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Hennessy’s Rant of the Week: Scabs Scabs Go Away, Come Again Another Day (Or Not)

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Last night’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns saw the return of the NFL’s regular referees and the official end of Zebra-Gate. Late Wednesday night, the NFL and the referees’ faux-union reached a reported 8-year agreement. This tentative agreement should keep the Zebras on the field for the foreseeable future, but based on the outrage caused by “THREE WEEKS AH’ CRAPPY OFISHEY-ATIN,” god only knows what else the media will turn from an interesting side story to the end of the NFL as we know it. Hot dog vendor strike? Unsafe working conditions for down-marker-holders? The creation of a kicker-punter-waterboy anti-defamation league (Chris is in trouble)?

Zebra-Gate was a horrible experience. Not the bad calls or the extra timeouts or SportsCenter actually receiving its highest rating ever due to the Packers-Seahawks debacle (more on that play later). The worst part was the fans, the media, and the overly exaggerated commentary on what was truly significant to the games. Sure, I hate the media and all, but allow me to offer my opinion on a few of the more outrageous lines of bullshit that were crafted to sell this as a potential NFL Armageddon.

The replacement referees HAVE OTHER JOBS!!!!

One of the most hilarious reasons for the scab’s unwarranted presence on the field is because they actually have jobs and weren’t in a secluded cult lair where they practice the art of flag throwing until the Ginger Dictator calls them into action. Nothing was more irritating than hearing “The guy is a BANKER in real life man, C’MON!.”

Let’s introduce you to the gun show himself, Ed Hoculi, or should we call him Edward G. Hoculi, J.D.

“After further review, my client is guilty as charged, penalty to be assessed 3 months from now at the spot of this trial”

That’s right folks, the Mighty Hocules spends his time in a court room when he’s not being a “regular referee.” When he’s not bench pressing the legal system, he’s busy being a PARTNER at his law firm. The idiots that think the unionized referees operate on a teacher schedule and take the summer off are exactly that – idiots. Big Ed specializes in Product and Premises Liability, as well as Transportation Defense. This is legalese for helping that guy who fell off the curb at Wal-Mart get paid. I bet I never hear an announcer scream, “What a horrible call by the guy who sued a Sheetz for making their coffee too hot!”


Well, I can’t really argue with that one… It’s true. It’s damn true. Next…

That guy can’t REFEREE in the NFL, he WATCHES the NFL!!!!!!!!!!

Scab Brian Stropolo was pulled from a game because he is an avid fan of the New Orleans Saints. Apparently Roger Goodell and his crack staff overlooked Facebook pictures of Brian in SAINTS GEAR AT A TAILGATE!!!!!! The NFL, in their ever widening quest to “protect the shield,” decided this was a no-no because apparently they think no referee, scab or regular, watches the sport and has a favorite team. The NFL is the most popular sport in America but because one scab is a fan like the other 300 million people he is banned from officiating??

Being this Total Steelers, let’s keep things Pittsburgh oriented ‘round here. The “regular referee” who worked last night’s game, the guy who got a STANDING OVATION from those mutants in Baltimore, was none other than Washington, PA native Gene Steratore. He still lives there despite its lack of anything except a snobby college and a few good food joints. Gene co-owns and runs Steratore Sanitary Supply and anyone born and raised in Western PA who sells urinal cakes is obviously a Steelers Fan, myself included.

Except for the urinal cakes.

Despite this local bias, Gene has still reffed many a Steeler game and nobody cried wolf then.

The refs are back because the SEAHAWKS SHOULD HAVE LOST THAT GAME!!!!

Let’s be clear about one thing nobody has the balls to say; the ending to the Packers-Seahawks game on Monday Night was NOT the most egregious F*!# up of the Scab Era. The play is a lot closer than the empty suits on ESPN have so far been willing to admit. Any line judge who goes by the letter of the law would correctly rule that catch a simultaneous possession and TD for Seattle. He would also overlook the pass interference because he should know that offensive and defensive pass interference occur on every Hail Mary so it is NEVER called.

The officials definitely had a bad game. Seattle only got to attempt a Hail Mary in the first place because of several botched calls. But where the Packers got screwed wasn’t on the field, it was in the replay booth. And the man in the booth Monday Night wasn’t a scab at all. It was Phil Luckett, who Steeler Nation will forever remember as the ref who couldn’t hear Jerome Bettis say “Heads” in the Thanksgiving Coin Toss Fiasco against the Detroit Lions.

At any rate, I’m glad this is over. I’m going to worry about something more important. Something you’ll never hear covered 24-7 on the World Wide Leader. I’m going to worry about the NHL lock out.