During yesterday's CBS Pregame Show, Charley Casserly's wig made its usual appearance to discuss news from around the league. It was the typical fare: so-and-so is on the hot seat, whatshisname could get make bank this offseason, blah blah blah.
But then Casserly busted out this gem: in the wake of referee Jeff Triplette getting helped to his face during last week's Bills-Jets game, there have been discussions about how to make officials safer as they wade through 22 muscle-bound meatheads for three hours every Sunday.
One possibility: equipping umpires (the poor souls who stand just behind the inside linebackers before the snap and are often target practice anytime the ball makes its way to the middle of the field) with helmets. Seriously. Casserly opines that either a baseball helmet (the two-ear-flap Mark Lemke special) or maybe even a football helmet could be part of the required uniform in 2009.
I get the whole safety issue because, well, a 250-pound, 20-something linebacker running through a 180-bound, 60-year-old accountant working his part-time gig can be pretty dangerous. But the thought of some old-timer lining up in a full-on officials uniform WITH a football helmet seems ridiculous. It's hard enough to take them seriously when they're just wearing a striped shirt and baseball pants. Adding a helmet probably won't help.
Whatever comes of this, I'm guessing Garth DeFelice won't be donning a helmet anytime soon. The photo above shows DeFelice Deebo-ing the Rams' Kenneth Darby, and if you're into the whole moving-pictures thing, here ya go:
Garth DeFelice Will Not Be Needing a Football Helmet for Protection, Thank You Very Much originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Mon, 22 Dec 2008 11:15:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.