Tag:Jeff Triplette
Posted on: September 23, 2011 1:49 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 8:24 pm

Former NFL lineman Orlando Brown dies at 40

                                                                            (Getty Images)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Orlando Brown died Friday at the age of 40. Police told Baltimore's WJZ that Brown was found dead inside his home and there were no signs of foul play.

"Our heartfelt condolences to the family of Orlando Brown, his three sons," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Friday. "I think everybody knows what he meant to this organization. He's still a big part of us. He's been coming around a lot, working with some of our young players. We're forever grateful just for what he did for the Ravens organization and what he did for the present team. We just can't express our sorrow enough."

Former teammate Terrell Suggs added that "He was a beast on the field but a gentle giant off. It's unfortunate he had to leave us so young." 

Brown played for 11 NFL seasons, though he's probably best remembered for an incident that took place during a December 1999 Jaguars-Browns game. Referee Jeff Triplette accidentally hit Brown in the eye with a weighted penalty flag. Triplette apologized, although the injury forced Brown from the game. As he made his way to the locker room, Brown ran back on the field and shoved Triplette to the ground.

Brown was ejected from the game and and the NFL later suspended him for his actions. A year later and still suffering from the injury, Cleveland released Brown two years into a six-year, $27 million contract. He ended up suing the league for damages.

But CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman warns that we shouldn't let one play define Brown's career.

"Brown wasn't without flaws just like the rest of us but he shouldn't be remembered for that one incident," Freeman writes. "Remember him in total context. A great offensive lineman who never quit, who never stopped, had the unending loyalty of his teammates, long after he left football, and was one of the NFL's great fighters."

Brown returned to the NFL in 2003 with the Ravens. He retired following the 2005 season.

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Posted on: August 13, 2011 1:08 pm

Carl Johnson: NFL to have female referees 'soon'

Posted by Will Brinson

The NBA has crossed the gender equality line of having a female official, but as of yet, the NFL has not. However, that will likely change in the future, according to Carl Johnson, the NFL's VP of Officiating.

Johnson spoke with Jane McManus of ESPNW.com (in the context of an excellent profile piece female umpires/referees) and told her that there are some lady officials "in the pipeline."

"We have some in our pipeline, and I expect we'll see it soon," Johnson said.

Johnson noted, per McManus, that there are "women who are currently under consideration" and is anticipating a hire in the near future. But Johnson also pointed out that it's not about just placing the first capable female official on the field.

"Our goal is to get the best people working this game," Johnson said.

So, at some point in the near future, a female will be involved in the officiating of an NFL game. Don't think that because we live in a (somewhat) modernized and progressive society that this will go over smoothly or quietly.

Because it won't. There will be sexist comments on blog posts when it's announced, the scrutiny surrounding the game involving the female will be intense, and "old-fashioned fans" will be eagerly anticipating a mistake.

That's OK. You best believe the NFL and Johnson and everyone else anticipates that. Which is why whenever a female official is given her first assignment on the NFL field, it'll likely be in a situation that at least mitigates as much controversy as possible.

And it probably won't matter because, as Johnson noted, it will be a qualified individual donning the stripes. And once that gender line is crossed, it will start disintegrating some and the fact that a female official is making calls in a football game will become much less of a big deal and much more of a normal process.

That's good for society and it's good for the NFL. Especially if it can help push Jeff Triplette out of active duty.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com