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Steve Young: A ref gave me a good call, hoping I’d marry his daughter

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Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young has described the strangest interaction you’ve ever heard of between an NFL player and a referee.

Young writes in his new autobiography that during a December 15, 1985 game between Young’s Buccaneers and the Colts, the ref approached him and asked if Young would take the ref’s daughter out. Later in the game, Young says in an excerpt published by TheMMQB.com, the ref gave Young a favorable call in an attempt to butter him up.

“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.”

For a referee to do such a thing is so incredibly inappropriate that it’s hard to believe it would happen, although it’s equally hard to believe that Young would make such a thing up. Whoever this unnamed referee is, he’s surely out of the league by now, but perhaps Dean Blandino should issue a memo reminding refs that they’re not to try to set up players with their daughters.

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62 Responses to “Steve Young: A ref gave me a good call, hoping I’d marry his daughter”
  1. motleytrap says: Oct 3, 2016 6:17 AM

    Young was in good with the refs his entire career.

  2. craigruby20 says: Oct 3, 2016 6:25 AM

    So surely there’s tape of this game and we can identify the ref who threw the flag. Where’s Woodward and Bernstein?

  3. RegisHawk says: Oct 3, 2016 6:26 AM

    Sounds like a concussion-dream.

  4. jocko1181 says: Oct 3, 2016 6:26 AM

    Why is it crazy to think the part time refs might sometimes have motives other than impartiality?

  5. stylzinc says: Oct 3, 2016 6:27 AM

    Somethings you have to take to the grave. Unless he’s willing to completely give up the ref, there is no need to put this type of story out there for personal gain.

  6. themiamidolphins says: Oct 3, 2016 6:34 AM

    Not that it changes anything, but where does it say anything about marry (unless I’m missing something).

  7. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Oct 3, 2016 6:36 AM

    marry her? that’s making quite a leap. I think he may just have wanted him to go out with her and knock her up…

  8. skoobyfl says: Oct 3, 2016 6:43 AM

    Young charmed all the Refs and men working the booths, that’s his second nature.

  9. xraider4321 says: Oct 3, 2016 7:02 AM

    I believe this story I’m glad that someone like Steve young came through telling this story the media and NFL love some Steve young. Of course these jerk refs have their favorite teams and players. I’ve watched a lot of football in my day I know the game as good as any one. I’m am not bias in any way there are certain teams that get away with all kinds of crap, patriots, broncos, 40 miners, are at the top of their lists. If you watch those teams they get away with murduer on the field. I know if I was a ref I would have someone I knew bet against teams like the raiders no one questions the bad calls in raiders games except real fans who know the game. It’s been so obvious for years that refs have blown easy calls. I guarantee you if you watch a season of raiders games you will hear come calls that you never ever heard called in another game and no one questions these calls because as the Media says that’s the Raiders they have have them labeled as this black sheep team. The raiders can never blow anyone out cause the refs always keep the games close with bogus calls! Tony corrente is at the top of the list when it comes to refs that love to hate the raiders sick of these refs!

  10. nords14 says: Oct 3, 2016 7:07 AM

    So where in the story does the ref say that he made the call to help Young? Hey Steve maybe it actually was a personal foul. Did you ever think about that?

  11. nords14 says: Oct 3, 2016 7:10 AM

    I wish Hasselbeck would have had a good looking daughter during Superbowl XL.Apparantly many of the Stealers had one.

  12. joetoronto says: Oct 3, 2016 7:30 AM

    Way to sell him down the river, Steve.

  13. eaglesw00t says: Oct 3, 2016 7:38 AM

    Seriously, he already gave the refs name. Like someone above said, pull out that game footage and you will see said whisper. Im sure NFL films has it in their vault.

    But, I still see this as an opinion piece. He thought it was a favorable call. Maybe it was actually the right call, and Steve is just taking it that way because of who the ref was.

  14. jonathankrobinson424 says: Oct 3, 2016 7:40 AM

    …..and that my friends is how Steve meet his lovely wife Barbara………

  15. buzzlightner says: Oct 3, 2016 7:45 AM

    i wonder if he took her out

  16. cowboyfan45 says: Oct 3, 2016 7:54 AM

    Dean Blandino, Jerry Jones would like to have a word with you on his team party bus!

  17. wiskybuck says: Oct 3, 2016 7:55 AM

    He told you the team and year, you should be able to go back and find out who ref’d

  18. davebarnes21 says: Oct 3, 2016 8:17 AM

    that is hilarious!

  19. factschecker says: Oct 3, 2016 8:22 AM

    This can only mean one thing……4 more games for Tom Brady. It’s obvious right?

  20. my_old_name_was_offensive says: Oct 3, 2016 8:22 AM

    And I’m getting tired of the Referees bias against the Redskins too…. because of their name!

