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5 Absurd Penalty Explanations That Will Leave You Laughing

“The rules of football are simple and finite,” said no one ever. Unlike in other sports, countless variables make penalty explanations from referees a necessary evil, and the stoppages can turn games into a slog more tedious than your Great Aunt Beatrice’s 92nd birthday party. But the five announcements below, ranked from least to most articulate, actually add some entertainment value. Enjoy…

No 5: “Excuse Me A Minute”

Keeping so many penalties straight would be challenging for many people, so we have some sympathy. But dude, you’ve got to nail down the details before making your announcement in front of thousands of people. Mistake begets mistake, and before you know it, you’re in a flustered tailspin of imminent online mockery.

No 4: “Penalized From the Post Position…Place”

This one’s got a real way with words – we envision a successful career in poetry post-retirement. Roses are red, violets are blue, a holding violation means ten yards for you…

No 3: The Zen Master At Work

No referee loves to hear the sound of his own voice more than Ed Hochuli. Notorious for long-winded explanations of penalty calls, his screen time has inflated his ego to Cristiano Ronaldo levels. Watch the NFL’s most popular officiant explain the league’s (admittedly byzantine) overtime rules. There is a distinct tonal shift within the stadium around 0:45, when the fans’ whistles and jeers are a clear signal to everyone but Hochuli to just get on with it.

No 2: “Everyone but the Center”

So often the men in stripes are forced to read out a laundry list of numbers and their corresponding infractions. We appreciate the concise summary given by this college ref.

No 1: “Giving Him the Business”

Did he eschew a trip to Wal-Mart in order to patronize a locally owned boutique? Did he leave a bag of dog feces on his opponent’s doorstep? Nope, just some rough play wrapped up in a punchy, poignant review. NFL refs take note: this is how penalty calling is done.

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