Despite winning the game Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens 24-23, Philadelphia Eagles star running back LeSean McCoy was not happy and confirmed the fears of many NFL fans and experts complaining about the replacement referees.
With the real NFL referees locked out, the league has hired unqualified and possibly biased replacements that are starting to ruin the outcome of games.
Even worse, there could be much more cynical reasons behind their actions.
McCoy told 94WIP Philadelphia’s Anthony Gargano and Ike Reese about players intimidating the refs and how much like fans these replacements really are:
During the game, they made like a bad call or something, the ref, and I see Ray Lewis like pump his chest up, trying to scare him. Don’t you know [the ref] started stuttering? I’m like ‘what’s this?!’…They’re like fans, kind of though. I’ll be honest, they’re like fans. One of the refs was talking about his fantasy team, like ‘McCoy, come on, I need you for my fantasy,’ ahhh, what?!
This is a two-part comment that hits on two very different—and very serious—issues with these replacement referees.
Just as in the case of side judge Brian Stropolo—an avid New Orleans Saints fan—the credibility of the officials working the Eagles game Sunday and all games across the league is already in serious question.
Whether the referee that commented to McCoy about his fantasy team was joking or not, the fact that the fate of multi-million dollar organizations rests on the shoulders of men who couldn’t do this job with the proper time and training is ridiculous.
The second part of McCoy’s comment that terrifies NFL fans and executives alike is the intimidation factor. With no fear of long-term repercussions from officials that will be gone soon enough, players like Ray Lewis and head coaches like Jim Harbaugh will abuse referees until they influence a call.
Despite all of the blatant issues, the league is still not losing money because of this situation. Until that happens, this lockout will continue until a close game is botched and a playoff team misses their opportunity.
Maybe then change will come.
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