If you're a fan of the NFL and consider the league to be corrupt, well, it was that way 30 years ago too, if this anecdote from Steve Young is true.
In an upcoming memoir about his life as a professional athlete, the Hall of Fame quarterback asserts that during a 1985 game between Young's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts, an NFL referee tried setting him up on a date with his daughter, and even gave the Bucs a favorable call in order to seal the deal.
Young in 1985 was among the more eligible bachelors on Earth:
Who among us wouldn't?
The book was excerpted over at The MMQB, which made the wise decision to include the attempted bribery:
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.
Talk about unsportsmanlike conduct! Unsports-official-like, in this case.
Tampa Bay lost the game anyway, and it doesn't say in the excerpt if Young took the referee up on the offer. But we do know that he didn't marry until 2000, and it wasn't to Mystery Referee Daughter.