NEW YORK Officials with the National Football League today confirmed that NBA referees Bennett Salvatore and Dick Bavetta, in an exchange program, will be reffing the New York Giant's home playoff game next weekend.
The move was made to ensure another undeserved victory for the mediocre Giants, who were handed the NFC East title last night by the refs in their game against Oakland. Salvatore will work the field at the Meadowlands game, while Bavetta will handle replay duties, Lil' Hater has learned.
Salvatore and "Knick" Bavetta are well-known for their ability to guarantee victories for home teams (particularly New York teams) in the NBA that face a must-win playoff situation, and NFL officials believe their skill will translate well to the gridiron. Their inevitable involvement in these must-win NBA home games has even become a running joke in the Sports Dork's website, we understand from our sources.
"We've already got the 'First Round Playoff Winners' T-shirts and hats made up for the Giants, so we want to make sure that no stones go unturned in guaranteeing another win for a team in the media capital of the world," said an NFL official who requested anonymity.
Salvatore and Bavetta's hirings are just the latest step in the NFL's attempt to give the season to the Giants, who will be playing their 13th home game of the year next weekend.
The Oakland game featured the league's latest shenanigans, as an obvious 4th quarter touchdown sneak by QB Kerry Collins on 4th down was denied by both the field judge and replay booth.
All 433 Raider fans – allegedly the best, most loyal set of NFL fans in the league, according to them – that attended the game howled in protest in the call, to no avail. But hey, do not take this as an endorsement of the Raiders or an attempt to give the team any credit. The game should have been halted after that pass-interference call to allow fans to bet on the "There is no way the Raiders score here" line. You knew the Raiders were going to wrap its season with a huge play-calling blunder
"Yeah, it was a really, really weak call on the ref’s part, but let's not kid ourselves, the Raiders weren't going to score again anyway," added the unnamed official. "Look at the four plays that 'Play-Calling Genius' Norv Turner called from the one-yard line: Run up the middle, run up the middle, time out, run up the middle, time out, QB sneak up the middle. Jesus."
Who was calling these plays, Gregg Easterbrook?
All four plays were run without Randy Moss on the field, who with two TD catches that game would have forced the Giants to at least respect the potential of a pass, making it easier to sneak a run into the end zone.
"But Norv, to his credit, used the last big series of his coaching career to hammer home the point that he always, always ignores his best offensive player when clutch time comes around," the NFL official said. "He made our job at fixing the game much easier; we were ready to call a holding penalty if they lucked their way into a touchdown."
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