NFL football is back ladies and gentlemen. And on Thursday night we very nearly got our first embarrassing hot mic situation.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently hosting the Dallas Cowboys for the first game of the 2021 NFL season. And one of the officials in the game, second-year umpire Terry Killens, was very close to saying something he would have regretted.
During the second quarter of the game, the center for Tampa Bay, Ryan Jensen, was penalized for taunting. Meanwhile, Cowboys defensive lineman Carlos Watkins was called for unnecessary roughness on the other side. That led to the penalties offsetting one another. And the Buccaneers marched down the field and scored a touchdown on that same drive.
However, when Killens went to speak with fellow referee and NFL crew chief Shawn Hochuli, he accidentally left his mic on. As a result, the audio, and nearly his entire conversation were broadcast over the stadium. We were oh so close to getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the discussion between the referees. The GIFD Sports Twitter account posted the clip shortly after it happened.
“Well, let’s just say….” Killens can be heard saying before he finally mutes his mic.
Cris Collinsworth, one of the game’s announcers, can be heard saying up in the booth. “Uh oh! Cut that mic!”
“He cut it off at the last moment,” fellow NFL commentator Al Michaels responded.
Take a look at the video for yourself down below. What do you think Killens was about to say?
NFL Fans Speculate on Hot Mic Moment in Bucs and Cowboys Game
A lot of NFL fans on social media were speculating that the ref was perhaps up to something. What that is exactly? Well, no one really knows other than Terry Killens and Shawn Hochuli. But football fans on social media accused the officials of all kinds of things on social media. Some people thought that he was making up a penalty, while others think that he was calling one of the players a bad word.
“I’ll be honest, that was suspect,” one person replied.
“He’s getting fired lol” another NFL fan wrote.
And finally, one Twitter user suggested an idea we can probably all get behind.
“Keep the refs mic’d up from here on out, to be honest,” he said.
After a replay of the penalties, Watkins can be seen throwing a punch at Jensen’s helmet behind the play. That is what drew the first penalty. Shortly after, Jensen was celebrating the punch. He happily let Watkins know that he had just cost his team 15 yards.
For those who don’t know, Terry Killens is a former NFL linebacker himself. The 47-year-old has been an umpire in the National Football League since 2019.