The Worst of the Worst: Jeff Triplette

Written by :
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.



Champ and Chump Week 13

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Published on : December 12, 2015



It’s that time again ladies and gentlemen. Time to see who got their names in the paper and whose stat sheet became crumpled up paper. We had some championship performances as eight NCAA teams took home conference titles, where I correctly predicted seven of the games. But enough about my success, let’s see this week’s Champ and Chump.


Champ: Christian McCaffery

32 carries for 207 yards and 1 TD, 4 catches for 105 yards and 1 TD, an 11-yard touchdown pass, and 150 return yards.

Christian and his new hardware


As a sophomore, McCaffrey led the Cardinals to the PAC 12 Championship and helped them clinch a spot in the Rose Bowl. The son of former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, Christian is paving his own road as one of the best. He literally can do it all as Stanford’s “Mr Everything.” Earlier this year he broke the NCAA record for all purpose yards in a game and has earned himself a spot on the Heisman Trophy ballot. While it will be hard to beat Alabama running back Derrick Henry, I think McCaffrey just may be the most exciting player in college football.


Honorable Mention:

Blake Bottles and Allen Robinson- Blake finished 24-36, 322 yards with 5 touchdowns and no turnovers while Allen finished with 10 catches, 153 yards and 3 touchdowns in a win over the Tennessee Titans.


Cam Newton- The Panthers remain undefeated, led by MVP candidate Cam Newton. He finished with 380 total yards and 5 touchdowns in a come from behind win against the Saints 41-38.


Chump: Detroit Lions/Jim Caldwell

Another heartbreaker for Detroit


Looking for their first season sweep of the Green Bay Packers since 1991, the Detroit Lions were just seconds away from keeping their slim playoff hopes alive. However, as time expired Aaron Rodgers heaved the ball as high and as far as he could. Turned out to be just enough as Packers’ tight end Richard Rodgers brought down the ball without a Lion defender all that close to him. On the previous play, Detroit tackled Rodgers around the Green Bay 30-yard line after a couple laterals only to have a face mask penalty called on Detroit. A free 15 yards, and one more shot at a miracle, Green Bay made the Lions pay for it and added another chapter to Detroit’s seemingly never-ending tragedy as a franchise.


Dishonorable Mention:

ACC Championship refs- I hate to be one to criticize refs and say they cost a team the game but here is another prime example where they absolutely may have. North Carolina had scored a touchdown to get within 8 points with just over a minute left. They recovered the ensuing onside kick only to have the refs flag them for offsides. No North Carolina player was actually offside, nor was it close.


Special teams in the Dallas/Washington MNF game- The first 58+ minutes of this game saw a combined 18 points on 6 field goals only to have 17 points scored in the final 90 seconds or so. First, DeSean Jackson runs backwards 20 yards on a punt before fumbling, which leads to an easy touchdown. Then on the kickoff, a Dallas player face masks a non-ball carrier after a 40 yard return. Washington ties the game back up, only to kickoff and allow Dallas to return the ball some 40+ yards and line up for a game winning field goal.





Champ and Chump: Week 9

Written by :
Published on : November 11, 2015


Week 8 is in the books, a special thanks to all of those who came to see some of the SBS staff at the tailgate at USC on Saturday. Wish I could have been there but hey, someone has to separate the heroes and villains each and every week. After all, when your team loses like my Spartans did on Saturday night, it helps to know there are some weekly champs out there that could use your support. This week, the gridiron monopolizes our Champ and Chump sections, taking home almost all of the hardware. We celebrate a great individual effort, a clutch late game performance and a total team effort for slowing down a speeding train. On the flip side, some zebras got in the way of a great football game (again) and a legendary winner appears to be an absolute loser. Let’s get to the picks.



Champ: Antonio Brown

Can’t stop him


17 catches, 284 yards in a 38-35 win over the Oakland Raiders

In a game where the Steelers again saw their quarterback leave the game due to injury, Antonio Brown and backup running back Deangelo Williams took over and put the team on their backs. Just for the hell of it, Brown also carried the ball twice for 22 yards and even made two tackles. With the win, Pittsburgh improved to 5-4 on the year and is in the thick of the wild card race. With Cincinnati off to an 8-0 start, the wild card is likely all the Steelers can hope for but with Antonio Brown playing like this, even the Bengals will be taking note. Big Ben is expected to be sidelined for at least one week and the Steelers have a brutal stretch following their week 11 bye.


Honorable Mention:


Carolina Panthers- It isn’t always the prettiest, but Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are 8-0 after 3 straight wins vs the Seahawks, Colts and Packers. Not a bad stretch.


Reggie Jackson- Jackson scored 26 of his 40 points in the 4th quarter on Sunday night. The Pistons outscored the Trail Blazers 41-11 in the 4th after trailing by as many as 18 earlier in the game. The Pistons went on to win 120-103.


Alabama- Held Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette to just 31 yards on 19 carries in a big 30-16 win over LSU on Saturday.



