The Lingerie Football League claimed this that referees working in the NFL this season had been fired from the underwear league, but former LFL employees told BuzzFeed that the two former LFL officials known to be currently reffing NFL games were, in fact, well-regarded in the organization.
Lingerie Football League Commissioner and chairman Mitchell Mortaza made the claims after this week’s controversial Monday Night Football call. “Due to several on-field incompetent officiating [sic] we chose to part ways with with a couple crews which apparently are now officiating in the NFL. We have a lot of respect for our officials but we felt the officiating was not in line with our expectations,” Mortaza said. “We have not made public comment to date because we felt it was not our place to do so. However in light of tonight’s event, we felt it was only fair that NFL fans knew the truth as to who are officiating these games”
Replacement ref Craig Ochoa is known to have worked for the LFL, while BuzzFeed learned that replacement ref Paul Caldera was also employed by the league. Mortaza has said Ochoa, specifically, was fired. But former employees told BuzzFeed that neither Ochoa (whose mistakes in the NFL are detailed here) nor Caldera (more about his NFL experience here) were fired and in fact were used for some of the organization’s more high-profile games.
“That’s total B.S.,” a former employee said of the suggestion that Caldera would have been fired for incompetence. “He was the head official in Australia [where the league was playing “all-star” games] as late as June 9. Then he got picked up by the NFL.”
According to pay sheets, Caldera also worked games as the head ref in a game in California, said former LFL director of game operations Kenny Glenn.
Glenn also told BuzzFeed that Ochoa had been a head ref in a Chicago game during the LFL’s ongoing season, indicating that, like Caldera, he had proved himself trustworthy.
“[The League’s Director of Officials] picks someone for the job he can depend on,” Glenn said. “You can’t just pick any yo-yo.”
Mortaza declined to comment further.