steve young SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 23: ESPN personality and former San Francisco 49er Steve Young stands on the field before the last regular season game played at Candlestick Park between the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons on December 23, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young has a new memoir call “QB: My Life Behind the Spiral” (with Jeff Benedict) due out on October 11, and The MMQB’s Peter King is offering rave reviews.

In his “Monday Morning Quarterback” column this week, King printed some excepts of Young’s book, including a story about Joe Montana and some detail about almost being traded to St. Louis. But the craziest passage has to be this one, about Young’s time in the USFL.

Even on the field, I can’t escape the craziness. We play the Colts at home. Partway through the second quarter I’m in the huddle when the head referee taps me on the shoulder. “Can I talk to you for a second?” he says. I step away from the huddle. “Hey, listen, my daughter’s going to BYU,” he whispers. Next thing I know he starts trying to convince me that I should meet his daughter. “I’d like you to take her out,” he says.

I cannot believe this. We’re in the middle of a game! “Oh, okay,” I said. “What’s her name?’’ He tells me and I return to the huddle … Late in the game we’re down 31-23 and I’m trying to mount a comeback. I scramble out of the pocket and take a brutal hit. It causes me to fumble just before the whistle blows to stop the play. I am lying on the ground when the defense recovers the loose ball, all but sealing our defeat. Suddenly out of nowhere a yellow flag lands next to me. The referee whose daughter is headed to BYU calls a personal foul on the defense. First down, Tampa Bay. I get up and brush myself off. Then the ref walks past me and whispers she likes Italian food.

Whoa. I was half expecting the story to end with Young marrying the ref’s daughter, but apparently not. In fact, we don’t even find out if Young took the girl out for some Italian food!

We usually think of refs as powerless next to the superstar athletes they officiate, but this story shows that they’ve got some leverage. Imagine all the favors a ref could curry by throwing some well-timed roughing-the-passer flags. Sure, that would lead to mass scandal and widespread loss of faith in officials and the league they work for, but it might be worth it to get Jenny a new boyfriend.

Anyway, the USFL sure sounds like a lot of fun. Whoever killed that league sure is lame.


About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

Comments are closed.