It's official: Reffing stinks

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

REGINA -- A little time to cool down only made Joe Paopao hotter than ever.

The Renegades coach was fuming yesterday after reviewing tapes of his team's knee-buckling, 36-22 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday. So angry was he over the officiating, in fact, that this time Paopao vowed to do something about it.

"I'm going to put a tape together and show people," he said. "I'm going to send it to the league, do the things we need to do. I'm going to name names.

"I'm not going to take this lying down. The refereeing was a disgrace."

The Renegades were penalized 18 times for 157 yards -- compared to seven calls on Saskatchewan for 65 yards -- and were also victimized by crucial non-calls.

Paopao was particularly upset with "No. 54" -- back judge Bryan Taylor -- but was generally infuriated by the work of the crew as a whole.

"They were unbelievable," he said. "Is the officiating the reason we lost? I think it helped."

The most obvious example of the impact the zebras had on the game came in the second quarter, just after the Renegades had relinquished the lead for good when punter Pat Fleming conceded a safety to make the score 8-8.

Taking over at their own 35, the Roughriders marched downfield on a 15-play drive that was prolonged by four Ottawa penalties.

When they reached the Renegades' 18 yard line, they called receiver Travis Moore's number. Everybody in the stadium but the officials saw that Moore was offside -- Renegades DB Anthony Malbrough admitted he stopped in his tracks because he was sure the play would be whistled down -- but when no call was made, Moore resumed running and wound up pulling in a touchdown pass.

"He was four yards offside," said Paopao. "You've got to be kidding me. That's a travesty."

Paopao was also livid over a 32-yard pass interference penalty on cornerback Bo Rogers in the third quarter that led to the game-winning touchdown.

The actual scoring play -- a 17-yard pass from Henry Burris to Matt Dominguez -- came the snap after cornerback Jonathan Ordway left the game with a groin injury and was replaced by Dave Donaldson.

"They put Donaldson out there on an island," said Saskatchewan coach Danny Barrett. "It was like, 'Let's go for it right now before they can make an adjustment,' and we capitalized."

But just two snaps earlier, Rogers was inexplicably called for pass interference by an official that was not on top of the play. The official closest no doubt saw what Paopao did -- that the Roughrider receiver was trying to get back to a ball that was thrown into the wind, and in the process he ran into Rogers.

"I don't understand that," said Paopao. "But that's just the tip of the iceberg. And then (the officials) made comments like, 'and you're going to get us again in two weeks' (for the rematch at Frank Clair Stadium). Now that pisses me off.

"One or two (bad) calls I can handle. But a half dozen that amount to close to 100 yards? No, no, absolutely not. Not when you're dealing with people's livelihoods. That's not fair.

"We're not good enough to overcome those things. We have to scratch and bite for everything we get. That's fine. But don't help the other guys.

"I've never made an issue of this, but I'm going to now. I'll probably get reprimanded from the league, but I don't care.Coaches get fired, players lose their jobs ... give the organization a chance. I'm sorry, that's how I feel."

THEY'RE OUT: The torn biceps muscle suffered by non-import DT Roger Dunbrack Sunday will keep him out for the rest of the season ... Also likely done is Jonathan Ordway, who appears to have a torn groin muscle.


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