTP looked close to me … holding looked like a weird call to be making *that* late in the game. Unless there’s another view that shows something different, I find it impossible to believe both teams weren’t doing similar thoughout the game.

  49. Don Froggett // November 16, 2016 at 10:55 pm //

    This league doesn’t hesitate to fine coaches that are outraged at deplorable and obviously wrong calls but have no problem letting the offending official to continue officiating and to do it with the wronged team. They had better be giving our coaches the fine money back.

  50. Do I continue to support the Ticats by renewing my seasons tickets, or do I hurt the CFL by blowing them off… That is the question!

  51. Instead of blaming the replay official maybe it’s time Glen Johnson was replaced. Since he became the CFL’s man in charge of officiating it’s become a mess. Just getting worse. He should be held accountable for the state of officiating in the CFL.

  52. Replay official had all the time he wanted to review the play. Why is everyone assuming this is an inadvertent ‘mistake”?

  53. It is time for the Owners to step in and clean house in this league. The commissioner to say the least is weak. They need leadership and someone who has a grasp of the game and how to treat its fans. By the comments here it is wide spread around the league. The stands are half empty in the east except for Ottawa and down in attendance out west. Time to clean house, missing video reviews is inexcusable. It does not matter who the team is you cannot justify the video review if the people working there have no idea of the rules of the game. I do not know if Ireland is still head honcho or whomever is in charge needs to go. Where is the Commissioner? Never seen this guy, do not know what he looks like. Yes, we are all angry and it is time for ownership to step up because this league is in trouble and these people are making it a lot worse.

  54. This anti-Hamilton refereeing has been a constant all year so it’s no longer a coincidence. The Police need to get involved and investigate every single CFL referee to determine if they are gambling on CFL games.

  55. I think the officials should have a drug test BEFORE every game. The comments I’ve read today suggest Proulx may have been impaired. Was the replay official knocking a few off in the. Command centre?

  56. David Hazell // November 17, 2016 at 8:51 am //

    Strange that this season the new commish jumps all over Kent Austin and suspends him after another blown call. What action is being taken on the referees? As stated by others, CFL, needs to win this 44 year season ticket holder back! This should have been the 25th Grey Cup for the family! Not a chance!

  57. Ticat Mike // November 17, 2016 at 8:56 am //

    Sorry, CFL incompetence cost a team an important win. And its not the first time the cats have been stiffed by bad calls or non calls. What makes this worse, is that the command center is supposed to have the technolodgy, expertise and experience to get it right, balancing each infraction against their own standards and the manner in which they call or dont call similar plays. Either Johnston has to go, or the guy making this egregious error has to go & the entire command center crew needs to be restructured and re-trained so that they get it right.

  58. Brian Eggleton // November 17, 2016 at 9:03 am //

    Bias and unacceptable…Hamilton should have had at least a 9-9 record…where is the remedy? Bob Young, Kent Austin and the players deserve an action from the CFL and it’s not acceptable…the game should be replayed from the point of the CFL’s infraction. Words don’t cut it….the league should pay to replay and nothing less! This replaying would cost the league and maybe (doubt) smarten them up, because it would hit them where it hurts…currently it’s the team and its fans that suffer through this incompetence…!

  59. Seems that everywhere the refs are being “targeted” by fans. Yes my friends, even in the “No Fun League”. Calgary Herald has run stories twice about NFL officiating bring BAD. Even the Premier League (UK) has the same “issue”. NHL is not immune from bad calls / no calls, ask Gaudreau of the Flames.
    Games are becoming faster; decision times shorter and players knowing how to “get away” with things/calls. Replay officials are human too. Maybe we should get rid of replays altogether and go back to the “human factor”.
    Oh yes,second guessers eveywhere. Me Included.
    Answer is “sit back and TRY TO ENJOY THE RIDE”. You are missing a lot.

  60. Glen Johnson has no idea what he is talking about when he was quoted as saying one play doesnt change the outcome of a game. Are you kidding me. The momentum was with Hamilton, the wind, the crowd, the clock. The hit most definetely was late and goes against protecting the QB. The holding call was sure BS.
    Tired and disappointed in the CFL and it starts with the officiating.
    The players of this game keep getting bigger, faster and stronger and our officials cannot keep up.
    Do something !!!
    Terrible !!

