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Replacement ref: “There’s a lot more rules in the NFL”

Replacement official Hughes tries to hold back Bears defensive end Peppers from Rams linebacker McIntosh during the second half of their NFL football game at Soldier Field in Chicago

Replacement official Jerry Hughes (54) tries to hold back Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90) from St. Louis Rams linebacker Rocky McIntosh (50) during the second half of their NFL football game at Soldier Field in Chicago, September 23, 2012. The Bears won the game 23-6. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)


With the regular refs returning to the NFL and the replacement refs returning to their high school and small college officiating duties, some of the officials who worked as replacements are acknowledging that, while they did their best, they simply weren’t prepared for the job.

Jerry Hughes, one of the league’s replacement referees, told CBS News that the difference between the rule book he has when he works college games and the rule book the NFL gave him is like the difference between a pamphlet and a phone book.

There’s a lot more rules in the NFL,” Hughes said.

Hughes (who garnered attention for pronouncing “St. Louis” as “St. Louie” during a game) acknowledged being “a little sad” when the lockout ended, because he was enjoying himself in the NFL. And he said the criticism of the replacement refs didn’t get under his skin.

“It comes with the territory,” Hughes said. “It’s out of our control. We went out there, we did a good job, the game of football went on.”

And now, thankfully, the game of football is going on without the officials who didn’t have time to learn all the rules in the NFL.