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Shutdown Corner

Who should replace the NFL’s current officials?

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"I will now explain defensive holding while doing the Bertha Butt Boogie." (Getty Images)

Fox Sports' Alex Marvez broke the news Wednesday night that the NFL is looking at the possible need for replacement officials as the league and the NFL Referees Association try to work out a new deal. We may indeed see replacement officials in the NFL through the 2012 season if an agreement cannot be struck, but instead of moving along with retirees, college officials (especially from the Pac-12 -- gah!), or the best the UFL has to offer, Shutdown Corner would like to give the league a hand when it comes to the optimal fill-ins.

Some of the current refs are fairly easily replaceable, but we would argue that the marquee names will require some outside-the-box thinking.

You're welcome, Roger Goodell -- no consulting fee needed!

Mike Carey: To be replaced by Debbie Allen. Specifically, the Debbie Allen who blazed across the small screen in the 1980s as dance instructor Lydia Grant in the television show "Fame." Allen's dance background and forceful personality would make her a great replacement for Carey, who's fond of extreme gesticulations and windy penalty explanations. Ms. Allen said it best herself: "You want fame? Well, fame costs!"

Ed Hochuli: To be replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. And speaking of windy penalty explanations ... the only thing more hilarious than one of Fireman Ed's two-minute soliloquies on the perils of illegal procedure would be to hear said soliloquies in the Gov's Austrian accent. "Ahnold" might have to hit the weights a bit to get back up to Ed's fitness level, but we'd recommend him highly.

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Forget "Where's Waldo" -- where was THIS guy for half a decade? (Getty Images)

Jeff Triplette: To be replaced by Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. No better fill-in for everybody's favorite officiating huckleberry than everybody's favorite old-school military goofball. We could see ol' Gomer giving the same kind of hatchet job to the idea of offensive holding as Triplette did in last December's Saints-Falcons game. "Well, Golll-lee! There is no hold on the play … as it is a screen pass. The blocker was shedding him to the side."

Walt Coleman: To be replaced by Newt Gingrich. Like our old buddy Newt, Coleman is famous for controversial decisions. He was at the helm for the "Tuck Rule" game, which inspired one angry Raiders fan to put up his own website dedicated to the more egregious follies of the NFL's zebra patrol. And as you can see from the front page of that site, Ol' Walt's got his share of detractors (Full disclosure: I'm listed as one of those detractors). Newt would understand.

Ron Winter: To be replaced by Edward Herrmann. Specifically, the Edward Hermann who played Lorelei Gilmore's dad in "Gilmore Girls." Like Richard Gilmore, Winter is older, authoritative, generally on the ball, but a bit too concerned with minutiae at times.

Jerome Boger: To be replaced by Stephen A. Smith. Yeah, we know. But it will get Screamin' A. off the idiot box for the most part, and just as Smith seems to be paid by the word (no matter how nonsensical), Boger appears to be paid by the penalty. The Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders would most likely agree -- Boger called an amazing 29 penalties in their Week 1 game in 2011.

Bill Leavy: To be replaced by "The Fugitive." Since the author of this piece is from Seattle, and has written extensively about one game in particular, we'll refrain from any further commentary on Mr. Leavy, except to point out that it sure seemed like the NFL took its sweet time allowing Leavy to call any more Seahawks or Steelers games after Super Bowl XL ... especially since the NFL swears its officiating assignments are random to avoid any suspicions of shenanigans.

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