Penn Wagers is real and he’s ridiculous.

I’m not about to stoop to blaming yesterday’s loss on the officiating – you don’t play sixty minutes of consistent football against a team on a roll like Auburn is, you generally don’t win – but as far as I’m concerned this is beyond the pale when you’re talking about how a SEC official should behave during a game:

Wagers steps into an argument with Richt, which is bad, but then steps back into it after Richt turns away to continue complaining, admittedly in a heated way, to another official.  The sense of satisfaction when Wagers throws the flag is almost palpable.  It’s also inexcusable.  It’s supposed to be the official’s responsibility to calm the waters, not to stir them even more.  Well, at least if you’re referring to competent officials, it is.

The other bizarre thing I noticed was the number of times Georgia players tried to lobby Wagers after he’d thrown a flag.  You see players asking officials to call penalties routinely, but discussing calls with a referee after they’re made isn’t the usual thing.  You tell me what that indicates.

I’m not normally a conspiracy theorist, but there’s obviously some bad blood between Wagers and Georgia.  I expect that Richt will get some sort of public reprimand for his behavior.  I’d be shocked if the same happened with the officiating crew.  That, of course, will only serve to empower Wagers even further.  Lovely.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

84 responses to “Penn Wagers is real and he’s ridiculous.

  1. Bard Parker

    Here is the audio from a CBS sideline mike:

    “That’s crap!!” is nowhere near the stuff that you can lip-read from Saban or Boom, and they don’t get flagged for it.

  2. allthegoodnameswereused

    I said it last night and I’ll say it again, he’s UGA’s Angel Hernandez. Anyone who followed the Braves in the late 90’s early 2000’s knows what I’m talking about.

  3. Macallanlover

    Wagers has a personal vendetta against UGA that dates back to the 2007 Cocktail Party where he publicly made comments against UGA’s celebration. I don’t mind his personal opinion but he should be professional about in when doing his job. It is obvious he cannot, so why is he assigned to UGA games? Why would his crew get the top conference game anyway?

    I know some here speak highly of Shaw based on when he was an official in the league but he seems over his head in this supervisory position. I thought a team could “ban” one head official from doing their games in the past, was this true, and has it changed? He should NEVER work another UGA game. The “leaping” call was BS, intended for FGs and XP tries, we didn’t “leap” anyone. Never seen that called on a play like that, ever, and it was purely his call and cost us 3 points. The fumble wasn’t his call but his crew blew it and it cost us 7 points. His actions regarding Richt were personally motivated, imo.

    • Mayor of dawgtown

      The 15 yard unsportsmanlike call on CMR was Wagers’ call, though–and it directly lead to an Auburn TD.

      • Macallanlover

        Splitting hairs but the fumble call led to the TD, the penalty made it more certain. At that point did you have any doubt AU could take it 50 yards? Penn and crew gave them 10 points that half, period.

        The “leaping” call is designed to protect OL that are bent over and having someone get a running start and leap enough to come down on the from above. Did Penn think our guy’s jump 10 inches of the ground into 3 upright punt blockers endangered anyone, other than our player? It was an asinine use of the rule and he knows it. Twice this year we have had opponents’ drives extended due to creative application of rules by the White Hat guy. With a defense that struggles to get off the field, it is sad to see them get dirt kicked in their face twice yesterday when they actually did their job well.

        • uglydawg

          I’ve seen that called twice in my life. Both times against UGA. The other time was in Tempe Az.. a half dozen years or so ago.
          Twice…in over 60 years…both times against UGA.

  4. DefactoDawg

    It is a criminal act that Wagers has any connection to any UGA game. His credibility is nil as he obviously continues to carry the grudge. 99% of officials would’ve turned and walked away, but lil’ penny stepped into the chaos to prove his manhood.

    Then, had Richt turned and grabbed at Wagers – in the manner that Wagers did so at Richt- he would have been ejected, fined, suspended and likely barred for life.

    And yet penny skips merrily along. What an unadulterated two-ton load of bullshit.

  5. Always Someone Else's Fault

    I’ll repost the question below here as the more appropriate thread. And I agree, blaming officiating for a loss isn’t the way to go. Let’s just stick to blaming it as horrendous officiating.

    What can McGarrity do about Wagers? Seriously? Even if it is just perception, it’s a significant problem given how widespread that perception runs.

    Short of a promise from the league office that he will never officiate another Georgia game again, I would take it public. Video montage, the works.

    • “What can McGarrity do about Wagers?”
      Maybe hire a sniper.

