Steve Young Reveals How a Referee Cheated For Him Hoping He’d Married His Daughter in Return

Image via Getty

Image via Getty

This is not going to help the notion that refs are unbiased when calling sporting events.

San Francisco 49ers legendary hall of fame QB Steve Young wrote in an autobiography about how a referee pulled him aside during a game back in 1985 to ask him to take his daughter out on a date in hopes of Young marrying her one day.

In an excerpt published by, that same ref ended up giving him a favorable call during a crucial part of the game, and the rest is history.

“I’m in the huddle when the head referee taps me on the shoulder. ‘Can I talk to you for a second?’ I step away from the huddle. ‘Hey listen my daughter’s going to BYU,’ he whispers. Next thing I know he starts trying to convince me that I should meet his daughter. ‘I’d like you to take her out,’ he says.

“I cannot believe this. We’re in the middle of a game! ‘Oh okay,’ I said. “What’s her name?’ He tells me and I return to the huddle. Late in the game we’re down 31-23 and I’m trying to mount a comeback. I scramble out of the pocket and take a brutal hit. It causes me to fumble just before the whistle blows to stop the play. I’m on the ground when the defense recovers the ball. Suddenly out of nowhere a yellow flag lands next to me. The referee whose daughter is headed to BYU calls a personal foul on the defense. First down Tampa Bay. I get up brush myself off. Then the ref walks past me and whispers she likes Italian food.”

Young didn’t name this referee who, by now, has surely retired from the game.

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