NFL Officiating: Zebras gone wild

Deathofthebambino

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Apr 12, 2005
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The refs had zero control of this game. There was back and forth jawing and shoving the whole game. Whatever fucking the taunting rule that was put in place this year actually is, they let it go all day today, except in two instances:

But let's give the setting for anyone who thinks these calls don't matter, don't affect game flow/momentum, or even out somewhere along the way.

The Pats get the ball down 17-7 after Buffalo scores a td in the 2nd quarter. They have a 1 minute, 45 seconds from their own 25 with at least one timeout, can't remember. The Pats pick up a first down on a roughing in which Mac gets crushed. On the very next play, Mac runs the ball for 7, gets hit out of bounds and the refs pick up the flag. Should be Pats ball 1st and 10 at the Bills 38 with 1:17 left. This is a huge possession, because Buffalo gets the kick in the 2nd half.

But not only do they pick up, they throw an unsportsmanlike conduct flag on Trent Brown. And now it's 2nd and 18 at the Pats 32. It's a 30 yard penalty, ends our half-ending drive and the Bills actually had enough time to try to score again.

The roughing penalty where Mac slid and got crushed again, and was then offset by another bullshit taunting penalty, THAT THEY IGNORED ALL GAME LONG, didn't matter as much, because the Pats punched it in.

But that was two personal fouls on the Bills, one called and one not, that literally netted the Pats -15 yards. That's just bullshit, especially given the shots Mac was taking.
 

BrazilianSoxFan

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Did the pool reporters follow up by asking 1. How can grabbing a guy be considered incidental contact, that's literally the opposite of incidental 2. After having now seen the replay how dumb do you feel

There also were 2 actions, Jones got shoved first, multiple steps out of bounds, and then the defender tried to grab him to hold him up, and in doing so could have seriously injured him with that awkward landing slinging him down.
Follow up? Look at how they framed the question, as if Jones was the one who made contact with the Bills player.
 

CFB_Rules

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View: https://twitter.com/SNFRules/status/1475284053750431747

Just because they call the fewest fouls, doesn’t mean they should miss a blatantly obvious one like this. Score be dammed.
If I was this bad at my job I would be fired.
If you were one of the top 100 people in the world at your job you would be fired? That's pretty tough, maybe you should find new work. NFL officials reportedly get 97% of their calls correct. A baseball player's job is to hit the baseball, but you sure wouldn't fire a player who only manages to do it 50% of the time.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I have increasingly thought that fans and media, including myself, have incredibly outsized expectations for officials. This doesn’t come through as well in the TV copy because of how far the shot rests from the action, but when you see footage of a play from field level at regular speed it is jarring how fast the game moves. No wonder officials have a hard time with split second judgment calls like holding, illegal use of hands to the face, etc., that could occur with anywhere from like 21/22 of the players on the field at any given point. Shit is FAST.

I think slo mo has really hurt perception of officials, too, because I think fans and analysts see a missed hold or phantom facemask in a slo mo, closeup replay that may not generally represent the actual sight line of any of the officials, much less at regular speed, and they JUMP on the officials. I’m guilty of this, too.

I have a much bigger gripe with the kind of post play shit that happened yesterday, namely the taunting call on Andrews and the picked up flag on Hughes/Brown PF combo. Those calls shouldn’t happen; they aren’t the result of the game being too fast and muddled to call perfectly.
 

BaseballJones

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I have increasingly thought that fans and media, including myself, have incredibly outsized expectations for officials. This doesn’t come through as well in the TV copy because of how far the shot rests from the action, but when you see footage of a play from field level at regular speed it is jarring how fast the game moves. No wonder officials have a hard time with split second judgment calls like holding, illegal use of hands to the face, etc., that could occur with anywhere from like 21/22 of the players on the field at any given point. Shit is FAST.

I think slo mo has really hurt perception of officials, too, because I think fans and analysts see a missed hold or phantom facemask in a slo mo, closeup replay that may not generally represent the actual sight line of any of the officials, much less at regular speed, and they JUMP on the officials. I’m guilty of this, too.