    • JG Shellnutt

      Lest we forget, Penn works for UGA. Slive works for UGA. UGA is a founding member of the SEC…UGA started the club that employs Slive and Wagers.
      What can McGarity do? Plenty. Will he have the “gumption” to do anything? Doubtful; he’ll probably be too busy counting the reserve to defend those under his charge.

  6. Wagers is a shithead, only surpassed by Slive. That’s all.

  7. Scrambledawg

    If Grambling St can refuse to play a game, why can’t UGA publicly refuse to take the field in games in which Penn Wagers is officiating.

    Let McGarity take it public this week. “We’ve worked hard with Steve Shaw behind the scenes and , contrary to many of our competitors, have not publicly maligned the officials. These efforts have been to no avail. The Bulldawg nation has seen the heart with which Coach Richt and his charges have fought this year. Simply put, they deserve better than what the SEC officials have given them this year. For that reason, our team will refuse to take the field in any game in which Mr Wagers is a participant.”

  8. Castleberry

    A couple of thoughts here.

    1. Can the blog intern put together a highlight reel on some of Penn’s greatest moments? I’d also like a juxtaposition of any ass-chewing he’s received from Saban or Boom with the “crap” you could lip read here.

    2. I think a still shot from that Richt and Wagers moment is just ripe for a caption contest.

    • uglydawg

      Castle…that is a GREAT idea! I wish I had the knowledge and resources to do it myself..(Here’s lookin’ at you Blutarsky)

      • AusDawg85

        Wait…the Senator has interns!? Where do I sign-up? I thought Dog in Florida was a stooge, not intern.😉

    • TL

      Well, it’s not a “greatest moments” reel, but I did some research of box scores back through the 2009 season. Here are Georgia’s records with various SEC referees:

      Hubert Owens: 6-2
      Matt Loeffler: 1-0
      David Smith: 2-1
      Matt Moore: 5-2
      Matt Austin: 7-3
      Ken Williamson: 3-0
      Marc Curles: 2-1
      Tom Ritter: 6-3
      Steve Shaw: 2-2
      Penn Wagers: 3-3

      (Other random referees)
      Rick Loumiet: 0-2 (Colorado, ’10, UCF ’10)
      Brad Allen: 0-1 (Clemson ’13)
      Mike Defee: 1-0 (Nebraska, ’12)
      Jeff Flanagan: 1-0 (GT, ’10)
      Tom Walker: 0-1 (Okla. St. ’09)
      Ed Ardito: 0-1 (Mich. St. ’11)
      Tom Zimorski: 1-0 (GT, ’12)
      Terry Leyden: 1-0 (TAMU, ’09)

      What games did Penn Wagers have that were UGA wins? Tennessee Tech in 2009, Buffalo in 2012, and North Texas in 2013.

      What games did Penn Wagers have that were UGA losses? MIssissippi State in 2010, South Carolina in 2011 (really? The Carolina fan gets to call one of their games?), and Auburn in 2013.

      I can give you more and the breakdowns for each referee as to the games they called if you would like them.

  9. Mayor of dawgtown

    Let me bring up a specific no-call that happened last night re: Wagers and his crew. The last play of the game Murray is flushed from the pocket and attempts a pass. He is hit IN THE HEAD by Auburn’s #30 coming from the blind side and the pass flutters to the ground. The Auburn player hit Murray with the crown of his helmet in Murray’s earhole. He also “launched” before contact. Murray lay on the ground for a minute or so before getting up (I hope he is alright). NO FLAG!!!! What should have happened is the Auburn player should have been called for targeting and ejected (and banned from playing the first half of the Iron Bowl), the penalty should have been marked off and UGA should have been given another untimed down from the 10 yard line because a game cannot end on a defensive penalty. UGA still could have won the game and the chance to do so was stolen from the team. They call ticky tack hits “targeting” on Georgia, they call hitting with the shoulder to the shoulder of the other team’s player “targeting” on Georgia, but when a REAL targeting flag is called for they will not call it in favor of Georgia. That call is supposed to be made by the Referee–he’s the one watching that area of the field. Last night that guy was …..Penn Wagers. I have watched the video of this hit multiple times. It was not a late hit. It was a helmet to helmet hit. Our useless AD should complain to the league (it won’t do any good) but also he should release a video showing same to the press and hold a press conference about it. When will our chickensh!t leaders do something about Wagers? As long as they do nothing he will get bolder and bolder.

  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    Look at how Wagers stomps his foot and loses it on Richt before Richt turns to the other zebra. For saying ‘that’s crap’?

  11. Irishdawg

    Wagers is a petty, unprofessional cocksucker and I hope he gets eaten by a shark, and then that shark is cut in two by a huge boat.

