NFL Refs Can Land a Punch
Kenneth Darby #33 of the St. Louis Rams runs into umpire Garth DeFelice #53 against the San Francisco 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome on December 21, 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 49ers beat the Rams 17-16. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Garth DeFelice;Kenneth Darby (Getty Images)more pics »You don't mess with the ref. This point was made more than clear by referee Garth DeFelice, who landed a strong right jab and then a well-placed tackle to Kenneth Darby of the St. Louis Rams.
The Rams faced San Francisco at home on Sunday and it was a scoreless game with 5:41 left in the first quarter when Darby caught a pass up the middle, then turned around to run right into DeFelice. All I know is, DeFelice must be one pretty tough guy to punch Darby's face mask, then brush off a hit like it didn't even phase him.
The video below shows the tackle, which is a lot less interesting then the photo above, clearly showing DeFelice landing a sturdy punch to Darby's facemask.
After having one of their players laid out by a ref, the Rams tried to regain their dignity by beating the 49ers, but choked late in the game, losing with a final score of 17-16.
The ref's hit was oddly reminiscent of a college football game earlier in the season when a referee lined up South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia. Is it just me, or are referees getting a lot more bold?