After the National Football League failed to meet the increased salary demands of the long-time regular referees this off-season, replacement officials from lower football divisions attempted to fill the void. However, three weeks of poor calls and questionable penalties has stirred up conversation throughout the league.
On Monday, September 24, the horrific performance of the new referees hit an all time low – the Green Bay Packers were defeated on the last play of the game by the Seattle Seahawks. Common interpretation of the play is that the Packer defense actually intercepted the pass, however, after reviewing the Hail Mary to Seattle’s wide receiver Golden Tate, the officials declared the play a touchdown giving the Seahawks the go ahead score. Fans, coaches, and everyone with an optical nerve was appalled by the missed call and blatant omission of offensive pass interference. After the game, disappointed Packers fan Sean Corby said, “Even Helen Keller saw he didn’t catch that.”
The NFL has no choice now but to move to the next tier of qualified refs – trained Magellanic Penguins from Sea World. The new semi-aquatic replacements already have a leg-up on the current league officials. Penguins are naturally black and white, so no referee uniforms need to be issued. Additionally, penguins have spectacular vision. The eyesight of a Magellanic Penguin is 156 times better than that of a peregrine falcon, allowing them to avoid predators such as sea lions and sand bears.
A few of the players are skeptical about the change, but many are excited for a re-replacement. Joshua Cribbs, of the Cleveland Browns, said, “These penguins can’t fly, but I bet they can tell who catches the ball. Plus, seeing them waddle to and fro out on the field is gonna be simply adorable.”
Rumor of penguins as referee replacements caught the attention of Warner Bros. Pictures in Hollywood. The movie studio has allegedly begun production of Happy Feet 3: Happy Feetball. Warner Bros. will be working directly with the NFL and their copyrights, so the league is promised a hefty portion of the revenue. The film is expected to be released in Summer of 2013.
The League’s Commissioner, Roger Goodell, ultimately made the controversial decision after taking his children to Sea World over the weekend. “Looking at the penguins in the exhibit got me thinking; these birds couldn’t be worse than what we have now,” he said early Tuesday in an interview. “Honestly, this situation is a win-win. We are able to pay them in diced cuttlefish and krill, and their high pitched squawk will replace the pricey whistles being used now. Fiscally, we’ll be making more and spending less, and that’s what it’s all about.” Look for the penguins in upcoming NFL games on major broadcasters throughout the country.