An NFL referee offered Steve Young a date with his daughter in the middle of the game

Former BYU quarterback Steve Young — who went on to win three Super Bowls and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005 — has always had great stories, but this one might top them all.

In his new autobiography “My Life Behind the Spiral,” the Hall of Fame quarterback says a referee gave him a favorable call in a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts. But it wasn’t without a good reason, or so he thought. The next thing he knows, the ref walks over to Young and tells him to ask his daughter out on a date.

Here are a few excerpts from the book from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King:

Even on the field, I can’t escape the craziness. We play the Colts at home. Partway through the second quarter I’m in the huddle when the head referee taps me on the shoulder. “Can I talk to you for a second?” he says. I step away from the huddle. “Hey, listen, my daughter’s going to BYU,” he whispers. Next thing I know he starts trying to convince me that I should meet his daughter. “I’d like you to take her out,” he says.
I cannot believe this. We’re in the middle of a game! “Oh, okay,” I said. “What’s her name?’’ He tells me and I return to the huddle … Late in the game we’re down 31–23 and I’m trying to mount a comeback. I scramble out of the pocket and take a brutal hit. It causes me to fumble just before the whistle blows to stop the play. I am lying on the ground when the defense recovers the loose ball, all but sealing our defeat. Suddenly out of nowhere a yellow flag lands next to me. The referee whose daughter is headed to BYU calls a personal foul on the defense. First down, Tampa Bay. I get up and brush myself off. Then the ref walks past me and whispers she likes Italian food.

The Buccaneers still ended up losing the game, but the mystery still remains whether or not the referee — Mr. Matchmaker — got his wish.

But seriously, who doesn’t like Italian food?