FOXBOROUGH, Mass.— Just days before heading to their eighth Super Bowl in seventeen years, the New England Patriots announced that they will be extending the contract of the NFL’s entire officiating crew for another season.
“Today, our organization is happy to announce that we will be retaining all 124 full-time and part-time NFL referees on the team payroll through the upcoming 2018 season,” read a press release the team issued this morning. “For nearly two decades, our refs have consistently and shamelessly come through for us— especially here at Gillette Stadium— when we have needed them most.”
Since 2002, NFL officiating crews have been cited by many NFL fans as having been a major contributor to a number of narrow, contentious, and crucial Patriots victories.
“These tireless and dedicated professionals have found such imaginative and innovative ways to twist, manipulate and straight-up fabricate new ways to turn the game in our favor over the years,” the statement read. “They have truly proven themselves to be our ‘12th man’ on the field.”
The statement went on to cite the numerous times Patriots officials worked diligently and unscrupulously to find ways to help their team win during their run up to Super Bowl LII.
“Whether it was the officials assuring we had a collective 27 penalty and 313 yard advantage against all our opponents during the regular season; or the way they overturned three touchdowns in three major games against the Jets, Bills, and Steelers last month on instant replay; or just the mere fact that they didn’t mind shoving their integrity aside by acting like a bunch of incompetent, Pop Warner, junior varsity bumble-schlongs like they did during our win against Jacksonville, our ‘little zebras’ have continuously led us to victory when we’ve needed it most.”
Amidst the rejoicing within the borders of “Patriots Nation” over the referee contract extension, there is one outlier who doesn’t think they have had as much of an impact on the team as he has.
“Look, I am the guy who makes the clutch plays, who’s abstaining from sex with his supermodel wife, and who’s been eating nothing but bald eagle meat to win another title this Sunday!” said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, picking an errant piece of roasted eagle talon from his teeth.
“Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how the refs have been so loyal to us over the past 16 years. Way more loyal than that coach we put on the payroll a few years back,” he added. “Pete had potential, but he just couldn’t get over the fact we made him pass the ball at the end of the game instead of running Marshawn.”