Ashley Jackson, Beat Writer
Banner Image by J.R. Lawless
In my travels I have met a lot of people. Coaches, owners, players, even the commissioner himself! All have been amazing experience. While I was going through all of my files, I quickly realized that I had not interviewed any on-field officials. Specifically, the most controversial play caller in the league: Referee number 62, Mr. Maximilian “Big Money” Million. I rushed into Cam’s office, and told him that I needed to take a flight immediately to visit the man himself in Boca Raton, Florida.
“Striker, are you sure that you want to do this?” the commissioner asked as I readied my things for the trip.
“I know he has a lot of attitude, but trust me – if I can deal with Mr. Aman Takess, I can interview anybody!” I responded with confidence.
“You are correct there, madam. The G6 will be ready for you at the airport.” said Cam.
“Thank you so much!” I said, and with that, I was off.
Once I arrived in Boca Raton, well, y’all know the drill: I exited the plane and hopped on my favorite motorcycle, my black and blue superbike. I was told to meet Max Million at his multi-million-dollar palatial mansion, not too far from the beach. As I drove, my thoughts centered on one question: how can you have such serene surroundings, and yet be so temperamental? I eventually arrived at his home and it was immaculate. The home itself was tan and white in color surrounded by palm trees and lush green plant life. I approached the front gate, rang the bell, and was greeted by one of his many attendants answered.
“Mr. Million has been expecting you, please follow me.” she said softly as she motioned me to come inside. I entered the grounds and followed her into the mansion, and was shocked at its beauty. We ascended up a flight of long curved stairs and walked into his study. She opened the door, allowing me inside, and quietly shut it behind me. The room was filled with a large assortment of books and plant life that was placed on shelving surrounding us. There was also a large, wooden desk with a high tech computer near a large bay window. I looked over to my left to find Max sitting on a big black couch with two glasses of Cabernet sitting in front him. I sat down beside him.
“Hello Max. It’s a pleasure to meet you!!” I said.
“The pleasure is all mine, Striker.” offered Max, slightly witheringly. He picked up both glasses and handed me one. We talked and sipped from our glasses.
Striker: How long have you been an Official in the League?
Max: I have been calling perfect games since Season 1. Every Official should have aspirations to be as perfect as I am, to have the same eagle-sharp vision as I do.
Striker: Is there ever a time after a game where you regret a decision or call that you made as an Official?
Max: Of course not. My perfect eyes don’t deceive me. I call every game fair and balanced. I don’t understand why anyone would think I would regret anything I do.
Striker: Do you think your temperament influences your calls?
Max: I am an equal opportunity flagger. However, if you come at me with back talk… let’s just say you may receive a few more flags then others.
Striker: So you’re saying you’ve never made a bad call?
Max: Normal individuals, like yourself, have 20/20 vision (I detected a note of disgust in his voice when he let slip the words “normal individuals”). I have 10/10 vision, so I can see alllllll your interceptions you’ve made last week, the weeks before, and before that too… even the ones in your future, and in everyone else’s!
At this point of the interview I found myself growing intensely irritated with his pompous attitude. Cam was right. He was definitely worse than anyone I’ve interviews in this league. “Can you see my fist and your face meeting in your future? Speak to me that way again and you will need a little more than security and an ice pack.” His mouth stood agape at audacity of my response in his own home – I was clearly no simpering individual to be pushed around. He sat back, eyebrow arched, and allowed me to continue the interview.
Striker: Why is clipping your favorite call to make?
Max: Clipping is the most common thing you common folk enjoy squabbling about, so I call it every time I see it.
Striker: Even when it’s not there as well. Which brings me to my next question: What was with the clipping call against Mexico City during Tallahassee’s unbeaten season? [EDITOR’S NOTE: Season 10, Week 9]
Max: A non-contract defender from Mexico City clipped a Pride player during Kole Varner’s 52 yard field goal try. I don’t know why you would bring this up! Anyway, I saw him go down and threw the flag immediately. Yes, I know MXC had the chance to win, but they blew it. I backed them up juuuust enough to be out of field goal range to teach them a lesson. You must have self-control; otherwise, I will be in control.
Striker: So why are you and Andy Hamilton constantly at odds? Do you have any animosity towards him?
Max: Andy has a way of being abrasive towards me too often. He always has something to say about the way that I call their games. I’ll say it again: I am perfect. Everyone else, including him, is not, and he has to deal with that fact. I’m being paid to call these games to greatest of my abilities, which is what I do every time. Do you have any real questions for me today, or can I get back to my work? Lots to do to prepare for Week 13’s MXC-TAL rematch..
It was around then that I was unable to endure any more of this pompous blowhard’s aggravating responses. It was time for me to go, lest I let my attitude get the better of me – knowing how powerful and vindictive Big Money was, it would be satisfying, but ultimately a terrible idea.
“So this is the end of our interview, Mr. Million. Is there anything you would like to add as the last word?” I asked.
“Yes. I would like to give a big shout to my fellow Officiating crew! Also, to let everyone know, I don’t have any favorites. I hate everyone equally.” said Max
“Good to know. Oh, make sure you’re careful calling Tulsa’s next game. Gib Leedo may mistake you for a player out on the field.” I responded.
I stood up, looked him up and down and walked out of the study. The sound of my heels echoed through the halls of his house as I left. As I exited and hopped back on my bike, I made sure to rev the engine as hard as I could to make as much noise as possible. I put on my helmet and looked back at the mansion to see Max starting at me through his upstairs bay window, a small smile on his face. I lowered my wind guard and took off down the street heading back to airport. Time for an adventure that doesn’t bite back so much..
DISCLAIMER: The Pump Fake series takes a lighter look at the Simulation Football League and all of its facets, including vindictive digital zebra Maximilian “Big Money” Million. Any other teams not mentioned in this article who have been adversely affected by R62 are asked to file their complaints directly into the garbage bin, as directed by Mr. Million himself. What a dork.