  61. Glen Johnson is in charge of the refs & the command centre. It is HIS job to ensure that those who work for him KNOW their job. Obviously he HASN’T done a very good job of training them. And since when do people throw those who work for them under the bus as he has done in this article and a few times earlier this season?
    It is time for the CFL to fire this man. He talks a good talk but he his horrible at his job! This needs to be fixed & fast!

  62. Well the CFL has turned into the WWF where outcomes are chosen before the match. I would like to thank the league for helping me save my money and not wasting it on this years grey cup, or anything related to the CFL. I made it a point even to say on my x-mas list not to give me anything with a CFL logo on it. I can use my money somewhere else. I have been a lifelong CFL fan and constantly supported the league over the NFL. I have brought new fans to this game, but they agree, our money can now go to something else. Love the cats, always will, but I will no longer be using my money for the CFL or on any of its sponsors. I called it right after the game that the league would say it made a mistake again.

  63. I’m asking the cfl right now ….how are we supposed to accept this not once but twice and the second one could have very well cost us and trip to the east final and grey cup . We are ticat fans who spend our hard earned money and time supporting the team we love only to have incompetent fools decide the outcome of games not once but twice then expect us to say no problem cfl for fuc#$ng our Chance up to move on in the playoffs . Well Fu orridge prouxl Johnson and the rest them that have made me lose faith in a league I have supported so much over the years…..FU#K YOU!

  64. I’d like to know why TSN is showing this story on their site….it’s a BIG story but they want to ignore it….also…why didn’t TSN show the replay of the so called holding penalty… know and I know why….this league stinks of corruption

    • Terry Baxter // November 17, 2016 at 1:40 pm //

      Fred, I’m afraid you’re right. This is not a league of true contests. The only broadcaster TSN clearly plays favorites and they ignore this story???!!!! Bush league. I’m done with this league.

  65. Ti-Cats fan since the '60s // November 17, 2016 at 1:41 pm //

    Drew – has someone compiled a list of all the corrections and clarifications that have come from the league this year? I’d be interested in a story that looks at:
    1) The number made (and compared to years past)
    2) Which type of calls were made in “error”
    3) Which were the officials and which were the command centre’s fault
    4) How many of these calls had the potential to change the result of a game.

    This would lay the foundation for fans, coaches, management and owners to demand something be done. As can be seen from the previous responses, fans are getting ticked and the league seems to be doing little about it. If a player made as many significant errors as the referees have this year, they’d either be benched, suspended, traded or cut. Referees seem to have few consequences for such egregious screw ups.

    • From the top of my head, in the last few weeks, there are the ESF RTP & questionable holding calls, the missed helmet to helmet hit at the end of the Montreal/Riders game, the penalty against Hamilton on an onside kick for an Edmonton player batting the ball out of bounds, the catch then possibly a fumble review that ruled “no catch” for Hamilton/Ottawa, the possible fumble recovered by BC in the Winnipeg/BC game.

      I’d have to find better sources to check further back in the season. While it is always guesswork, at least three were in tight enough games to potentially have affected the game.

  66. Hard to imagine that the number of bad calls against the Cats this year is just a coincidence. Yes, we all know that several field officals are incompetent and should be dismissed based on our observations over the years. But the thing that bothers me the most is the obvious ‘bias’ that some field officals and without question that some replay officials have against Hamilton. It’s gone way past human error and has become downright criminal.

    This can not continue. If the CFL commissioner does not thoroughly clean up the officiating mess by firing those in charge and those who have made repeated errors, then Hamilton fans need to take action.

    We can still support the team by buying season tickets but must select one game where we just stay ‘home’ in protest and have the game played in front of an empty stadium. This action would not seriously hurt club finances but would make news headlines on the sports front and it would thoroughly embarass the CFL hierarchy to the point where they would need to take action.

  67. Flying Wing // November 17, 2016 at 2:29 pm //

    Someone should arrange a protest march on the League Office in Toronto during Grey Cup week. I’m sure it would get the attention of TSN (after all you can only talk about a “papered house” at the game for so long. You can’t otherwise explain the Ticats having suddenly got all kinds of Grey Cup tickets to use as giveaway prizes.) It might get Orridges’ attention and he might be forced to get rid of the bumbling Glen Johnson because it doesn’t look like he will do the right thing and fall on his sword. All this was all after we were told video replay would give them a chance to “get it right” Well even with it they “got it wrong”.

