There's a necessary catharsis in the revelation that humans, particularly humans invested with petty authority, have no idea what they're actually doing. The triumph of absurdity over authority is probably the most compelling theme in sports. That it doesn't always work out in your team's favor doesn't make it any less interesting. Sometimes two teams' week of intense preparation gets thrown out the window because they suddenly have to play in a blizzard. Sometimes there's a butt fumble. Sometimes a Hall Of Fame Quarterback throws an idiotic interception in the endzone with the game on the line. Sometimes a dude just throws a flag into the stands and walks out. I would argue that it's these moments and not the rare, fleeting moments of triumph that we actually pay to see. What seem like are little failures are actually reasons for hope. The world is cruel and unjust. It's encouraging to remember that even its most crushingly brutal systems can be upended by chance.
Having said all of that, we were reminded this weekend that the world is not only cruel and unjust but also corrupt. It's fitting, then, that the failing empire note we began this football season with should assert itself so brazenly into the narrative.
A pair of stories came to light Sunday that likely will make people in New Orleans look at the NFL sideways.The former Falcon ref isn't the big deal here. But it is funny and adds spice to the larger farce that is the Cerullo hiring. It's a clear abuse of power by the league office where the personal grudges against Sean Payton obviously continue to fester.
The league used a former Atlanta Falcons player on the officiating crew for the Saints game Thursday against the Falcons, and it hired a key member of the so-called bounty scandal to work for the league office.
Meanwhile, Fox’s Jay Glazer reported Sunday morning that the NFL has hired former Saints employee Mike Cerullo as a director of football administration.It's still probably not worth going apoplectic about the quality of the officiating. Sometimes it's bad and failure to be perfect is what this game is all about, really. But it's now, at least, credible to stipulate that it the officiating is, not only poor, but also... "rigged" isn't the word.. weighted(?) against the Saints a little bit. Previously I would have thought that was stupid. So, you know, new things are happening. That's fun.
Cerullo, who was a defensive assistant for the Saints, was the whistleblower who provided the evidence needed for the league to start its bounty investigation against the Saints in 2011. The team said he held a grudge against the organization for being fired.
Cerullo has since worked as Princeton's director of football operations before being hired by the league. The league office said he has no input on disciplinary matters.
New Orleans coach Sean Payton responded to the news on Twitter.
“Troubling report by @JayGlazer regarding league hiring of fired @Saints employee,” Payton wrote. “Unbelievable.”