This man just doesn't get it. (Getty Images)Whether he's spewing nonsense about Super Bowl XL being called near-perfectly even after the head official in the game admitted to blowing calls, castigating broadcasters for daring to impart their opinions, or hiding behind his current status as an "analyst" to blast the NFL he used to defend like a pure corporate suckup, former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira generally tends to fall short in the accuracy and integrity departments.
So it is again as Pereira, who has been the most vocal critic of the NFL's current replacement officials, has been outed as a former backup replacement official. During the last labor impasse between the NFL and its officials in 2001, Pereira (a former back judge) was the league's director of officiating, and it was his job to buck up the guys standing in for the guys.
So, the same person currently insisting that replacement officials are compromising the integrity of the NFL sent a memo that said, in part (via Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com):
"We are using you because of your ability and instincts as an official. The game is the same no matter on what level it is played. You officiate the game and we will guide you through the differences in the rules."
That was Pereira then. This is Pereira now.
"I feel bad for the replacement people," Pereira told WSCR-AM in Chicago on Tuesday. "They're so overwhelmed." [...]
"It's just not going to work," he said.
Pereira is surely glad that nobody was saying that about replacement refs in 2001, back when he was ... a backup replacement official. Yes, indeed. According to the Dallas Morning News article that Freeman quotes, "One of the alternate officials was Mike Pereira, whose day job is as the NFL's director of officiating."
Perhaps that's the problem. Today's replacement officials are simply overwhelmed because they don't have anyone as clearly and obviously talented as Pereira to wear the stripes. Or, maybe Pereira's sticking up for his old buddies to a degree that Fox News would find claustrophobic, and he should have been told by his editors to produce full disclosure about his involvement in the last labor standoff between the two sides.
That Fox Sports slipped up on that one is forgivable to a point -- after all, it's tough to expect a man with Pereira's supposed and oft-claimed integrity to turn his current visibility into a bully pulpit from which to slam his biased and ill-informed opinions down the throats of an unsuspecting populace.
Pereira once called Jon Gruden a "blowhard" and a "loudmouth," for being frank in the "Monday Night Football" booth about allegedly bad officiating, but at least Gruden was calling it the way he saw it when he said what he said. With Pereira, the integrity of his statements disappears under the slightest review.