There have been a lot of negative stories about the replacement officials who are overseeing NFL games while the real referees are on strike, but this story has to take the cake (and that’s saying something, considering how ridiculously terrible the reffing was in last night’s Falcons vs. Broncos game).
Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy says that one of the replacement officials told him, “I need you for my fantasy team” during the Eagles’ game against the Ravens on Sunday.
It doesn’t need to be said that NFL officials aren’t supposed to have a rooting interest in the outcome of the game they are officiating. We can hope that the ref who made the comment was just joking around, but, even then, it still would be wildly inappropriate for him to be saying such a thing.
McCoy can probably expect to get a call from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office with a request for more information. If the official who made the comment can be identified, and it’s proven that he made such a comment, it’s a safe bet to say that his employment with the league will be terminated immediately.
Meanwhile, there appears to be little progress in contract talks between the NFL and the referees union. Week 2 of the NFL season had some pretty notable officiating blunders and pressure seems to be mounting for a deal to get done, but it might still be a few more weeks before we see Ed “The Hulk” Hochuli and company back on the field.