The Saga of the Replacement Referees


They were cops, teachers, investment advisers, a supermarket manager, even the director of a local parks-and-recreation department. They had officiated all over America, from the desolate high school fields of godforsaken Texas towns to D-1 college-football coliseums. They had dreamed of working in the NFL, but for one reason or another it just never happened for them. So when a mass e-mail went out last spring—Help Wanted: Refs—they jumped at the chance.

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