The December issue of GQ Magazine includes a piece called “Confessions of the Most Hated Men in Football,” in which the magazine interviews replacement NFL officials that started the 2012 season.
Their time in the league ended infamously after the touchdown (if you’re a Seahawks fan) or interception (if you’re a cheesehead) at the end of the Seattle Seahawks – Green Bay Packers game on Monday Night Football.
The interviews included two officials who worked that game, Wayne Elliott and Perry Hudspeth. The article also explains that these officials were not full-time referees, but had regular jobs just like the rest of us before they were asked to step in.
Wayne Elliott, 55, referee; Realtor and NCAA Division III official, Austin:
“At halftime of the Green Bay–Seattle game, I felt like the cock of the walk. I was thinking, We’re kicking this game’s butt. In the fourth quarter, Green Bay took their first lead of the game; it was 12 to 7.Seattle got the ball back with about a minute left. Then it was fourth-and-ten from the twenty-four. The quarterback rolled sixteen yards back. I’m watching him; he’s my responsibility. I could tell from the reaction of the Seattle bench that we had a touchdown.”
Perry Hudspeth, 64, line judge; investment adviser and retired NCAA Division I official, Winston-Salem, North Carolina:
“One official was signaling time-out. When you have a close play and need a second or two to think about it, that’s always a good signal to give. Then the side judge came in and immediately called it a touchdown. I think had they been more experienced, they would have talked to each other first.”
Elliott: “In the replay booth, you could definitely see the Green Bay guy controlling the ball first and the Seattle guy getting his arms in there, and it was an argument for a simultaneous catch. The replay guy said, ‘We’re gonna have to go with ‘The play stands.’’ I never knew life could be the way it was for the next week. I got, I would guess, 2,000 calls and texts on my cell phone from Wisconsin: ‘The best call you could make right now would be suicide.’”