  68. Judgment calls. They’ve always been a part of sports and always will. HD replays, multiple camera angles and video reviews provide more opportunity than ever to second guess the calls on the field. The CFL and other leagues also review the judgment of the replay officials. They’re still judgment calls.

    “It was extremely close but when we go through it, we compare it to other ones we’ve called this season and I would have preferred that it would have been ruled differently,” Johnson said. “At the time, the replay official didn’t believe the hit was late but when we go back and look at the variety of different angles it’s clear that it’s within the tolerance we have for being called based on our video standards.”

    A split second difference in timing or a one inch difference in point of impact can swing the judgment one way or the other. Two dimilar plays may be called different ways. There’s no right or wrong. Judgment calls are made all over the field on every play. Fans have to stop blaming on-field and replay officials when a call doesn’t go their team’s way.

    • longtimetcfan // November 17, 2016 at 4:02 pm //

      Easy for you to say when your team hasn’t been adversely affected by 3 (possibly 4) games influenced by bad on-field and /or Command Centre calls (and that’s just this year). And your team making the western final makes it easy to dismiss. This last screw up definitely affected the possible outcome of the game.
      First down at your own 52 with the wind behind you, just over a minute to play and only needing 1 point to win… or buried at your own 10 with 2nd and long, after the botched penalty calls?

    • If there is “no right or wrong” – why is Johnson throwing his command centre colleague or subordinate under the bus by saying he would prefer RTP?

      Where the command centre is supposed to ensure the challenged calls are correct – this is a strange attitude to take.

  69. I really can’t believe there is a league bias against the Ticats. The fact that league admitted that the calls were wrong would tell me that they are trying to be honest about their mistakes. Whether that leads to any discipline who knows.Let’s face it you simply can’t fire officials every time they make a mistake.We would end up with very few. The answer for me is longer training and more game time experience if this contentious issue will be properly addressed.
    I am sure Austin and the Ticat organization will be keen to improve the situation.

  70. Willis and Hughes must stop damaging brains of their fellow players in the league or be kicked out.They with brutal roughness may have impaired Collaro’s brain for the rest of his life.Screw football…. football players lives do matter!

  71. maybe CFL games shouldn`t be offered to wager on pro-line. maybe then games would have different outcomes. and NO, I`m not a Ticat fan, I WAS a CFL fan but its a joke now. why not get ex players in the replay booth.

  72. Flying Wing // November 17, 2016 at 3:28 pm //

    BC Fan They are trying through video replay to get the call right and take the judgement out of the situation. That’s the whole point. Why have video replay then. Andre Proulx judged the play to not warrant a RTP flag. Austin called a challenge to make sure the call was right. As Glen Johnson said while extremely close he would have preferred that the call for RTP was made. The right call was missed by Proulx and the video replay referee. The video clearly shows the ball having left Collaros’ hand before the collision occurs. The league has stated over and over that their goal is to protect the quarterback and that is a penalty. The wrong judgement was made on the field and video replay overturns that judgement…to get it right. Simple.

  73. Some people are saying it didn’t factor in the outcome of the game …bullshit it didn’t cats on there own 52 90 sec left they run clock down Maher kicks through end zone to win game…he just booted a single from there own 35 to win it ….cfl should be ashamed just like the officiating that cost us a trip to the east final

    • If the open receivers hadn’t been missed, likely the Cats are home and dry where holding and/or RTP does not matter.

      At the same time, in a close game – it *does* matter.

  74. The anti Hamilton bias is so clear. As is the bias against Kent Austin. His treatment for accidental contact was petty and vindictive especially in the light of the same thing being laughed off when Andre P was knocked down by a player. Maybe the player was on the right team. What would have happened if it was a Hamilton player Andre or Jeff Orridge?

    It starts at the top.

    Orridge must be fired along with Johnson, the replay officials and the on field officials that were part of the nonsense.

    It’s past time for the owners to make the changes needed to regain the credibility of the league.

    The fans have had enough.

    • I agree on the bias based a similar offense being laughed off.

      However, IMO it is not so much that Austin should have had no penalty as it is that the Montreal player should have had similar penalties to make it consistent.

