For those who missed it, Monday night’s wild Packers-Seahawks game featured extremely sketchy officiating and a disputed 14-12 Seahawks win when Green Bay was called for too many men on the ice during the final play.
As the officials’ strike drags on past week three with no end in sight, it’s time to make the best of a bad situation. Here are three ways the NFL could immediately make the replacement officials situation not only palatable, but awesome:
1. Hire Donald Trump as the Supervisor of Officials
Sure, the officiating sucks, but that’s because we’re invested in the games, not in the officials. Let’s turn this season on its head by putting ourselves in the officials’ shoes. Who better than The Donald to shepherd them through the challenge of learning to ref real NFL games under the pressure cooker of screaming fans, angry players and frustrated owners. We’ll follow them through their weekly meetings, pre-game preparations, halftime adjustments and post-game debriefings. We’ll watch their families sitting anxiously at home during the games and we’ll learn all about the “real” jobs these officials have during the week. All the while, Donald Trump gives them helpful tips on how to make it in the brutal world of NFL officiating.
Then boom! It’s Tuesday morning. Judgement day. All the officials cram into Trump Tower, and after evaluating their performances The Donald lowers the hammer and fires the most inept official. Tell me you wouldn’t be glued to your television all week long.
2. Celebrity Officials
Did you hate that final play of the Monday Night game? The one where one official ran over and called it a touchdown and the other one ran over and called it an interception? Now imagine how much more awesome that would have been if the two officials were Charlie Sheen and Snooki.
Need I go on?
The storylines would practically write themselves:
- B and C-List celebrities would go crazy trying to get themselves onto an officiating crew. Imagine this phrase in Gilbert Gottfried’s voice: “After further review, the ball was grasped with two hands.”
- 80s. TV. Reunions. Bring together the cast of Love Boat as an officiating crew, with Gavin Mcleod as your head referee, Lauren Tewes as your back judge, US Representative Fred Grandy as your linesman and Ted Lange as Isaac, your umpire. Put the TV stars in their original costumes and I am guaranteeing that every person in America subscribes to the NFL Sunday Ticket package on DirecTV.
- City-specific assignments: Do you want to see the cast of CSI: Miami ref the Miami-Jets game? You know you do.
3. Pick Fans From the Crowd
For anyone who has ever said “I could do a better job than these bozos,” now’s your chance. Before the game starts, the stadium PA announcer would call out seven names a la The Price is Right and you’ve got your officials for the game right there. They would come running out of the stands one by one, outfitted quickly in referee uniforms, handed a whistle and the game begins!
You’ve got a decent shot at your officials being some combination of:
- A 380-pound guy wearing a beer hat who has been drinking steadily since the tailgate party started at 8 a.m. and who keeps blotting at his forehead with his yellow referee’s flag.
- A 79-year-old grandmother wearing the home team’s jersey and waving a foam finger that is 1.5 times her actual weight.
- A kindergartener with face paint who spends the entire game sleeping.
- A French exchange student who does not understand how zee American Football works but finds it “passé.”
- A crazy college student with the team logo shaved into his head who tries to tackle the opposing team’s returner during the opening kickoff.
- Second Lady Jill Biden, who has been sitting in the owner’s luxury box for the requisite network camera cutaway.
Would they be any worse than the existing replacement officials? Would you not feel some empathy watching your friends and neighbors attempting to ref an NFL game? Would this not become the hottest ticket since Willy Wonka? Tell me you wouldn’t enjoy watching this!
If we’re going to be saddled with replacement officials, let’s make it awesome. Call NFL headquarters and insist that they replace the replacements with one of the scenarios above. Thank you.