Life as a replacement ref

They were the biggest story of the NFL's first three weeks

Updated: October 3, 2012, 4:02 PM ET
By Elizabeth Merrill and Wayne Drehs | ESPN.com


OUTH HAVEN, Kan. -- On the last exit before the Oklahoma border, down a gravel road and past some pigs and goats, a referee leans against his pickup truck, stuffs a yellow flag in his pocket and limps to the field. He has no idea what caused the limp; when you're 54 and running with boys, time inevitably kicks you in the rear and the Achilles. His old legs will loosen once the game starts.

Tonight's venue is familiar for Mike Wilmoth. He taught driver's ed here, he coached baseball ...

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