Fans of the Minnesota Vikings best know Pete Morelli as the official that allowed the gutless New Orleans Saints to attempt to cripple as many Vikings' players as they could in the 2009 NFC Championship Game without any serious repercussions. He's been one of the worst officials in the National Football League for a long time, and it appears that someone in charge in the NFL offices has finally taken notice.
Morelli's crew was scheduled to work this week's Sunday Night Football contest between the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Sunday Night broadcast is generally the most-watched game of the NFL weekend, so it's sort of a big deal.
I say "was scheduled" because, today, the National Football League took Morelli's crew off of that game and moved them to a game with a lower profile. This appears to be a direct result of his crew missing numerous calls in the game they officiated last Sunday between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers.
This is one of the few times that the National Football League has taken action that people can actually see in response to an officiating crew being terrible. We hear all sorts of talk about "grades" and "markdowns" that we never actually see or have any knowledge of or how officials are prevented from working post-season games. (Although you can be sure that, if the Vikings make the post-season, Morelli will somehow end up officiating at least one of their games.) But for the league to move an official off of a high-profile game like the Sunday Night game shows that maybe the NFL is serious about this sort of thing.
In any case, it's good to see one of the league's worst officials finally held to account for being awful. If most people were as bad at their job as Pete Morelli is at his, they'd be in the unemployment line.