The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


September 26, 2012

All a-Twitter over NFL refs

The NFL replacement referee/referee lockout situation, which finally looks to be moving towards being resolved, went from the sublime to the ridiculous this week, setting off a cyberspace chain reaction.

The online universe was all a-Twitter following Monday night’s embarrassing end-of-the-game call by the NFL replacement referees that awarded a Hail Mary touchdown pass to Seattle’s Golden Tate from rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. The ridiculously bad call took a clear interception away from Green Bay and delivered a tainted 14-12 victory to the Seahawks, sparking outrage that went beyond the playing fields, further sending the NFL into an ever-deepening quagmire.

• The Twitter line of the week was delivered when somebody using the handle @ReignofTroy tweeted: “Russell Wilson became the first QB in history to throw a game-winning interception.”

• How bad are the replacements? According to a statement released by the Lingerie Football League on its official Twitter account, several of the current batch of NFL referees were fired from the frilly wares league “due to on-field incompetence.” LFL Commissioner Mitchell Mortaza didn’t identify any of the officials, nor did he say whether any of the “incompetent” officials were working Monday night’s game in Seattle.

One wonders how bad one has to be to be booted from the LFL. It would seem far easier (and more fun) to break up a scrum in the LFL. Apparently this batch of refs can’t even be entrusted to oversee a panty raid.

• Even President Obama chimed in via Twitter, or at least his official Twitter account sent out the following: “NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs’ lockout is settled soon.” He then personally added, “I’ve been saying for months we’ve got to get our refs back.”

It was good to see he had time to address this pressing matter between visits to “The View” and David Letterman, while ignoring visiting heads of state. Clearly, he did not see this merely as a “bump in the road” as he characterized the Middle East crisis in the wake of the murder of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

Just keeping it real, eh Mr. President? And completely in perspective.

But there was other news too this past week beyond the referee lockout-inflicted kerfuffle that you may have missed.

• The NFL still has not resolved the New Orleans Saints bounty mess, but they’re not alone in dealing with such matters.

 A California Pop Warner little league has been rocked by a similar scandal where the young players on one team allegedly were paid as much as $20 for well-timed or well-placed hits on certain opposing players.

Twenty bucks? Shoot, at that age, I would have taken my friend Tommy’s head off for a pack of football cards and a stick of bubble gum. Kids are so spoiled today.

• Finally, rejoice. After a monthlong break for the Olympics, the WNBA resumes play today. What’s that? You didn’t even know they had stopped playing? Don’t worry, nobody else did either.

Ruthenberg is sports editor at the News & Eagle. Contact him at

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