Nonchalance and incompetence is an impressive mix of ineptitude. While no referee at any level aims to be terrible at officiating, we must understand that referees are human and make mistakes. So next time you want to up and scream at the youth league umpire who called little Johnny out on a pitch that was just a fingernail outside, take a deep breath, relax, and take solace in the fact that those kind of mishaps are only happening at the lowest level of competition, or not.

In Sunday’s contest between the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears (who you could argue is the lowest level of competition), referee Jeff Triplette decided the blatantly wrong call was his to make.


Triplette called hands to the face against Lions center Graham Glasgow  (No. 60) after Glasgow had just gotten mugged by the Bears Eddie Goldman (No. 91). It was immediately clear to everybody who saw the replay that it was the wrong call, a fact that wasn’t acknowledged until after the game.

Glasgow told the Detroit Free Press after the game that a ref came to him afterward and told him, “Oh, I just switched you guys up. I meant to call it on 91, but you were blocking him, so I accidentally called it on you.”

To which Glasgow responded, “Whatever, man.”

Not that it matters in this particular instance because the Lions won the game, but it sounds like the referee knew he messed up right away and instead of changing the call and making the game right and fair, he decided to save face and wait until the game was over to offer a half-assed “awww shucks” apology to Glasgow.

This is really the kind of nonsense we can’t have happening in the NFL, or any professional sports league. Bad calls are going to happen, it’s a part of sports, but for a referee to acknowledge it and still not fix it is a fireable offense.

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