By TPR Staff

The NFL has had to endure this entire mess with the replacement referees for much longer than they had hoped. They have been unable to reach an agreement with the referees who have been on strike to start the season, and negotiations seem to be going nowhere. But this latest incident is beyond laughable.

The NFL pulled one of the replacement officials assigned to the New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers¬†game Sunday morning after it was made aware that he was a Saints fan. That isn’t even the worst part of it, believe it or not.

Side judge Brian Stropolo is a fan of the Saints, according to his Facebook page. He was pulled from the assignment Sunday morning and replaced with an alternate who travels with the crew.

His Facebook page. he was fortunate enough to land a gig as a referee in the NFL, but was stupid enough to leave up the fact that he was a Saints fan on his Facebook page.

His Facebook page!

Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

The NFL had no clue about Stropolo’s open allegiance as a Saints fan until ESPN contacted the league Sunday morning. Stropolo, who is from New Orleans and lists himself on Facebook as an NFL side judge, posted pictures of himself in Saints gear tailgating at an Aug. 25 preseason game.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Stropolo worked the Week 1 opener between the Cowboys and Giants and posted on Sept. 5. That means that the league thought highly of his abilities, as they chose who they thought were the best officials for the nationally televised games. After that contest, Stropolo once again took to Facebook.

“Thanks to everyone for all the support,” Stropolo posted. “The crew did a great job tonight. Next stop September 16th at Carolina vs the Saints.”

Stropolo’s status update drew 73 “likes” and comments such as “Hey, now be nice with those yellow flags for our Saints!!” and “That’s awesome you get to be an official for a Saints game! I didn’t think they would let you since your [sic] from Louisiana.”


When will people learn that there is no easier way to ruin one’s professional career than by posting things on Facebook?

Stropolo is now aware of that fact.





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Readers Comments (3)

  1. avatar Glenn

    Doesn’t it stand to reason every ref — regular or replacement — is a fan of some team and has been since childhood.

    Granted, posting anything on Facebook that could be perceived as controversial — even if in reality innocuous — is not a real good idea. It’s no dark secret everyone and their grandmother reads the popular website nowadays. This includes law enforcement agencies, who have used it as an incriminating investigative tool.

    Knowing this, even if you feel compelled to be completely open and honest with your page, at least block it from everyone’s view other than your friends. Untold numbers of users have taken advantage of this effective security feature offered by FB.

    So we have here a combination of carelessness and poor discretion. Let this serve as a lesson to all of us: The concept of privacy is anything but ironclad anymore — especially online!

    But if you are the type whose ego drives you to public recognition, be extremely vigilant. If you are applying for a job with a conservative political concern, do not print pictures of yourself from your hippie days. If it’s for a private corporation, don’t include Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” on the list of your favorite literary works. And if you want to work for the NFL as a ref, leave out any mention of your favorite team, including pictures of them.


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