I have a much bigger gripe with the kind of post play shit that happened yesterday, namely the taunting call on Andrews and the picked up flag on Hughes/Brown PF combo. Those calls shouldn’t happen; they aren’t the result of the game being too fast and muddled to call perfectly.
Great post and I agree 100%. In the moment, it's really hard to make bang-bang calls. But the ones you're referring to? How do you get those wrong, especially when you huddle up and talk about it as a group? And how do the refs not know that offensive linemen are going to stand up for their QB who gets drilled with a cheap shot? Andrews didn't even DO anything - probably beyond saying a few choice words. He made no contact with a Bills player. He just got in their face. That's a no-brainer, hey guys, everyone settle down, we got the flag on them, back to your corners, kind of thing. Not something you throw a flag on the Pats for.
 

Harry Hooper

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Great post and I agree 100%. In the moment, it's really hard to make bang-bang calls. But the ones you're referring to? How do you get those wrong, especially when you huddle up and talk about it as a group? And how do the refs not know that offensive linemen are going to stand up for their QB who gets drilled with a cheap shot? Andrews didn't even DO anything - probably beyond saying a few choice words. He made no contact with a Bills player. He just got in their face. That's a no-brainer, hey guys, everyone settle down, we got the flag on them, back to your corners, kind of thing. Not something you throw a flag on the Pats for.
I am pretty sure Andrews pushed his facemask into the other guy's facemask = obvious contact of the headbutt variety. Yes, teammates celebrating do similar things even harder than what occurred, but there was contact.
 

CFB_Rules

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Great post and I agree 100%. In the moment, it's really hard to make bang-bang calls. But the ones you're referring to? How do you get those wrong, especially when you huddle up and talk about it as a group? And how do the refs not know that offensive linemen are going to stand up for their QB who gets drilled with a cheap shot? Andrews didn't even DO anything - probably beyond saying a few choice words. He made no contact with a Bills player. He just got in their face. That's a no-brainer, hey guys, everyone settle down, we got the flag on them, back to your corners, kind of thing. Not something you throw a flag on the Pats for.
We also have no context for the UNS fouls. Maybe the officials had already told Andrews to shut the hell up 3 times and were tired of giving warnings. Maybe something totally off-limits was said. Timing matters too, two guys getting into a scuffle or verbal altercation after a play will not be treated the same as they would if it's after the officials have separated players.

You might say that the officials should then explain it to fans after the game, but there is a steep cost to that. You can hurt a guys future earnings if you broadcast exactly what dumb shit he said to the world. Officials primary concern is establishing credibility, trust, and respect with players and coaches. That evaporates quickly if they think you are going to sell them out to the media at the next press conference. Teams will be notified of the exact details of what happened, and if they think it actually an egregious call they can always appeal them to the national office. The officials have a pretty long leash for these UNS fouls, lots of fouls get sent in to the national office but the teams almost never challenge the UNS fouls. It's just the media and fans, who can't hear exactly what was said, that take exception.
 

BaseballJones

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We also have no context for the UNS fouls. Maybe the officials had already told Andrews to shut the hell up 3 times and were tired of giving warnings. Maybe something totally off-limits was said. Timing matters too, two guys getting into a scuffle or verbal altercation after a play will not be treated the same as they would if it's after the officials have separated players.

You might say that the officials should then explain it to fans after the game, but there is a steep cost to that. You can hurt a guys future earnings if you broadcast exactly what dumb shit he said to the world. Officials primary concern is establishing credibility, trust, and respect with players and coaches. That evaporates quickly if they think you are going to sell them out to the media at the next press conference. Teams will be notified of the exact details of what happened, and if they think it actually an egregious call they can always appeal them to the national office. The officials have a pretty long leash for these UNS fouls, lots of fouls get sent in to the national office but the teams almost never challenge the UNS fouls. It's just the media and fans, who can't hear exactly what was said, that take exception.
Those are all fair points, CFB.
 

snowmanny

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To my eyes the taunting rules are called incredibly inconsistently, but on the other hand the players have the option of just shutting the fuck up. The other call like this is the unnecessary roughness on the QB: they call the one where the defender drives the QB into the ground sometimes, so maybe the defender should try to do that no times.
 

heavyde050

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We also have no context for the UNS fouls. Maybe the officials had already told Andrews to shut the hell up 3 times and were tired of giving warnings. Maybe something totally off-limits was said. Timing matters too, two guys getting into a scuffle or verbal altercation after a play will not be treated the same as they would if it's after the officials have separated players.

