The referee lockout that was produced some of the stranger sights we’ve ever seen come out of the NFL. But perhaps none were weirder than what happened at the end of the lockout, tonight in Baltimore. Did there ever come a day you thought you’d see fans stand up and cheer for our dear old zebras, as they tip our caps back at us in gratitude? Well, the two of you got your wish.
I guess we kind of expected this to happen, and with the context surrounding it, the ovation was definitely not a surprise. But taken way out of context, America is cheering for referees. These guys are usually the bane of our collective sports experience. They’re drones with whom we feel an otherworldly comfort spewing profane epithets at when something bad happens to our team. And now we’re giving them the royal treatment.
But context, people! Context! I’m sure you all felt the same warmth and comfort I did when our favorite old refs took the field. It does always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone, and now we know. I’d hug Ed Hochuli myself, I just don’t want to get called for holding.