Rochester, New York – Peter McCabe has been a referee for more than 25 years and has never had anything happen to him like what happened to him after a playoff game with the Western New York Cougars. After a rowdy game that involved a fight and some players were ejected, the Cougars ended up losing the game by two points. After the end of the game, the winning team lined up to shake hands, but the Cougars did not. As the players were walking off the field, a player from the Cougars swung his helmet into McCabe’s face giving him a detached nose, a hairline fracture in his skull, a broke jaw and nearly every bone in his face fractured.Another referee who saw it happen says the player stood over McCabe and said, “Take that! Take that!” and then walked away. To make things worse, team members of the Cougars refused to hand over their cell phones so someone could call 911.
“He was walking off the field and remembers seeing an object just for a quick moment come by the left side of his head, and the next thing you know he was on the ground,” said McCabe’s brother-in-law Mark Whitford. “He tried to get up but had so much blood coming off of him.” McCabe must now have reconstructive surgery and has stated he is done with refereeing.
The Rochester Chapter of Certified Football Officials called this an “outrageous, cowardly act,” adding “Our council will be discussing whether or not to continue to officiate these games in the future.” News 10NBC states they know the identity of the suspect, but are not releasing that info at the request of police. Investigators are searching for the suspect but at this point, no one is in custody.
To make things worse, McCabe was not even supposed to be there that Saturday night. He was filling in for another referee who did not want to deal with the semi professional league — because of concerns over safety.
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