Stropolo: The Ref That Cheered

18 09 2012


Just when you thought officiating from the NFL replacement referees couldn’t get any worse, one referee added a new storyline that only hurts their current image.

When the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers played this last Sunday, Brian Stropolo, a replacement referee, got to do what he really wanted in watching “his team” play rather than determining the outcome of the game. After the league discovered multiple photos (including the one above) on Stropolo’s Facebook page that clearly showed him as a Saints fan and even tailgating at a preseason game this year, they quickly removed him from the game. His Facebook account has since been disabled.

He is currently under full investigation by the league and will be unable to return as an official until the league decides what action to take.

Now, I understand that 99.99 percent of referees are sports fans and most likely possess a passion for their respective sport, giving them the reasoning to start this career path. It would be foolish to think every single one of these men are completely unbiased and have as much emotion as Hayden Christensen on a movie set.

However, what should be expected from these men is to be smart and understand they are in the spotlight. Just as is the case with any athlete, actor or politician, you are always under scrutiny. If you mess up and get caught, the consequences are not your only punishment; you must also face the media’s scolding.

In Stropolo’s case, he shouldn’t be chastised for liking a sports team – again, he is not alone in his profession. The fact that he had many photos of himself in Saints gear and at Saints games is the truly baffling part of this fiasco. He should have realized we live in a society where anything and everything put online can somehow, someway be found by the millions of bloggers and tweeters that inundate the social media world. All the man had to do was keep those photos to himself since he was an NFL referee for the 2012 NFL season.

But he didn’t. And now he will be the face of a group of replacement referees that are struggling to live up to the standards left by the previous referees holding out for more money. Hopefully all the “Likes” and Comments” made it worth his permanently tainted image.


Ignite the Site!




One response

18 09 2012
Louise Kimbrel

In not just this example but many that brings a question; “Don’t people understand what it means to live in the digital age of complete moment to moment connection that can’t be taken back? So Stropolo can’t have it both ways not in todays world.

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