by Dr. Roy Cordato
Senior Economist, Emeritas
The outrage over the horrible calls of replacement referees in the NFL has been deafening over the last several days. But this kind of referee incompetence, and much worse, has been going on for many decades in another sport, with barely anyone noticing. And this is a sport that rivals the popularity of football. It is a sport that boasts more TV time slots annually than football and basketball and probably baseball combined. It’s professional wrestling. The incompetence of pro-wrestling referees is unrivaled with no concern expressed from sports reporter or VP candidates.
I remember an incident where a referee in a pro-wrestling match found himself distracted by the talents of a well endowed manager/valet of one of the grapplers in the ring. He turned his back on the action to get a closer look and while he did the wrestler whose manager was causing the distraction reached into his trunks, pulled out a pair of brass knuckles and proceeded to clobber his opponent knocking him out. He quickly put the brass knuckles back into his trunks and covered his opponent for the pin. When the ref turned his attention back to his job all he saw was the unfortunate victim of his incompetence being covered for the 1-2-3. So the ref fell to the floor and made the count.
Now this is real referee incompetence and it occurs night after night in arenas around the country without a word being uttered by the press. Where is the outrage? Where is the indignation? Well from this biased media that is only concerned about its pet sports, like baseball and football, it’s nowhere to be found. Clearly it is not only the refs that are incompetent but so is the media.