Chump: Jerry Jones

Looks evil


Last week, some very graphic images were released that showed the extent of the assault Greg Hardy put on his girlfriend last year. As we all know by now, Greg Hardy is an absolute garbage human being who is somehow allowed to cash in on the football field when he should be behind bars. What we didn’t know, or maybe what we always thought and now know for sure is that Jerry Jones, Cowboy’s’ owner is also a despicable person who values dollar signs more than actual values that a respectable human would care about. We’ve all since lifted our jaws back up off the floor after seeing the disturbing photos and found ourselves wondering what the Cowboy’s would do with Greg Hardy after these photos were released. Would Dallas bench him, or hide him by not having him available on Sunday, suspend him perhaps, or what many NFL fans hoped, would Dallas be so appalled at the severity of what Hardy did that they would outright release him? The answer, none of the above. Jerry Jones stands by everything he had previously said regarding his “leader” Greg Hardy and continues to support him. I disagree with many who think Jerry Jones is so naïve and is so willing to invite his players into his family that he sometimes defends them to a fault, instead I feel that if Jerry Jones is so blind to think you can sweep all of this under the rug and that the wins and revenue that Greg Hardy can create will somehow repair the bruises and welts he dealt, well then Jerry Jones is almost just as vile as Greg Hardy. And if the Dallas Cowboy fans, and sponsors, have any moral fiber to actually put the well-being of human lives above your glorified football team, then prove it. Make a stand and force the hand of the Dallas Cowboys to do something right.


Dishonorable Mention:


Michigan State Football- With under 2 minutes left, Michigan State led by 12 points. Undefeated and playing a 3-6 team, the Spartans broke down defensively and blew a huge opportunity, potentially ending their possible playoff run.


Referees- Alex wrote a great piece with some ideas on how to solve the issues with referees in football. This past weekend another absolutely inexcusable call may have cost a team a win. Nebraska’s touchdown with 17 seconds left over the Spartans was absolutely illegal with the Wide Receiver taking himself out of bounds only to come back in and catch the football. He was ruled forced out, and after further review it was somehow not overruled. The Spartans blew it by letting Nebraska hang around, but the refs stole their victory.


Aqib Talib- In a loss vs the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Aqib Talib received a penalty and ultimately a one game suspension for poking Dwayne Allen in the eye on Indianapolis’ final drive. In a game where the Colts ended up winning by 3 points, Indy was allowed the opportunity to run out the clock because in part of the penalty.



Zebras in the Mist: NFL Officiating and What Needs to be Done

Written by :
Published on : November 9, 2015


What’s the deal?

NFL officiating has been really bad this season, and sadly, that’s nothing new. It seem like it’s always been this way. From the ‘replacement refs’ to the Calvin Johnson rule, to the tuck rule, to the Fail Mary, it just never ends. Perhaps, it’s because my beloved Lions have been victimized by inept officiating so often, that I feel so strongly on this matter. I mean, in the span of 4 games stretching back to last season, the Lions had the insane sequence where the refs picked up a pass interference flag during a playoff game and the blatant illegal batting that was missed on Monday Night Football in Seattle.


I still don’t understand how this was a touchdown.


I’m probably overly sensitive to the issue but I think everyone can agree that too many games have been adversely affected, or even decided, by the blind bums wearing stripes in recent years. Something has to be done. There was a time when it could be understood due to lack of technology or lack of knowing better, but that time has passed. Fans need to stand up and demand changes, and here are a few things that I think could help improve the situation.



What can be done about it?

Most people say that the NFL should make its game officials full time employees. That’s right, the officials for the multi-billion dollar media giant that is the NFL, are in fact, part time employees. It seems ludicrous that a business that generates so much money for so many people would put the fate of the game and the integrity of the product in the hands of people that they don’t employ full time. They should be utilizing the offseason to give them ongoing training so that they know the rules and how to apply them, like it’s second nature. But what do I know? I’m just the guy whose team keeps getting fucked over.


Second, I think it’s high time that an organization that has pushed the envelope in developing technology to view the game started using the full range of technology available in order to officiate the game properly. Camera’s everywhere… And lasers. There’s got to be someway that lasers can help. Maybe it’s to ensure pinpoint location accuracy for the ball and players on the goal line or to give a quick and corrective shock to officials who make mistakes on the field. Lasers, cameras, and maybe even RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, should be implemented in every possible situation that could help NFL officials pinpoint the location of both the ball and players.


Teams and fans shouldn’t have to bend over and take it when refs drop the ball.


The third thing that can be done is something that the NFL already did once this season. In a somewhat unprecedented move, the league has begun penalizing referees that make egregious and game-altering mistakes on the field. Following a game-clock error by side judge Rob Vernatchi in the Monday Night Football game between the Steelers and Chargers that robbed the Steelers of 18 seconds of time at the end of the game, he was suspended for a week with pay. It may not seem like much since he still got paid, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. The league should continue this trend and hold officials accountable for the mistakes they make.


Finally, the league should expand the review of plays on the field. No more of this “we don’t want to review judgement calls” bullshit. You have the capabilities and it won’t slow the game down that much. Penalties, possession, field position. Review it all! The fans and players deserve to see the right calls made on the field and if that means going under the hood, or making the league office in New York review the play, then that’s what should be done.


I’m sure that there’s more than what I mentioned that can be done to make sure that it’s the players and coaches alone who decide the outcome of games. NFL Officiating is far from perfect and the fact that the league doesn’t use all of the tools available to improve it is disconcerting. Typical of giant corporations, the league has been content to let change come slowly and the only ones who can change that are the fans. Public sentiment is the ultimate driver of change, and if fans voice their displeasure and ‘vote with their dollars’ then maybe NFL Officiating can become as good as the actual games themselves.



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