The NFL made it through the first two weeks of the season without the replacement officials (working in place of the regular officials, who are locked out) embarrassing themselves too badly. Things are slowly starting to unravel, though.
During the night’s Sunday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots, the officials struggled at times to control the game. Emotions were running high–particularly among the Ravens, with wide receiver Torrey Smith playing just hours after learning of the death of his brother–and the replacement officials looked like they were a bit over-matched.
The biggest story to emerge from the game regarding the officials is likely to involve Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. After the game ended, Belichick confronted one of the officials and was seen grabbing him by the arm and shouting at him. Touching an official is, of course, a big no-no by NFL rules. Belichick should expect a hefty fine from the office of Roger Goodell in the coming days.
The funniest story involves the fans in Baltimore, however. After the Ravens’ bench was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the crowd started up a chant that NBC commentator Al Michaels called the “loudest manure chant I’ve ever heard.”
Check it out. The chant really gets going at about 0:45.