  21. chippys lost binky says: Oct 3, 2016 8:28 AM

    xraider4321 says:
    Oct 3, 2016 7:02 AM
    I know if I was a ref I would have someone I knew bet against teams like the raiders…
    ++++++++++++++++++

    Among the many reasons you could never be one that would be a good place to start.

  22. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: Oct 3, 2016 8:38 AM

    I’m ok with this. It’s innocent and fun.

    Much better than today’s ‘athletes’ pretending refs are racists.

  23. gallopinggilmore says: Oct 3, 2016 8:43 AM

    League integrity is unquestionable. Protect the Shield

  24. carloswlassiter says: Oct 3, 2016 8:44 AM

    Translation: Steve Young is not getting as much attention as he used to and feels sad.

  25. Patskrieg says: Oct 3, 2016 9:01 AM

    I’d like to believe this is the least ethical thing a referee has ever done.

    Then I wake up and realize Dean Blandino exists.

  26. marima07 says: Oct 3, 2016 9:04 AM

    xraider4321 says:
    Oct 3, 2016 7:02 AM

    “I’m am not bias in any way there are certain teams that get away with all kinds of crap, patriots, broncos, 40 miners, are at the top of their lists. If you watch those teams they get away with murduer on the field.”
    ——————————————
    Um.. okay (cough, roughing the passer, cough)… go rewatch Patriots-Bills and show me which team ‘got away with murder’. Clue: It wasn’t the Patriots.

  27. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Oct 3, 2016 9:06 AM

    Is Steve a liberal that is gonna claim harassment ?

  28. jimmyjohns01 says: Oct 3, 2016 9:06 AM

    Why is it crazy to think the part time refs might sometimes have motives other than impartiality?

    —————————————————–

    Part or full time, I don’t think it matters. Refs will always try to influence the outcome of a game if the reward is great enough.

  29. turboreattore says: Oct 3, 2016 9:07 AM

    This is the best story i’ve ever heard🙂

  30. monsterscream says: Oct 3, 2016 9:19 AM

    just looked at the playbook on NFLGSIS.COM – Young is lying. There was no personal foul penalty at the end of the game (or end of the half) that extended a drive for the Bucs. He threw two INT’s and fumbled twice in that game.

  31. what1996 says: Oct 3, 2016 9:26 AM

    elmerbrownelmerbrown says:

    Is Steve a liberal that is gonna claim harassment ?

    ************************************

    What? So all the women who got Roger Ailes fired at Fox News secretly WERE liberals or became liberals before accusing him of harassment?

  32. breesynbigeasy says: Oct 3, 2016 9:30 AM

    So, I wonder if Brady chose Italian food for his date with the refs daughter after the tuck rule game.

  33. nhpats says: Oct 3, 2016 9:40 AM

    marima07 says:
    Oct 3, 2016 9:04 AM
    xraider4321 says:
    Oct 3, 2016 7:02 AM

    “I’m am not bias in any way there are certain teams that get away with all kinds of crap, patriots, broncos, 40 miners, are at the top of their lists. If you watch those teams they get away with murduer on the field.”
    ——————————————
    Um.. okay (cough, roughing the passer, cough)… go rewatch Patriots-Bills and show me which team ‘got away with murder’. Clue: It wasn’t the Patriots.

    —————
    C’mon man I’m a Pats fan and can freely admit the Bills whipped the Pats yesterday. But there are three good things that come out of this loss:

    1) The Pats are still 3-1 and leading the division
    2) We can finally put and end to the trolls claims that “Brady is just a system QB because anyone can win in BB’s system”.
    3) Brady is back….and after yesterday’s loss he will be pissed!

  34. 2ruefan says: Oct 3, 2016 9:42 AM

    Makes me wonder how many Refs have wanted Aaron Rodgers to take their daughters out.

    Dude has had so many game saving calls in his career it boggles the mind.

  35. katientony says: Oct 3, 2016 9:56 AM

    1985 huh?

    *tries really hard to give a damn*

    Nope. I cant work up the ability to give a damn. Perhaps…my give a damn is busted??

  36. tim8450 says: Oct 3, 2016 9:57 AM

    yadda yadda yadda…

    and that’s how I met my wife.

  37. weepingjebus says: Oct 3, 2016 10:07 AM

    You can always tell when the refs are skewing the game when the broadcasters stop showing replays after penalties. This thing goes way beyond a few crooked side judges.

  38. zeus1964 says: Oct 3, 2016 10:14 AM

    Steve should have asked the ref for a picture and taken one for the team Who knows she could have been the Head cheer leader

  39. gallopinggilmore says: Oct 3, 2016 10:25 AM

    Ref was just protecting the shield. People who think league is unfair are crazy.

  40. theashleyguy says: Oct 3, 2016 10:27 AM

    God, people, lighten up. That’s a hilarious story!

  41. TheDPR says: Oct 3, 2016 10:33 AM

    Officials can completely control a game and probably do. Holding could be called on pretty much every play on either team. Does anyone think the times it is called versus the times it is not are random?