    • 81Dog

      I get the feeling you’re trying to say something here. Quit beating around the bush and spit it out, dude!😉

    • Macallanlover

      Good call Irish. I am against all evil, and he is evil. This has nothing to do with a league conspiracy, this is one small man exerting/abusing his authority over innocent young players and helping to stomp on their dreams. Shaw and Slime should intervene and CMR and McFrugal should make sure they know. (Unconfirmed, but I did hear they flew to Birmingham after the Vandy game and had a hearing on the targeting calls. Don’t know if it is true, but I wish it were so because they needed to get an ear full for stealing that game.)

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        The only thing that will work is for Wagers to be fired–period. Do you really want him to ref a game between, say, South Carolina and Florida, where if Florida wins UGA would win the East but if South Carolina wins, UGA would lose the East? That sort of thing happens all the time (remember ’07 when a Vandy FG against UT would have sent Georgia to the SECCG?). Wagers has got to go. And don’t put him in the press box as the TV ref like they did with Al Ford–that’s like letting the fox guard the hen house.

        • Will (the other one)

          If the SEC wants to be the best, it needs far better refs than POS like Wagers. He needs to be fired, with a noncompete clause so he doesn’t wind up working ACC games.

  12. Cosmic Dawg

    I have always hated Wagers, but defended him here last night because I thought for the most part he was being pretty fair yesterday. But to turn around to re-engage is no bueno for a referee. But I actually think CMR was Jonesing to draw a penalty, there, just to prove he could jaw and get some respect back from the zebras this year…and Wagers was Jonesing to throw it, so that kind of worked out, didn’t it?

  13. Will Trane

    think a stone is being turned now by cmr. about time. need AD and Athletic Board to make a trip in person to SEC office and chew some people’s ass about the officiating this year. In future if Wagers is officiating, just walk off the damn field until another crew is in place. AD has to stop Wagers from calling our games.

  14. Will Trane

    A lot officating imput in the game…delayed whistles, spotting the ball, late hits and roughing Murray on tackles. Some where down the line someone is going to go after them for their conduct.

  15. The other Doug

    Couple thoughts:

    1. Why was Wagers assigned to one of our big games? Seriously, the SEC office has to know the history.
    2. I wonder if Wagers was mad about something that Richt and UGA said to the league about this year’s officiating. That flag came out real quick.
    3. McGarrity and Richt need to do something about this, and needs to be public. Who cares about the fines. Slive and Shaw don’t want any bad press, and we need to make it ugly so they never assign us that dipshit again.

  16. I said last week that Wagers’ crew was going to be sent to the Plains, and it was going to be 11 on 17. Darn if it didn’t happen exactly that way. CBS wants their Iron Bowl for the ages, the SEC takes care of the state of Alabama, and UGA gets screwed. With the way we are treated by the conference, I’m beginning to wonder if we should jump if the ACC or Big 10/12 were to call.

    • Bright Idea

      11 on 18

    • uglydawg

      I say at least threaten the jump…You gotta draw the line sooner or later.
      Nobody’s mentioned it, but there was another hit on AM from his backside…helmet in the back of his helmet…ignored…and one of AU’s advantages on the “edge” runs was offensive players holding ankles. But that aside…Georgia lost this game by coming out flat and taking two quarters and a halftime to get up.

      • Will (the other one)

        Helmet hit on Gurley after his TD run too.
        (And the SEC isn’t biased towards both AL teams all the time, but when the Barn has a shot at a BCS bowl they will protect the money first.)

        • Kt

          I’m sorry, I think you meant the money from a National Championship AND BCS bowl berth… They’re definitely protecting the money.

          Because it sets the Iron Bowl up to be one for the ages… and if all falls according to plan and Bama will get the NC, and AU could still get the Sugar Bowl. Unless something went terribly awry with the BCS, I can’t imagine them passing up a 1 loss SEC team.

      • It just seems that the team in the SEC’s largest media market gets absolutely screwed by the conference at every opportunity. I’m not asking for the Bama treatment (but maybe I am), but for goodness sake, you have to ask the question when the conference sends the head referee with the biggest chip on his shoulder against one of the teams to one of the biggest games of the year. Does anyone think the ACC would jump at the opportunity to corner the Atlanta TV market with Georgia especially given that the local ABC affiliate is tight with UGA through the Cox relationship on radio and TV?

  17. It appears to me that Richt ratcheted things up a notch after the other ref put his hands on him and tried to turn him away. Perhaps he said something “special” after that and Wagers threw the flag?

    Either way, it was an absurd call. Conspiracy or not, it was a horrible crew.

    Also, anybody see the Christion Jones hit on the punt returner last night? Wicked. Not sure why it didn’t get a flag, but it sure looked like the call was missed.

    • ASEF

      Kickoff return wasn’t it?

