Lawsuits and high school football playoffs go hand in hand

That little 20-second mention on NPR’s Morning Edition today about a lawsuit over a father who posed as a referee at his kid’s football game has sent us scurrying for details.

Why would someone stand on the sidelines dressed as a referee? Why would a team allow him to? Did it impact the game? And who’s suing whom, anyway. Ah, details!

Here they are.

A Simeon Career Academy (Chicago) alumni group and parents of current Simeon football players are behind the suit against the Illinois High School Association.

Simeon lost the game to Nazareth, and which will play in the state title game on Saturday.

Richard Mercado, whose kid plays for Nazareth, is our faux referee. Sort of. He actually is a referee for the Illinois High School Association, but he wasn’t assigned to work the game involving his son’s team.

The parents/alumni lawsuit calls for the Association to strip Nazareth of the win.

It says Mercado talked to other officials during the game, suggesting he influenced calls that helped his son’s team.

“I was just there as a parent. I wasn’t there refereeing. I wasn’t saying anything to anybody. I didn’t do anything,” Mercado told a Chicago TV station.

But that’s not what he wrote in some Facebook comments.

“I didn’t make one bad call. I made sure the best team won,” Mercado said in one comment.

In its lawsuit, available here, the parents and alumni call for the game score to be wiped out. It does not ask that their team be declared a winner, nor suggest how this weekend’s championship game should be handled.

“I think it’s important that we stand up for these kids,” Shay Allen, an attorney filing the suit, said. “They’ve worked hard. Sports are a metaphor for life. If you work hard at something, you should get a good result.”

That, we need to point out, isn’t how life actually works.

A judge, showing remarkable wisdom, scheduled a hearing for next March.