  75. The CFL is not a professional league…..just in name only. There needs to be an independent investigation into the commish, the head of refereeing and the command and control centre…something is definitely up with Jeff Harbin….he’s either fixing games with those calls or he’s betting on games himself

  76. Sea of Dead // November 17, 2016 at 7:10 pm //

    Well it’s obvious from the comments above that there are many Cat supporters who would show up to tar & feather Orridge, Jeff Harbin, Glen Johnson and Proulx amongst others or better yet leave them in the middle of Burlington Bay without a life preserver BUT … Let’s hope that Caretaker Bob and Multi-Titled Austin can twist a few arms in league meetings and get a positive outcome that will make most CFL fans happy … At least until the next CFL fiasco.

  77. Clay Connor // November 17, 2016 at 7:58 pm //

    Glen Johnson needs to stop throwing his guys under the bus. If he wants all the Command Center calls to be made the way he would prefer, then he needs to make all the calls himself. It’s still a judgment call, even for the replay official, who doesn’t have the time to go back and compare the hit with video of other plays that did get called.

    • I am sure the replay official didn’t have time during the game but isn’t it the league and possibly Johnson’s job to be going over what has been called plus what to look for before and *during* the season?

      Isn’t it the replay officials responsibility to be clear on what has been called to ensure consistency?

      All sorts of athletes as well as coaches and GMs are clear that consistency matters the most as the players/coaching is adjusted to what is consistent.

      • Clay Connor // November 18, 2016 at 7:41 pm //

        I agree 100% that it’s their job and the place to review it is in a referee’s meeting. I don’t see why Johnson felt the need to go public with this when nothing can be done to change the result.

  78. Let’s say that the actual errors did not occur and the Ticats lost. The focus would then be on the game and the season. The Ticats could not consistently beat the stronger teams. The team next season will have their #1 QB for the whole season, hopefully, and result in consistently good field position and allow the defense to not have to “win the game”. Not supporting the team by not buying tickets sends the wrong message to the team. I believe in supporting the underdog, because they appreciate it more. If the officiating seems to make mistakes more often it’s likely because their mistakes count more when the team is not 100%. As Collaros states ‘football is a game of inches’. If next year we are #1 in the East and win the Eastern final and lose the GC on an Officiating error I’llgive up my seasons tickets. Until then I’m going to respect the effort and spirit of the Ticats organization. See you in June.

  79. Maybe when it comes down to it we ate so upset because we as fans and the ticats as an organization struggled through injury and controversy from the start of training camp till the final game of the season and in that final game we needed things to go almost perfect to advance and one of those things was to have a call or non call made right by a referee or command centre that we are supposed to have faith in and they failed miserabley!

  80. Flying Wing // November 18, 2016 at 9:06 am //

    Where is Josh Smith’s post about the evils in the CFL replay booth that was on 3DNation yesterday. Has it been exponged from the record by the CFL? Is free speech being censored from above.

  81. It has become increasingly apparent that video revew is not the panacea that it was hoped it would be. It’s slowed down the game and frustrated fans. Football is played by people. Receivers drop balls. Running backs fumble. QBs throw interceptions. Coaches make bad decisions and yes refs make bad calls.That’s football. No matter how hard we try we will never be able to take out the human element of occational error and maybe that’s why it’s so much fun to watch, because with that comes the element of unpredictability. I feel we should get rid of the video reviews. Let the players play, the refs ref and let the fans be fans.

  82. What’s the link to the petition?

  83. Saynotoapathy // November 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm //

    It will be interesting to see what kind of call/replays, if any, go in Ottawa’s favor.
    I mean, can you just imagine if there is an all West Grey Cup in Toronto.
    Not to worry, I am sure if need be, two Edmonton DBs will bumble and stumble and “allow” Ellingson to make another miracle catch and run like he did in last seasons eastern final. Those two Hamilton DBs should have been nominated for an academy award.

  84. Could these “officiating mistakes” be the result of the attitude and history that Austin has with the officials and higher level officials both on and off the field.
    He does have an attutude and an ego that can be grating.

    • Terry Baxter // November 19, 2016 at 10:40 am //

      I have thought that too. He seems to be an abrasive type. Probably much worse behind closed doors. I heard on the radio last year that Kent is not well liked. Continually rolling his eyes etc at league meetings. My guess is that he is an egoistical bully.

  85. What a croc. There is no way the CFL want an all western GreyCup. The Esks will now be under a microscope on Sunday and the only way to counter that is for them to score a lot. I smell a rat. Shame on you CFL

  86. Anyone looking to organize a protest would be better served organizing one on the day/lead-up to the Grey Cup in Toronto.

