Referee, CMU product, tells Seahawks QB in Lions game: ‘I’m talking to America here’

Detroit News

A Central Michigan Chippewa brought some fire to Sunday’s Lions game at Ford Field.

Head referee Alex Kemp, a CMU alumnus, went viral after his hilarious exchange with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith, who was trying to argue an intentional-grounding call in the third quarter.

Kemp had started to announce the penalty when Smith came over to plead his case.

Kemp stopped announcing the penalty and told Smith, “I’m talking to America here, excuse me.”

The exchange was picked up on a hit mic, and brought immediate laughter from the Fox broadcasting duo of Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen. The video clip also quickly made its way around the internet, as viral moments tend to do.

Kemp wasn’t persuaded by Smith pleading his case, or Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s sideline tirade, but the Seahawks still went on to score on that drive and won the game, 37-31, in overtime.

Kemp has been an NFL official since the 2014 season, and was promoted to referee for the 2018 season. He’s the son of former NFL referee Stan Kemp. At Central Michigan, Alex Kemp was a punter on the football team.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter/X: @tonypaul1984

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