It’s been a wild, frustrating, and infuriating week for most football fans, but finally there’s some news we can all be happy about – the NFL replacement refs are dead!
Yes, it’s true. Well…not literally “dead”, but more like “dead to us”, as in the same thing parents would say to their daughter who decided to become a stripper.
What happened to the replacement refs?
Now the scab refs can go back to doing what they do best, which is being nowhere near an NFL field. I imagine most of them will go back to planning their next biology lesson, putting in extra hours at Foot Locker, or begging for their jobs back in the Lingerie League. For the lucky ones that are still allowed near a football field, it means returning to their old part-time job officiating
Arena League NCAA Junior College high school flag football games because gosh-dang-it someone has to make those important calls, right!
The incompetence of the NFL replacement refs led to – as El Guapo would say – a plethora of mistakes: from giving out extra timeouts, yards and challenges, to phantom penalties, to no-calls on obvious penalties, to allowing fighting, to losing track of time, to … oh you get the point. The scab refs were an embarrassment to the league, the players, the fans and themselves. On a lighter note, none were more hilarious than “afraid of the ball” ref, and “I’m going to banana peel Kevin Ogletree Mario Kart style with my hat” ref.
The replacement refs brought out the worst in all of us.
A few coaches had to pay some hefty fines. Some tore into the refs with F-bomb barrages that most sailors would be embarrassed to hear. New England coach Bill Belichick
powerbombed assaulted slapped grabbed the arm of a referee after losing to Baltimore on a last second field goal. It cost him $50 grand, which might be worth it had he grabbed someone like Ed Hochuli and actually lived to tell about it. According to Al Michaels, this game also set the World Record for the “loudest manure chant I’ve ever heard.”
The boiling point of “Ref-gate” (yep…I went there) happened during the Monday Night game in Seattle. Aaron Rodgers had spent more time on his back than the entire Kardashian family after the Seahawks beat him down for eight first half sacks. Green Bay took a five point lead with about nine minutes left but couldn’t run out the clock at the end. Seattle had a shot with 46 seconds left.
Then this happened…
Annnnnnnnd the Internet went into a frenzy. This single event spawned conspiracy theories, comparisons to the Hebner brothers in the WWF, death threats to Golden Tate, another plethora of F-bombs (most notably from Packer’s guard T.J. Lang), and probably global warming. If the two end zone referees started Tebowing and then announced they were taking their talents to South Beach, the Internet would have literally melted. A Seahawks fan site even did a frame-by-frame break down of the “Toucherception” video JFK-Zapruder style. Apparently there was a third referee on the grassy knoll who called it a “home run.”
The discussion/argument about the game is an entirely different discussion, but the outcome of the game served as the inspiration for two very important things:
1. This fantastic GIF of Pete Carroll:
2. The return of the real refs.
At midnight o’clock on Wednesday the officials union and the league finally reached an agreement that put the real referees back on the field for Thursday’s Browns/Ravens game. The scene nearly brought a tear to my eye:
I only wish they came out of the tunnel through a smoke screen with The Final Countdown playing in the background. Oh, and Ray Lewis was fined $50,000 for his hug, but I’m sure it was worth every penny.
To be fair, the replacement refs were put in an almost impossible situation. They were obviously way out of their league (pun intended) and had no chance to succeed. I compare it to the late Corey Haim in License to Drive. He had a chance with the hottest girl in school (ironically named Mercedes), but messed the entire thing up by failing his driving test and then demolishing his grandfather’s prized ’72 Cadillac while on a date with her. Oh, but don’t worry, Mercedes was drunk the entire time, oh, and his mom goes into labor while the car is gone, so there’s that too.
So farewell replacement refs. Unfortunately, we knew you more than we wanted to.
And now…the tweets:
Oh, you mean this one? Absolutely.