By Marc Weinreich
September 18, 2012

Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy said a replacement ref made comments to him about his fantasy football team. (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy claims a replacement ref approached him during a game and said, "McCoy, come on, I need you for my fantasy,’ furthering a widely-held belief that the lockout between the NFL and its officials is killing the season.

According to a report Tuesday morning from Stephen Douglas of Big Lead Sports, citing comments that McCoy made as a guest this week on the 94WIP Players Lounge, McCoy said that he got the impression that the refs on the field this season are no different from the fans in the stands. The ref had been telling him about his NFL fantasy team before he made that specific comment to McCoy:

“They’re like fans, kind of though,” McCoy said. “I’ll be honest, they’re like fans. One of the refs was talking about his fantasy team, like ‘McCoy, come on, I need you for my fantasy,’ ahhh, what?!”

McCoy also revealed that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis intimidated a ref this season to the point where the official had trouble speaking:

“During the game, they made like a bad call or something, the ref, and I see Ray Lewis like pump his chest up, trying to scare him,” LeSean McCoy told 94WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Ike Reese on the 94WIP Player’s Lounge on Monday. “Don’t you know [the ref] started stuttering? I’m like ‘what’s this?!’”

After a Week 1 start in which the referees seemed to defy expectations from the public and league executives, the replacements have now become the subject of much criticism in Week 2. The league issued a memo to its coaches this week warning them not to bully the replacement refs. The NFL was notified early Sunday morning that a replacement ref scheduled to officiate the New Orleans Saints-Carolina Panthers game later that day had posted pictures to Facebook showing him in Saints gear while tailgating at a Saints preseason game in August. The NFL subsequently notified the ref Sunday morning that he will not officiate that game.


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