Jan. 8, 2000
By Mike Lurie
SportsLine Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- While the NFL's latest incarnation of video replay encountered 
a major test during Tennessee's dramatic defeat of Buffalo earlier in the 
day, there was an embarrassing malfunction of the referee's microphone in 
Saturday's other wild-card playoff at Washington. 

Moments after referee Bob McElwee had to eject Redskins offensive lineman Tre 
Johnson for fighting, McElwee's microphone would not shut off. 

As a result, all of the discussion on the FedEx Field playing surface could 
be heard in the press box and, apparently, throughout much of the stadium. 

One such exchange between McElwee and one of his officials involved sorting 
out the mess from the brief fight that resulted in Johnson's ejection -- 
while the Redskins were leading Detroit 27-0. 

"S---, I don't have the number of the guy. And then we have this clown," 
McElwee said, referring to Johnson. 

As Johnson scuffled with the Lions, a right punch he threw landed squarely on 
the head of back judge Bill Leavy. 

At another point, McElwee's exasperation with the microphone could be heard 
everywhere as he said to a technician, "It's going on when the thing is shut 

While one voice on the field was saying to McElwee, "Your mic is on," 
McElwee's voice was well-audible when he responded, "No, it's not. It's off. 
It's off." 

Shortly before the problem seemed to be resolved, McElwee said, "This is 

The fight resulting in Johnson's ejection occurred in the aftermath of a hit 
Lions defensive end Robert Porcher delivered on Redskins quarterback Brad 
Johnson, immediately after an interception. 

Quarterbacks are fair game like any other player on the offense once a pass 
has been intercepted.