Utter Mayhem At U.S. Airports Forces CFB Bowl Game To Use Backup Referee As Flight Cancelations Cause Frustration, Panic

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Traveling during the holidays is guaranteed chaos, but this year is even crazier than normal and flight cancelations are rampant. A historic winter storm swept across the country and brought cold weather, snow, and a lot of issues at the airport.

Flight delays were widespread and cancelations surpassed the 17,000-mark from the Wednesday before Christmas to the Monday after. A large number of people were unable to get to their holiday plans, and even more were unable to get back home on time.

Christmas travel was utter mayhem in 2022. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

And then there was Michael Mothershed.

The 28-year Pac-12 Conference football referee fell somewhere in the middle. He was trying to reach his destination on Christmas weekend, but was headed there for work.

Mothershed, who is set to retire after this season, was assigned to the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit. It was going to be his final game as a referee.

Unfortunately, he never made it. Mothershed’s flight to Michigan was among the thousands that never made it to where they were supposed to go because of weather.

So what did the Quick Lane Bowl do?

What any football team would. Tap the backup!

Jeff Servinski, a Big Ten referee living two hours away from Detroit in Midland, Michigan, had his phone ring on Christmas Day. Mothershed was out, so he was in.

When the Quick Lane Bowl kicked off Monday afternoon, it was Servinski’s game to call.

Meanwhile, as 6-6 Bowling Green and 6-6 New Mexico State played in the Motor City, the vast majority of holiday travelers remained stuck at the airport without much hope of getting home on time.

Winter weather wreaks havoc on holiday travel.

Mothershed not making his final game is a bummer, but he is not the only one effected this weekend. It is utter mayhem across the vast majority of the country.

Flights are being canceled at an astonishing rate and departure boards are covered in red.

Airport lines are long and frustration is running high.

Even getting a bag is a problem. Luggage is everywhere, and nowhere at the same time.

Of the many airlines dealing with delays and cancelations, Southwest might be the most extreme.

As of 2:30 p.m. ET, Southwest had canceled 58% of its flights. That number jumped closer to 70% less than a half hour later.

It has created complete and utter mayhem.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the options are limited. Flights on Tuesday and Wednesday were already booked pretty solid, and people who had their flights canceled Monday filled the remaining seats.

As a result, Southwest announced that its San Diego airport does not have any available flights east until Thursday, Dec. 28.

Absolutely brutal. And for the people who won’t be able to make it to work over the next few days, their companies don’t have a backup ref like the Quick Lane Bowl. Oof.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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