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Fox Sports are launching a new show in time for the finals.
The Apology Hour – hosted by Bill Harrigan – airs 8:30pm every Monday and features a procession of NRL referees apologising for their inevitable screw ups over the weekend.
“Footy fans are sick of referees making mistakes then apologising a couple days later. Doesn’t help the losing team much. You can’t win premierships with moral victories,” Harrigan said.
Once the referees have apologised, the studio audience decides their fate via a live poll, ranging from a fine, a demotion or worse.
“It’s a great opportunity to get the fans involved and create a gladiatorial atmosphere. Tickets are free, so we want everyone to come in dressed in the favourite jerseys,” Harrigan said. “The only way the refs will learn is if they see the fan’s reactions, instead of hiding behind a prepared statement.”
NRL Referees Boss Bernard Sutton is against the idea. “This is a cynical ratings grab from Fox. The referees have been flawless this year, so this ‘show’ is a waste of time. If we do make a tiny error, I’ll send the junior refs to face the great unwashed in their disgusting cotton jerseys and smelly hats. No way my Gerry (NRL referee Gerard Sutton) will appear. His feelings are easily hurt.”
The Forward Pass is a fictional and deliberately ridiculous look at the NRL. References to real people is for satirical purposes only. Check it out on Twitter @thefwdpass