      Targeting rules is apparently suspended for rest of the year until they can find some way to enforce it evenly.

    • AusDawg85

      Yes BD…at the time I also thought that when the other ref grabs Richt, Mark probably went beyond “that’s crap” and got personal. And good for him…Wagers crew could not control that pile and let that whole scene get out of hand. As for the hit on the KO return, isn’t that EXACTLY why they wanted to emphasize the rule this year?

  18. Ricky McDurden

    It’s unheard of that I, as a rational and empathetic human being, hope an official gets his ass beat in public after a game. And yet here stands Penn Wagers.

  19. Rock and Roll Rebel

    I remember a big-time heavyweight boxing match several years ago involving Mike Tyson where his camp (Don King I think) said that they would not allow Tyson to fight if a certain referee were assigned (possibly Richard Steele). They prevailed because THE FIGHT was more important than the third man in the ring. I agree that UGA should send a message to Slive: NO MORE PENN WAGERS. PERIOD. Should he be assigned, we will not play. See what happens then. IHMO the SEC needs us more than we need them. WAGERS MUST GO. PERIOD.

    • Rock and Roll Rebel

      Sorry, it was Mitch Halpern, who recused himself. Here is his quote: “As an official, you don’t ever want to be the center of attention, and that’s what was happening. These are two great fighters, this is a big, big fight, and I didn’t want to take away from that…”
      Hmmmm-wonder if Penn Wagers would ever understand that?

    • Don’t worry, let’s just hire a voodoo specialist to cast a spell on him whenever he is assigned on any UGA game. LOL

    • Keese

      My message has already been sent to McGarity. Fans CAN get involved and should when it comes to pos like penn wagers:

  20. Russ

    I still can’t believe Penn missed that last giant opportunity to screw us on Murray’s TD run to take the lead. I’m sure he’ll be talking to his crew about that oversight.

    • JG Shellnutt

      He can’t override the replay official, can he?

    • Normaltown Mike


    • Murray’s elbow and knee were down before he crossed the goal line. Georgia received a gift. Should have been AU’s ball on the 1/2 yd line.

      • cave canem

        That might have been the best thing that could have happened for UGA as things turned out…AU on the 1/2, three timeouts, hold them and make them punt.

      • Macallanlover

        Actually, I think you are right about him being short but we will never know. Once the call was made on the field, there was nothing they could use to overturn it so the replay booth was right. Logic says from the position of the body, he as about a foot short. But since they gave Au 10 points on the PF punt screw up, and the blown fumble call, it is hard to feel bad about that miss on the goal line. And as a others have said, that would have probably worked better for us….again, we will never know. Doesn’t change that PW should be fired, and not just for these screw-ups.

  21. cave canem

    There was also a helmet-to-helmet hit on Murray’s last TD run…# 5…then possibly another one right after that. The new SEC definition of targeting includes language saying the offending player must be wearing. UGA Jersey at the time of the hit.

  22. sniffer

    Does the league really want to publically reprimand Richt and not also explain how Muschamp can show his ass for 3 years without consequences? I don’t think they do? But, there’s lots I don’t think will happen. Like Ford being sat for the Iron Bowl after his hit on Murray is reviewed.

  23. 69Dawg

    The fact that Penn is still an official says volumes about the SEC and their 25 cent Officials. Missing calls to screw a team is one thing, making calls on every small thing is another but what he did to us in a game at Georgia against UT several years back was total and complete a) incompetence or b) just part of the pattern he has and should be in the tape of Penn’s favorite calls. UGA was driving and in the red zone, Mohammed Massaqui (sp) number 1 goes into the endzone for a fade route and is held as the ball goes by him. The Back Judge throws the flag. Penn then has the Umpire step off half the distance but wait Penn suddenly forgets the part about it being an automatic first down if the hold is on an eligible receiver. He resets the down at what it was before which I believe was 3rd down. Sideline goes wild crowd goes wild but next play we miss another pass and it’s 4th down. We kick the field goal. Mark questions SEC the next week and believe it or not the SEC did not say that Penn screwed up the rules they said the crew DID NOT KNOW THAT Number 1 was an eligible receiver. I kid you not.

  24. Monteithdawg

    Didn’t Penn’s crew have the 2009 LSU A.J. Green “celebration” penalty?

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      No, that was Marc Curles’ crew. Curles is a Tech grad and another problem refs for Georgia. He and his crew got suspended in 2009 for the phoney flags on Arkansas that aided Florida to a win. I always thought that suspension really was for show because Curles and his crew were too flagrant about it.

  25. Rick Perry

    I just hate to fucking lose … dammit!

  26. Joe

    Anyone know Penn Wagers home address?