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Replacement Referee Brian Stropolo Removed from Saints-Panthers Game for Being a Saints Fan

| by Alex Groberman

As if the NFL’s reluctance to part with one percent of their yearly revenue to pay real referees wasn’t embarrassing enough, Roger Goodell and Co. now have a new mess on their hands. Apparently, when you go out and hire amateurs to preside over the most successful sports league in America, things can go wrong in more ways than one.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Brian Stropolo, a replacement referee who was scheduled to work today’s New Orleans Saints versus Carolina Panthers showdown, has been pulled because he admitted to being a Saints fan on his Facebook page.

Yes, seriously.

Per the report:

The NFL has removed one of the game officials from the crew working the Saints-Panthers game on Sunday because Brian Stropolo, scheduled to be the side judge, posted fan-related items on his Facebook page the league, confirmed to CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora.

Tim Keese will replace Stropolo, a league spokesman told La Canfora.

The NFL, for their part, has admitted that this wasn’t some bad joke.

"We took the safe and appropriate measures," NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said of the matter.

Amazing.

Again, it’s worth pointing out that this replacement referees saga is the direct byproduct of NFL owners being too stingy to part with crumbs. Not slices of bread – crumbs. The most successful and profitable sports association in America won’t pay the people who maintain the integrity of the game not because they can’t afford to, but because they simply don’t want to.

This is far more embarrassing than the NHL lockout could ever hope to be

(Kudos CBS Sports)

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