As we all know, the referee's lockout is an embarrassment for the NFL.
Officials not good enough to work college games have blown calls left and right over the past two weeks, while players—taking advantage of no authority figures on the field—have steadily increased the cheap shots and illegal hits. Did anyone catch the Broncos-Falcons game last night? John Fox looked like he was ready to strangle someone by the end of the first quarter.
Well, now we've really hit rock bottom. Faced already with potential scandals involving a former Seahawks employee who offiiciated a Seahawks game and a Saints fan who almost worked his favorite team's Week Two contest, the NFL will be forced to investigate an incident during yesterday's Eagles game. According to a LeSean McCoy interview yesterday, a ref told the running back to play well because he had him on his fantasy team. Seriously.
Deadspin has the details of the interview:
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy went on 94WIP in Philadelphia yesterday, and touched on how the refs tend to be intimidated and influenced by players and crowds. Not a surprise—this week, 14 of 16 home teams won their games. But he also gave an example of how the replacement refs seem more like contest winners than hardened employees.
"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 [team].'"
This seems like a scenario out of a terrible bad episode of "The League" (Ruxin wins a contest to ref a game and calls penalties constantly on Matt Forte!), but unfortunately it's very, very real. The NFL has become the WWE.