Cries of joy rang out all around the NFL during Wild Card Weekend when referee Jeff Triplette, the league’s worst official, decided to retire, with his fitting finale featuring him bungling about a half-dozen plays in the Titans-Chiefs playoff game. But while we can continue to celebrate that Triplette won’t have any more direct impact on the games, he’ll reportedly still be back on our TVs next season with the most superfluous job in broadcasting: “rules analyst.”
Football Zebras broke the scoop and Pro Football Talk backs up the report that Triplette will be working for ESPN on the Monday Night Football broadcast at the start of next NFL season. Football Zebras also noted that the idea to bring Triplette into the booth didn’t actually come from the Worldwide Leader, but that the NFL “specifically steered ESPN to hire Triplette,” for some reason.
Triplette is probably best known as the guy indirectly responsible for the centralization of the NFL’s replay review system, which came about when he so badly screwed up a touchdown call that VP of officiating Dean Blandino had to babysit Triplette on replay reviews during the postseason game Triplette called that season. He’s also known for confusing everyone in the world on a first-down screw-up in 2013, and blinding Orlando Brown with a penalty flag. But on ESPN, presumably confined to a small room with a few TVs, it might actually be entertaining to see what mishaps befall him.