  42. dptbs77 says: Oct 3, 2016 10:37 AM

    So, did he end up taking the girl out??? The world needs to know…

  43. jeremycrowhurst says: Oct 3, 2016 10:38 AM

    Young did suffer from a lot of concussions….

  44. waldoampere says: Oct 3, 2016 10:47 AM

    So her dad was trying to get her a date? Sounds like dad either wanted his daughter to be rich or she wasn’t exactly what you’d call a looker.

  45. qbarrel says: Oct 3, 2016 10:53 AM

    breesynbigeasy says:
    Oct 3, 2016 9:30 AM
    So, I wonder if Brady chose Italian food for his date with the refs daughter after the tuck rule game.

    ————————-

    You do realize that the tuck rule was invoked earlier that same season in a call against the Patriots who were playing the Jets right? I guess it better suits the narrative that Brady is protected by the refs if you pretend that the rule was made up on the fly to help the Pats

  46. domain7722 says: Oct 3, 2016 10:55 AM

    ummm… how many helmet to helmet hits on newton was i shown this season? its illegal right? i’d like to see any other qb take that, and then count how many and how HIGH the flags go.

  47. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Oct 3, 2016 11:03 AM

    For a referee to do such a thing is so incredibly inappropriate that it’s hard to believe it would happen, although it’s equally hard to believe that Young would make such a thing up. Whoever this unnamed referee is, he’s surely out of the league by now, but perhaps Dean Blandino should issue a memo reminding refs that they’re not to try to set up players with their daughters.

    ++++++++++++

    Seriously….! What is next Daughter Gate…. media life sucking the fun out of everything… Leave it for nostalgia… Its what people used to call life….

  48. mutantman87 says: Oct 3, 2016 11:06 AM

    I guess he was old enough to get that call?

    Funny thing about that story is that in Tampa, Steve Young was an inaccurate mobile QB whose career didn’t look like it was going anywhere- he later became a HOF player who completed a high percentage of his passes for his era. It’s amazing what good coaching can do, and I wonder who the next Steve Young is.

  49. ipdaily69 says: Oct 3, 2016 11:13 AM

    That referee is named Roger Goodell

  50. granadafan says: Oct 3, 2016 11:15 AM

    xraider4321 says: Oct 3, 2016 7:02 AM

    “I’m am not bias in any way there are certain teams that get away with all kinds of crap, patriots, broncos, 40 miners, are at the top of their lists.
    ======================================

    Yeah sure you’re not biased whatsoever. Every fan thinks the refs are against their team and are for their rivals. You’re just like everyone else.

  51. NRG Stadium's Wonky Grass says: Oct 3, 2016 11:25 AM

    So did he marry her?

  52. eaglesnoles05 says: Oct 3, 2016 11:44 AM

    What did she order at the restaurant?

  53. firecracker87 says: Oct 3, 2016 12:12 PM

    What did she look like?!?!

  54. The Almighty Cabbage says: Oct 3, 2016 12:47 PM

    Pretty much every player and every coach that has ever been asked has said “Sometimes we got hurt by bad calls, other times we got helped by bad calls, and in the end it all evens out or comes really close to evening out.”

    Those same players and same coaches, when on the bad end of a bad call, also always seem to say “No game is won or lost on one bad call. We put ourselves in a poor position. We didn’t make enough plays to win the game. Had we taken care of our business, that call would not have mattered. It should not have mattered. That’s on us.”

    The only people that consistently cry about bad calls are poor-loser fans of perennial-loser teams.

  55. allight59 says: Oct 3, 2016 12:48 PM

    Hmm, might need to check if any Packer players are dating Official’s daughters….might explain a lot.

  56. packmanfan says: Oct 3, 2016 1:21 PM

    This breaks down the stereotype of fathers being protective of their daughters.
    Well, it looks they are unless the man they really want her to meet is a pro QB.
    Computer nerd? Forget it!
    Pro sports jock? Here’s her number.

  57. packmanfan says: Oct 3, 2016 1:22 PM

    allight59 says:
    Oct 3, 2016 12:48 PM
    Hmm, might need to check if any players of any winning teams are dating Official’s daughters….might explain a lot.
    ————————————————————————————-

    Fixed it for you.

  58. gregbeau says: Oct 3, 2016 1:39 PM

    The referee in that game was Tom Dooley. Was his daughter at BYU? I do not know.

  59. jsm11 says: Oct 3, 2016 2:30 PM

    Well was she cute?

  60. jdillydawg says: Oct 3, 2016 3:03 PM

    Did Steve get divorced recently? Maybe he wound up taking that girl out, married her, and then a few years ago things went bad with the in-laws!

  61. ljstud1o says: Oct 3, 2016 5:14 PM

    Classic story, absolutely classic!

  62. pftmaniac says: Oct 5, 2016 8:04 PM

    I dunno, Steve took a lot of big shots to the head, especially during his time in Tampa Bay.

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