There are tons of college football traditions to celebrate a team scoring a touchdown. While some blare horns or chant, there are a select group of teams that choose to celebrate by firing off cannons. But one touchdown celebration left a referee at a football game in the hospital.
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A referee was shot in the head by a cannon in the endzone after a touchdown at Maine Maritime Academy’s homecoming football game Saturday against Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
According to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, it’s tradition that a cannon be shot off after the Maine academy scores a touchdown. Typically, schools have employees handling theses types of celebrations in an effort to keep everyone safe.
Apparently, nobody at the academy got this memo because it was actually an alumnus that fired off the shot. Don’t worry, the referee didn’t get decapitated, but that was only because there was not an actual cannonball, thankfully.
The alumnus loaded the cannon with black powder and that wadded substance is what struck the referee in the head. The incident was captured by someone recording the touchdown. If you look toward the right side of the endzone, a referee, who was not named, is seen walking into frame.
An explosion is seen to the right of him, leaving the man dropping to the ground immediately and grabbing the side of his head. As he rolled in agonizing pain, several people came rushing to his side to offer assistance.
The referee was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Deadspin reported.
In a statement the following day, the school announced that the cannon, which was owned and operated by the alumnus, “was fired from outside the fence behind the end zone. One of the game officials was proceeding along the end line when the cannon was fired and was struck by packing material from the cannon. The Academy’s president has directed that these devices will no longer be permitted on campus for future events.”
The Bangor Daily News reported an investigation has begun into the matter, and the district attorney will decide whether to pursue criminal charges or not.