Mario - (Mike Tyson's Punch Out!!!)
Clean, fair, famous, great mustache, completely computerized. The best ref ever.
If you haven't heard because you're living under a rock or because there's really no reason to care at this point, the NFL referees are on strike. Apparently, they're not getting paid enough to walk around on the grass in the sun for a few hours to witness the glory of football that most of us have purchase special cable packages to watch. Also, they are old and periodically get pummeled by wayward 300lb bodies. Despite all their "low pay" and "bad health care" gripes, we are ready to replace them with scabs. Because as anyone who has never refereed can tell you, their job isn't that hard. Here are seven referees that could easily do a better job at officiating (and two who would be just as bad), and would also probably make all their games way more exciting:
Mickey Gordon (Billy Crystal) - Forget Paris
Chummery. What happened to player-ref chummery? Why is "how are you at casual banter" not a standard question on the NFL Referee Application. "Come on, Brady, how many decades have we done this? You lose five yards. Want to borrow my bifocals?" Perhaps the most iconic movie referee, Billy Crystal's character proves millions of sports fans right: the ref really would rather be home screwing his wife instead of your team.
Mr. Referee (Dennis Akayama) - Medabots
My name is Mr. Referee, like my father before me, Dr. Referee, and his father, Gen. Referee.
This is the best referee on this list. Hands-down. We don't care that this show is clearly a robot ripoff of Pokemon (we don't care about the non-ripoff version, either) any ref that can magically sense that two people are about to face off and then materialize in a fountain or on a tall building and cause a professional robot fight to occur is welcome to officiate any American sport he wants.
Referee Hannah (Martin Donlevy) - Youngblood (1986)
You got two chances for liking this character: slim and very good.
If anyone could make a cross-sport jump to the NFL, it's a tough-talking hockey ref. Referee Hannah, as the character is simply named, calmly refs a game between two teams whose rosters are filled only with loose cannons, and a sarcastic coach played by Ed Lautner. How does he respond? Zings, ejections, and talking down to the coach. Get a few Hannahs on the field and the old refs will never come back.
Minor League Umpire (Stephen Ware) - Bull Durham
Still a no-no word, although now it would be a no-no word that makes the Huffington Post.
Most baseball refs are useless, except for the umpires. You gotta respect their ability to get their back up and chest bump aggressively with the biggest egos and bellies in professional sports. Kevin Costner stars as a frustrated has-been and also, in the movie, he plays a frustrated minor-league baseball player. There's no one who gets angrier with the refs than a disappointment, and on a field as full of disappointing first-round picks as the NFL, you've got to be prepared for that. There's no doubt the ump here has control of the situation, leading Costner to his obvious, inevitable, and well-deserved ejection from the game and scene.
Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielson) - Naked Gun (1988)
This clip convinces us that traffic cops would make great umpires.
Frank Drebin calls good strikes, breakdances, moonwalks, and takes baseball ass-pattery to a new level as he seamlessly fakes his way through a baseball game that looks about 10-20 times more exciting than normal. Also, he saves the Queen of England from being murdered by Ricardo Montalban. We're not saying he calls the game well, we're just saying it's better than the reffing we have now. There is really nothing in this scene that would not improve the NFL. Forget Ed Hochuli's foul-calling arm-guns, what we need is incompetent undercover cops. (Except Steve Martin as Inspector Closeau. Never.) See the exciting conclusion below:
This was the best part of the London Olympics closing ceremony.
Ref From Teen Wolf (Some Guy) - (Teen Wolf )
Let's see what teen wolf might want here. Is it flesh? Nope. Nothin' but net.
Not one of the 'classically talented' refs on this list, Teen Wolf Ref makes the cut by doing the single most important thing a ref can do: nothing. He probably should have stopped play on that ball-scramble, or when a single player threw the others off by turning into a werewolf. There's a lot of travelling. But you know what? There was a teen wolf on the court and that game needed to go on. Good job, terrified high school ref. Good job.
Lakitu - (Mario Kart)
Ha-ha, you should have hit it on the yellow! Now you have no speed boost and you already lost!
Screw this guy. He's way too involved in the game. Picking players off the track, moonlighting as a minor villain in other Mario games. When does he have time to watch the actual race? Never. The result? Your friend you invited over is getting way too many purple shells. I suppose it's no wonder Lakitu can't call foul with those HUGE GLASSES! COME ON I WAS PRESSING B, REF!
Referee - The Karate Kid (1984)
First, after the weirdest (but not psycho-est, that belongs to the really platinum-blonde guy with bug eyes) of the blonde Kobra Kais is ordered to try and break Daniel-san's knee, a responsible ref would have ejected the Ayn-Rand-meets-Charles-Manson "strength is everything" coach from the arena. A perceptive ref might have seen that Johnny had serious moral reservations after being ordered to sweep the leg. Any ref who wasn't absolutely terrible would have ended it when a SECOND teammate tried to give Daniel-san a potentially crippling injury. But not this guy. This guy feels some montage music coming on and decided "screw it, if I'm wrong, he's an invalid forever....but if I'm right, this finale will be awesome." Not worth it, ref. Daniel-san would have taken a technical victory. See the whole scene here.