Three weeks into the NFL season and the "replacement refs" aren't getting any better at their jobs. On Sunday the 49ers were awarded a fourth timeout, the Lions were flagged for the rare 27-yard personal foul, and Ravens fans banded together to execute the greatest "B.S." chant in recorded history. And need I mention Monday night's catastrophe?
The most insane part of this lockout is the relatively piddling amount of money that separates the NFL and the refs. The sides are about $2 million per year apart, which works out to a mere $60,000 per NFL franchise. That's equivalent to 15 seconds' worth of Super Bowl commercial time. It's clearly less about money and more about power-tripping—otherwise Jerry Jones could've checked his couch for loose change and settled this dispute back in August.
So if Roger Goodell is gonna make us suffer through a grudge match, let's at least make it entertaining. D'ya think you could do a better job calling an NFL game than these numbskulls? Then prove it! THIS … IS … REFEREE IDOL!
*Pre-produced intro package begins. A basically nude Faith Hill sings while doing jumping jacks.*
The NFL Network could have a new ratings powerhouse that'd cost almost nothing to produce! Rich Eisen assumes the hosting duties as a more-relatable, less-plastic-faced Ryan Seacrest. They could hold auditions in the parking lot during pregame tailgates! (Note: The Oakland episode has been pre-canceled for safety concerns.)
Eisen: "Now stepping up to the replay hood, it's Donald Ferguson, a 43-year-old semi-employed truck driver from Wauconda!"
Ferguson: "Let's DO this!" *pumps fist, runs over to hood*
Eisen, quietly: "Donald is reviewing a called fumble that could have a major impact on this game's outcome."
Ferguson: *quickly runs back to stage* "The ball carrier was down before the ball came loose, because both knees were clearly touching the ground and I am not a complete moron. The result of the play is a first down." *signals first down*
Eisen: "YOU DID IT!"
Ray Lewis: *Kills Donald with bare hands, drinks warm blood straight from jugular*
Shannon Sharpe: "Whadabamad falataba wow, man!"
Admit it, that's better TV than a 4-hour, 12-minute Browns-Rams game.
Alex Quigley is a RedEye special contributor.
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