Report: Side judge, Saints fan Brian Stropolo done in NFL

Among the more embarrassing Week 2 incidents with replacement referees was the discovery that an unabashed New Orleans Saints fan was within hours of working the Saints’ game against the Carolina Panthers.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who broke the story Sunday morning, reports Stropolo will not return to officiating NFL games. Stropolo, who had multiple pictures of himself in Saints gear on his personal Facebook page, revealed his game assignment via the social media site as well. That is a violation of NFL rules.

So, Stropolo will not be a side judge for any more NFL games. Hopefully the NFL will soon broker a deal to bring the regular officials back. Then, Stropolo can go back to officiating non-NFL games and be a Saints fan all he wants without crossing the line. It’s a wonderful example of how incomplete the NFL’s screening process for officials has been and it makes you wonder if something else has fallen between the cracks.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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