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Battle Red Onion: NFL Suspends Officiating Crew for "Tripping On The Job"

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October 3, 2011

Houston, Texas

When the clock ran down to zero at the end of the tilt between the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers, the happiest person to get off the field on Sunday was referee Clete Blakeman. He, along with his crew of linesmen and field judges, ran off the field and away from the wrath of a crowd of angry Texans fans.

While they had escaped a potential mob scene in the stadium, Blakeman and company knew the other shoe had yet to drop. And Roger Goodell chose his heaviest iron boots to drop on them today. Blakeman and his crew have been suspended indefinitely for calling the game while under the influence of controlled substances.

"I first heard the rumors about this kind of behavior while Paul [Tagliabue] was still the commissioner. I couldn't believe it was true, and Paul refused to accept it. But after watching the film from this game, I can't bury my head in the sand anymore," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, "Our referees should be as drug-free as our players."

Blakeman was unhappy with the Commissioner's decision, but does not plan to appeal Reichskanzler Commissioner Goodell's decision. "To be honest, I'm glad it's finally out there. But damn, I had some fun times while tripping out of my mind."

Blakeman explained that he had been given something called "mindf*** mushrooms" and shares a few with his crew just before the game starts. "It was a bonding experience for us more than anything. Plus, if one of us got a bad 'shroom and started making bad calls, then we'd all be doing the same just to cover up for him."

These "mind**** shrooms" truly did live up to their name, it seemed; said Blakeman, "When Johnathan Joseph picked up that blocked kick and ran down the field, I swear that I saw some kind of horrific cross between a bear and pterodactyl and the only way to stop it was to draw my yellow sword o' justice and slay the beast myself. It was wild, man."

This was not the only hallucination that the referees saw during the game.

"I remember one of the many hits on Roethlisberger from that game was really freaky. As J.J. Watt got pushed into Ben Roethlisberger after he got the ball away, [Roethlisberger] looked like his face was literally melting off, like 'Raiders of the Lost Ark,' type stuff, you know? When I looked again, Watt looked like he was sucking the life force from Roethlisberger. That had to be against some rule, I thought, so I threw the flag."

The mushrooms used by these refs were originally cultivated in the Detroit area back in 2006, but it spread like wildfire around Super Bowl XL, when a couple of fungi found their way into the possession of another NFL referee: Bill Leavy. It is widely believed that this was when the drug epidemic among referees really began.

As popular as these special mushrooms have become, they have really exploded in popularity, oddly enough, in the Pittsburgh drug scene; specifically around Heinz Field. Many of the locals have fallen prey to these hallucinogens, and they have experience a severe reduction in mental faculties as a result of consuming one too many 'shrooms. How else can one explain such statements like, "Even if they don’t fix any of their problems, the Steelers could still very well make the playoffs given their pathetically soft schedule (3 games against AFC West, 2 x Bungals, 2 x Browns, Chiefs, Jags)," made by an anonymous Steelers fan?

If these are the long-term effects of "mind**** mushrooms," then Commissioner Goodell has a lot of work ahead of him in cleaning the problem up.

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