ESPN hiring ridiculed NFL ref to judge other refs

Won’t someone throw a flag?

ESPN is hiring vilified former referee Jeff Triplette, Football Zebras first reported and The Post’s Andrew Marchand confirmed, to be a rules analyst on “Monday Night Football.” Triplette replaces Gerry Austin, who left the network last week to pursue a consulting role with the Oakland Raiders after being with ESPN since 2012.

The reported also stated that the NFL had a say in ESPN’s hiring of the referee of 22 seasons.

He’s not the only controversial official landing on his feet. NBC is hiring Terry McAulay as a rules analyst of their own, according to ESPN. McAulay was the referee who failed to intervene in the Odell Beckham-Josh Norman dust-up in 2015. Beckham later ripped him after the Giants’ loss to the Steelers in 2016, saying he shouldn’t work Giants games anymore. Turned out, he got his wish, if a year late.

As for Triplette,he was at the center of myriad controversial calls throughout his career, including his final game. In the Chiefs-Titans wild-card game he blew a whistle too early, nullifying a Marcus Mariota fumble that the Chiefs recovered. The Titans would rally to win the game.

“Horrible way to start the playoffs,” Mike Pereira, former NFL VP of officiating, wrote on Twitter after the play. “I hate to say it but this was not a good performance by the crew. Teams and fans deserve better.”

Triplette is the ref who temporarily blinded Cleveland’s Orlando Brown in 1999 when his flag struck him in the eye.

In 2015 he twice had to be overruled by another official because he had misunderstood NFL rules.

Now, he’ll bring that wealth of knowledge to ESPN.

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