Today in Shameless PR Stunts, the President of the New Jersey state Senate decided to make the most of the NFL’s “replacement ref” controversy by proposing a law that would make the act of using refs who aren’t “fully trained” illegal in Dirty Jerz.
The hairline-challenged Stephen Sweeney, who just happens to be a huge Packers fan despite the fact that he lives, works and serves in Jersey, released a written statement today announcing his plans to introduce a bill that would ban “replacement officials” from calling any kind of professional sports contest in his state—a state that serves as home to both the New York Giants and the New York Jets (we still can’t get over that one—just give Jersey the Jets and let New York keep the Giants already! Everybody likes alliteration!).
Sweeney unconvincingly tried to tie the scandal to the issue of players’ health, writing that “Whether the sport is football, soccer or baseball, when referees don’t know how to properly enforce the rules, there is a real chance for unnecessary and serious injury.”
Hmm…We’re not quite sure where he was going there.
Football is famous for causing horrible injuries even when the very best refs are on the field, and we frankly can’t see why crappy calls would lead to more players getting hurt. There might be more penalties and fistfights with the temp refs in charge, but last time we checked the act of concussion by tackle was not against any rule in the NFL’s playbook. We have a hunch that Mr. Sweeney had a whole lot riding on last night’s game and that his temper still hasn’t quite died down. But that’s just a hunch.
For pulling a shameless stunt like this, we think Mr. Sweeney deserves a stern lecture delivered with just the right amount of bluster and spittle. Where’s Chris Christie when you really need him?