The Worst of the Worst: Jeff Triplette

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Published on : January 10, 2017



In this new SBS segment, we take a look at the most deplorable of figures in all of sports. From players to coaches to referees to owners, there is no shortage of awful people in the world and that extends to the sports world. We will put the spotlight on those who have done wrong and try to bring their transgressions to the forefront. We do this in hope that by knowing just how horrible they are, they might be banished and the rest of us might be less likely to feel the wrath of their ineptitude.


For this inaugural edition of The Worst of the Worst, we put NFL referee, Jeff Triplette, on blast!


The Orlando Brown incident



In 1999, Triplette threw a flag during a Cleveland Browns game. Nothing unusual, right? Except this flag, like all of them, was weighted with ball bearings, and when he threw it, he apparently wasn’t paying much attention to its trajectory. This flag found its home in the eye of Browns’ player, Orlando Brown, who went ballistic and shoved Triplette to the ground. Brown was then suspended but wound up having the suspension lifted after his eye failed to heal. He went on to miss the next three seasons due to partial blindness in his right eye. It was surely a mistake on the part of Triplette but that doesn’t change the fact that he negatively impacted this man’s career and got the NFL sued by the player. They eventually settled with Orlando Brown out of court.


Illegal face to the hands

Okay so the last example showed that maybe Triplette is a little careless. While it was an unfortunate occurrence, I don’t really think that it’s a reason that he should be fired from his job. But if you watch the above video you get a glimpse into just how bad this guy sucks. The play begins with Detroit Lions’ running back, Dwayne Washington, running the ball for a 14-yard gain. In typical Lions fashion, there is a flag thrown on the play that negates the run. This time the culprit is center, Graham Glasgow, who has committed a penalty for illegal hands to the face. Except once you rewatch the play it is clear that it is the player with whom Glasgow is engaged, Eddie Goldman, that commits the penalty. Glasgow’s hands never come near Goldman’s face mask. This is probably one of the worst calls of the 2016 season, in all of the NFL. Just one of the most recent examples of the horrors of Jeff Triplette’s officiating.       


Words are hard

This example of Jeff Triplette’s ridiculousness also comes to us from the 2016 NFL regular season. In this incident, Aaron Rodgers runs for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans. Upon entering the end zone, Rodgers is laid out by Titans’ defender Perrish Cox. The hit comes late enough that it draws a flag and a scrum between the two teams ensues as the rest of the Packers come to the defense of their quarterback. What follows is one of the most painful explanations of a penalty that I’ve ever seen. This guy really has no idea what is happening around him. Watch, and be amazed.


These are by no means the only transgressions that Jeff Triplette has committed over the course of a career that has somehow spanned 20 years. The internet is littered with videos of his infuriating calls and hilarious explanations. He has proven time and again that he has no business officiating the game at its highest levels. Go out for yourself and make your own conclusions. This guy has got to go, and I’m sure that if you look over the long list of supporting evidence you will agree that Jeff Triplette is among The Worst of the Worst.



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