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REPORT: NHL And NBA Hired NFL Preseason Referees For Finals

SOURCE: Stephen Brashear/AP

Everyone bitches about referees. If you don’t, you’re most likely either too “proper” to be a sports fan or have never experienced true heartache with your favourite sports team. Nothing hurts more than seeing your team lose due to controversial calls or just outright terrible officiating. Go ask Predators fans how they feel today.

Every one of the big professional sports leagues has had its share of poor officiating on the big stages. That’s the human error element that’s become so engrained in sport. We love to hate it. Alas, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pure rage towards the referees of the NHL and NBA Finals, even though I had no personal investment in either finals matchup (Toronto team is golfing yet again). I felt absolutely terrible for the Predators and their fans for the shit-show that was the referees during Game 1 and again in last night’s deciding Game 6 on the brutal early whistle. When watching the NBA Finals, I couldn’t help but be humored and angered at the same time by the atrocious calls going both ways.

There had to be some reason as to why the refs all of the sudden morphed into a shittier version of their normal shit. Everybody in the sports world had just accepted this shittiness, and failed to question why. I knew a few questions, some film, and a bottle of rum would help me solve this puzzle.

This video shows an extremely passive referee who looks lost, almost like it’s his first time ever hearing two grown men go at each other. The demeanor seemed familiar, but I still couldn’t figure it out. So I kept searching.

I went back to check out this part of the game, where Zaza channeled his inner Draymond and targeted the closest nuts he could find. I then realized that there were some familiar elements yet again. The scene seemed oddly familiar, with two referees standing above a crowd of players, one making a gesture that the other was not. Then I clued in: could the NBA and NHL have hired the NFL’s preseason referees to officiate the finals matchups?

After reaching out to a contact who refuses to be named, I was able to confirm that my theory was indeed correct. The NBA and NHL were trying to draw more negative attention to themselves, as they felt like the fans needed more controversy in their sports lives.

My super secret legitimate contact also stated that the two leagues presented the NFL with a collaborated checklist that needed all criteria to be fulfilled in order for the referees to be eligible to officiate in these pivotal games. The checklist included elements such as:

  • Have to look/appear entirely clueless when it comes to pivotal moments of a pivotal game
  • Have no knowledge of the rule book
  • Create new rules or skew existing rules on the fly
  • Must be visually impaired or deaf (preferably both)
  • Ability to penalize players for their own “dumb-ass mistakes” (these were the exact words too)
  • Must learn to balance being the centre of attention during the game, and also how to become invisible during crucial moments that require a call from the officials
  • Must be a mentally broken and unstable individual who easily cracks under any amount of stress
  • Confer with referees or league officials for long periods of time only to get the call wrong or escalate the situation from “this is bad” to “what the fuck is wrong with you, go back to the old age home you wrinkly fuck!”

As you may have already assumed, almost every single NFL preseason referee but one was deemed a “perfect candidate” and have since been acting under aliases. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. After discovering who the odd man out was of the qualifications, I found out it was chief idiot replacement ref Lance Easley, who suffers from a mad bout of depression and PTSD from raising his arms in the wrong direction. True story (you can read it here). It was so bad that even he was deemed to be “too broken”…

Will the real referees please stand up? They are probably face deep in powder and pussy somewhere in Aruba, but please come back to us so that we can rip you and your poor decisions apart. You are sorely missed.

Connor is a 22 year old Sport Management student from Brock University. He previously graduated from McMaster with an Honours Commerce degree, and hopes to one day be running the show in a front office somewhere.

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