    Furthermore, being prepared with clear photos of the infractions and a short summary would help.

    Lastly, a clear resolution of what needs to be done (dismissals) to satisfy the fans will need to be presented.

    The media presence and focus on the lack of interest in the game will only serve to reinforce the end goal.

  87. 2 other calls baffled me……our missed field goal we tackle their returner and get flagged for illegal block?huh? also roughing the kicker on them and then no yards 15 yard penalty on us?on the same play??? no yards should have been cancelled by roughing the kicker!!!

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  89. Saynotoapathy // November 20, 2016 at 11:10 am //

    My friends and I watched the game particularly that play in question in the 4th quarter.
    Contrary to popular opinion we thought we saw holding and because Collaros was hit in the upper chest we thought it was not roughing the passer.
    And we are all Cat fans.

    • Don Froggett // November 20, 2016 at 7:29 pm //

      The fact that the league apologized says it all.

    • So for 58.5 minutes or so, no O line man on *either team* commits a hold but suddenly there is *one*?

      I’ll have to check the rest of the game but the views I’ve seen suggest otherwise.

      If it was clearly holding and clearly not RTP – then why is the CFL employed expert apologising as well as saying he’d have preferred it called as RTP?

  90. Anyone else notice that there were no Ticat players featured on TSN commercials advertising the playoffs and Grey Cup? Every other team that made the playoffs had a player from their team featured. Unless our representative was Andy Fantuz and then he got hurt and they pulled his portion and did not film a replacement?

    • Sorry … but I saw TSN playoff ads *this* weekend with a Ticat player in them. I can remember thinking it was weird as one would have thought the pre-season filming would have provided enough stars from each team to cover off all the ads needed.

  91. Noodles Romanoff // November 20, 2016 at 6:26 pm //

    Here’s Harbin’s bio.

    He states Jake Ireland has had the greatest impact on him. Do you think????

  92. Jeff Harbin is a well trained, experienced official, who has worked hard for many years to support football and the players, at all levels, from junior school up to the CFL.

    He is also the most ethical, intelligent and fair-minded person you will ever meet. If he made a mistake, he will worry about it all by himself.

    Unlike Jeff Harbin, you armchair observers don’t add any effort or value to the game – you are just lying lazy in your homes shooting nasty barbs at genuine human beings working hard to do a good job. Shame on you.

    • Possibly … but on the other hand, the CFL has said they made *two* mistakes on the same play in playoff and division determining games in 2016 and 2015.

      That’s ignoring that just talking about *this* year, over the last several weeks – there’s mistakes identified in three Cat games (Edm x2, Ottawa), a Montreal/Rider game, a BC/Winnipeg game and a BC defender fined when the rule says the O lineman should have been flagged (if not fined).

      There is probably more but that’s what there are sources for.

      Never mind that the RTP rule explicitly lists ensuring one lands with one’s weight on the QB as a criteria for RTP yet a Calgary defender with a QB *falling away for him*, leaves his feet as well as makes sure he lands on top of the QB gets nothing. No flag in the game and no fine.

      If the officials are well trained, ethical, intelligent etc. etc., why is this year blowing the doors off of any previous year I can recall for mistakes?

      Controversy has always been there but I don’t recall, despite the added efforts to “fix a missed call or mistake” so many problems.

      Perhaps a more important question … if Glen Johnson is the “gold standard” for video replay challenges – why isn’t he in the booth for at least the playoffs?

      The playoffs are a grand total of five games so the workload doesn’t seem a problem, unlike the regular season at four games a week.

  93. Flying Wing // November 21, 2016 at 9:04 am //

    That’s all well and good Caroline. However, the fact of the matter is that Jeff Harbin made on error in a crucial area of his job as was admitted by the CFL. I’m sure Jeff Harbin is a good guy but the CFL put him in a position to fail. If they are going to have this challenge rule they need at least two sets of eyes to decide yea or nay. Mr Harbin’s error cost each and every Ticat dearly in the pocket book and in a league where every buck counts that cannot be allowed to happen. Don’t have video replay to continue to get it wrong…use it as intended to get it right.

  94. In any line of work.
    “Everyone” is held accountable.
    Harbin has only proven “he does not” have the skill set to do the job.
    Therefore like the rest of us…
    Termination is the correct path.
    Lets face it..
    He has not just screwed up 1 time.
    It has been several, bottom line.

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