The Fake Referee Streaker (and 3 Other Famous Fake Sports Officials -- w/ VIDEO)
Perhaps you were among the millions of people that didn't have a family member playing in or a wager placed upon the UCLA-Arizona game last night in Tucson, which means that you were among the fortunate ones watching something else on television.
Well, you were fortunate for all but about two minutes because if you weren't watching, you missed one of the funniest things I've ever seen on a football field.
As the first half was winding down, a person in a referee's outfit (possibly someone who left straight from a shift at Foot Locker to go to the game) walked down onto the field and began blowing a whistle to stop play.
And then all hell broke loose...
Despite ESPN and Rece Davis's best efforts to downplay the stunt (including the faux condescending aspersion of "knucklehead" on at least a couple of occasions), this was hilarious. The fact that it led to a stoppage that ultimately resulted in the benches clearing was either an added bonus or was unfortunate, depending on your point of view.
Regardless, the footage deserves a breakdown of highlights:
0:05 -- Fake Ref appears on the field signaling a stoppage in play in which the other officials join in, despite the fact that a) they've never seen the guy before and b) he appears to be wearing a pair of capri pants.
0:18 -- Condescending Rece with his first "knucklehead" blast. At this point, Fake Ref turns into Real Streaker and leaves the screen. And even though ESPN is trying to invoke some sort of streaking embargo on our virgin eyes, in 2011 thanks to iPhones, the footage can run but it can't hide.
BONUS FOOTAGE -- Real Streaker strips down and gets caught by the police:
Back to the television footage rundown...
0:28 -- Some of the players decide to use the break in the action to start a bench-clearing brawl. The best part about this is that you can totally tell on the overhead shot which team is fired up and ready to fight and which team is...well...coached by Rick Neuheisel. The dark blue Arizona shirts are swarming like bees and most of the UCLA Bruin white shirts are strolling around like they're walking around in the mall.
1:40 -- Jesse Palmer goes into a diatribe about Arizona possibly having guys suspended over this and what a shame it would be because if they go 5-1 down the stretch, they might make some dogshit bowl game (NOTE: I added "dogshit") and they need to be at full strength to make that happen. Seriously, Jesse?
2:15 -- Arizona players walk over to the stands to high-five a bunch of co-eds. Very disciplined sideline. To that end...
4:35 -- ...Shaquille Richardson, number 5 for Arizona, is seen laughing and smiling with his teammates. Oh, he was ejected, by the way. Nice.
But even the two teams acting the fool couldn't ruin the best "fake referee" moment of all-time, surpassing these three:
3. Frank Drebin, Crime Stopping MLB Umpire from The Naked Gun
2. Tim Donaghy, Game Fixing NBA Referee
NOTE: Seriously, this video is chilling. Watch how many fouls Donaghy calls, including a technical on Vernon Maxwell, which is perhaps the most telling proof that Donaghy was under pressure to fix games. Why else would you risk your life calling a technical on Vernon Maxwell?
1. Earl Hebner, Evil Twin WWF Referee
NOTE: The best part of this video is Hulk Hogan's interview about midway through where he wonders openly how much Ted Dibiase spent on the plastic surgery to manipulate the appearance of the evil twin referee.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on Yahoo! Sports Radio and 1560 The Game weekdays noon to 3 p.m., and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.