Former NFL referee and vice president of officiating Mike Pereira has had it pretty good since “retiring” from the NFL in 2009. He’s become an integral part of Fox Sports’ NFL and college football coverage and is probably the most recognizable officiating authority in football.
With that success, he’s inked major national endorsement deals, including one with Samsung, and now he’s about to drop a new book that levies an interesting charge against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“After Further Review” hits bookstores on Sept. 15. An excerpt was published by Deadspin on Thursday. In it, Pereira claims that in 2001, Goodell, then a vice president and chief operating officer working for commissioner Paul Tagliabue, shoved Pereira during an argument over referee Terry McAuley’s decision to call a game between the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars because bottles were being thrown onto the field.
Pereira defended McAuley’s decision to stop the game with 48 seconds remaining. (The New York office later made McAuley’s crew go back out to finish the game that is now known for “Bottlegate.”) Goodell didn’t agree. Here’s Pereira’s account of their discussion:
Goodell persisted, but I refused to give in. What happened next was anything but good. The conversation escalated, and when he was down in front of my office, with others present, he was so frustrated and, I’m sure, getting so much heat from Cleveland that he gave me a hard shove into my door to try and continue the argument about McAulay in my office. Quite frankly, it startled me, and I think it startled him a little because the discussion ended shortly after that.
Pereira’s book states plainly that he doesn’t think the NFL likes officials or officiating in general and that he thinks the league neglects its officials. He goes on to mention another disagreement between himself and Goodell in 2008, though that altercation wasn’t physical in nature.
The league office was asked for comment on the allegation from Pro Football Talk. As of this posting, it hadn’t yet replied.