Chris Mortensen reported this one and it is truly amazing. Brian Stropolo is an NFL replacement side judge, for now, who was scheduled to officiate the New Orleans Saints-Carolina Panthers game this afternoon. Brian Stropolo is also a huge Saints fan— and I mean, huge. Check out his facebook. If he's not wearing New Orleans Saints gear, or taking pictures of people in New Orleans saints gear, he is adding weird photoshop fleurs-de-lis to pictures.

The story is a total failure across the board and indicative of what a mess the NFL is making of this referee dispute. Why Stropolo thought it would be OK to assume the role of impartial arbiter for a team he so clearly and so publicly has a personal interest in is surpassed in stupidity only by the NFL's decision to allow these replacements to officiate actual games.

Stropolo worked the Week 1 opener between the Cowboys and Giants and posted on Sept. 5: "Thanks to everyone for all the support. The crew did a great job tonight. Next stop September 16th at Carolina vs the Saints."

Stropolo's status update drew 73 "likes" and comments such as "Hey, now be nice with those yellow flags for our Saints!!" and "That's awesome you get to be an official for a Saints game! I didn't think they would let you since your (sic) from Louisiana."

Protect that shield. Protect the integrity of the game.

NFL pulls replacement ref from game [ESPN]