We all know that the NFL's replacement referees are terrible.
What many don't know – however – is that the NFL replacement referees are not a new phenomena. No, these supernatural beings have existed for centuries, since at least the early 1000s, living much like vampires — except that instead of surviving off of human blood, they thrive off human arguments following inexplicable decisions.
Don't believe me?
Well, why don't we take a brief tour of history to see exactly how the NFL replacement referees have changed the world:
1001: Leif Eriksson discovers America. NFL replacement refs convince him not to tell anyone as it would sound "braggety."
1204: The NFL replacement refs refuse to call a delay of game when the soldiers of the Fourth Crusade get bored on their way to Jerusalem and decide to sack Constantinople instead.
1337: Edward III of England claims to the French throne. The NFL replacement refs shrug and collectively say, "Sure, why not?" The Hundred Years' War commences.
1480: The NFL replacement refs determine torture to be a legal form of holding. The Spanish Inquisition begins.
1495: Leonard da Vinci is convinced by the NFL replacement refs to use tempera when creating The Last Supper. It begins to deteriorate immediately.
1588: Buoyed by their success with da Vinci, nearly a century later the NFL replacement refs convince the Spanish king to send his armada to England to teach those Brits a lesson for daring to say that soccer is the "real" football.
1812 & 1941: The NFL replacement refs on two separate occasions give the OK for opposing teams to invade Russia despite the fact that invading Russia and not getting out before winter is like playing the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field in negative temperatures during the Brett Favre era while fielding a team of three.
1912: The launch of the Titanic is approved by NFL replacement refs after they determine it to be the most seaworthy vessel ever created by man. When an iceberg went offside and sacked the Titanic before it could make its way to the end zone, the refs somehow missed the call.
1930: The NFL replacement refs commission the Maginot Line in France, a seemingly impregnable defense system. When Germans ran roughshod over it in 1940, the NFL replacement refs said that particular play was not reviewable by replay.
2003: Thinking the scenery was missing something, the NFL replacement refs decide to put a "Mission Accomplished" banner behind former President George W. Bush during a speech on an aircraft carrier about the Iraq war.
• Joe Grace is a writer and journalist who lives in Chicago with his wife. The replacement refs – to their credit – had nothing to do with the fall of Rome. That, of course, was the work of the replacement Illuminati.
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