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NFL referees: Lingerie Football League says NFL using ref it fired

September 26, 2012|By Houston Mitchell
  • Lingerie Bowl Commissioner Mitch Mortaza arrives at Lingerie Bowl media day in 2006.
Lingerie Bowl Commissioner Mitch Mortaza arrives at Lingerie Bowl media… (Nancy Ostertag / Getty Images )

Note to NFL: You know you are in trouble when even the Lingerie Football League is making fun of you.

Mitch Mortaza, commissioner of the LFL (which is exactly what it sounds like: Women in lingerie playing football), took a shot at the NFL on Tuesday when he said one of the NFL's replacement referees had been fired by the Lingerie League a year ago because of incompetence.

Mortaza was speaking specifically of Craig Ochoa, a replacement official hired by the NFL. Ochoa was an official during an NFL preseason game and is on call as an alternate during the regular season.

"It was a bit of a shock to see guys that couldn't officiate in our league were officiating in the NFL," Mortaza told Yahoo Sports.

Mortaza says he fired the entire officiating crew that Ochoa was part of.

"The entire crew was released due to several poorly called games which included missed calls, poor judgment and poor presentation for broadcast. They were hurting our overall broadcast caliber. And if it's opening up our players for potential injury, those things raise red flags here. When either of those two things are compromised, it's time to start thinking about parting ways."

Mike Pereira, the former senior director of officiating for the NFL who is now an analyst for Fox, blasted the NFL earlier this year for similar reasons.

"They’ve tried to say that Craig Ochoa ... was a BCS official, that he worked in the Big Ten," Pereira said. "He didn’t work in the Big Ten.  He’s not been a major college official.  I don’t think the NFL is going to say that he actually got released midway through the last Lingerie Football League season as a referee.  I don’t think the league is going to put that out. The league wants as little out as possible. They don’t want people talking about it.  They don’t want me talking about it."

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