Indianapolis, IN—Following last month’s debacle at the end of the Packers-Seahawks Monday Night Football game where a clear interception by Green Bay was overlooked and Seattle was gifted a win by the replacement officials, former NFL quarterback and media darling Jeff George said he was looking into making a comeback, “seeing as how games can be won now by throwing picks.”
Alas, it appears that the new contract agreement between the NFL and the referees has thrown a monkey wrench into George’s plans at a comeback. Now 44, the former overall number one pick by the Colts in the 1990 draft bounced around the NFL, playing quarterback for Indianapolis, Atlanta, Oakland, Minnesota, Washington, Seattle and Chicago before the league finally washed its hand of him in 2006. He hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL since 2001.
“It would have been so nice to finally be rewarded for throwing picks rather than being unfairly blasted for it,” George said. “People are always so quick to blame a good quarterback for interceptions when nine times out of ten, it was the receiver’s fault. The new paradigm of interceptions winning you ball games that the replacement refs seemed to have was right in my wheelhouse.”
George said he was also excited about being able to “play a game where the guy who’s supposed to be in charge has no damn clue what he’s doing, so you can pretty much get away with anything you want. You saw that the third week of the season, and that just really got my juices flowing. I would have loved to be able to yell at a lousy ref when I was playing, and believe me, in just about every game I played I encountered a guy who should’ve been flipping burgers rather than being an official. Lots of them were jokes even back then.”
George said he thought there were a number of today’s quarterbacks who could have thrived with the new replacement officials working the games, too. “It would have been interesting to see how current guys, like Tony Romo and the like, how they would benefit from this new thought process of throwing interceptions no longer being frowned upon.”
George also admitted he was somewhat bitter about the way his career ended, and would love to get a chance to bury the hatchet with the league. “I’m wiser now,” George said. “More knowledgeable. I know how to handle situations better, so that instead of embarrassing myself in front of the fans I can turn it around and embarrass an official or another player on the opposing team, or even a player on my team if necessary. I’ve learned so much since I last played. Oh well. What might have been.”
Ricky Shephard contributed to this article