You might say that the officials should then explain it to fans after the game, but there is a steep cost to that. You can hurt a guys future earnings if you broadcast exactly what dumb shit he said to the world. Officials primary concern is establishing credibility, trust, and respect with players and coaches. That evaporates quickly if they think you are going to sell them out to the media at the next press conference. Teams will be notified of the exact details of what happened, and if they think it actually an egregious call they can always appeal them to the national office. The officials have a pretty long leash for these UNS fouls, lots of fouls get sent in to the national office but the teams almost never challenge the UNS fouls. It's just the media and fans, who can't hear exactly what was said, that take exception.
Great points CFB. Quick question - do you have any idea why they picked up the flag at the end of the first half when the Bills' player clearly hit Jones late? It is just interesting in that in the first Biils vs Pats game, they flagged a Pats' player that hit Allen while he was still in bounds, but heading out.
Was the pick-up yesterday just incorrect?
 

snowmanny

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I would bet that they saw it as defender shoved Mac just as Mac was out of bounds but not as hard as defender could have, and then it looked as if defender had realized what he had done and tried to grab Mac to keep Mac from falling. In fact the shove was late & dangerous, and the tug raised the odds of an additional leg or back injury.
 
How many people here have ever refereed/umpired/officiated a game in any sport, at any level? How about at a level where players and particularly coaches/parents/fans might yell at you if you make what they perceive to be a mistake? I don't think you have to have been an official to criticize officials, but I do think having that experience gives you a perspective that might incline you to give them the benefit of doubt in more situations than we tend to see even on as enlightened a message board as SoSH is.
 

BaseballJones

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How many people here have ever refereed/umpired/officiated a game in any sport, at any level? How about at a level where players and particularly coaches/parents/fans might yell at you if you make what they perceive to be a mistake? I don't think you have to have been an official to criticize officials, but I do think having that experience gives you a perspective that might incline you to give them the benefit of doubt in more situations than we tend to see even on as enlightened a message board as SoSH is.
I have been a certified official in basketball and baseball. High school level.
 

BaseballJones

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Do you feel that your experience as a referee and an umpire gives you the sort of additional perspective I'm talking about when it comes to perceiving the performance of professional officials in the sports you watch on TV?
Well, I do know what it's like to have a gym full of people hate you for making your best calls in good faith. So I'm definitely sympathetic to these guys.

Of course, I got $50 a game. These guys are true professionals and my expectation level is MUCH higher with them than it is for high school officials.

I have said this for a while on this board, that officiating a fast sport like basketball (football clearly also qualifies) is REALLY hard. In a typical basketball game a ref has to make some 40,000 decisions. Most are easy and obvious. Many are not so easy and obvious and calls need to be made in real time. It's a challenging job.

What I've always said to coaches before games is, "Please don't argue with me over a judgment call. Just...don't. You're not going to win that as I'm making my best judgment possible, and all you're going to do is make me mad. If I get a rule wrong or misinterpret something, that's fair game for you." So yeah, on holding calls - like the one where Allen ran for the first down and Collins was held - I don't complain too much because it's a bang-bang play, and in that case I think the left tackle let go in enough time to understand a non-call there. But there are some egregious misses. While I'm still sympathetic to any official reffing a challenging sport, I think there's a lot of big misses and what seems like guesswork on their part.
 

BigJimEd

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How many people here have ever refereed/umpired/officiated a game in any sport, at any level? How about at a level where players and particularly coaches/parents/fans might yell at you if you make what they perceive to be a mistake? I don't think you have to have been an official to criticize officials, but I do think having that experience gives you a perspective that might incline you to give them the benefit of doubt in more situations than we tend to see even on as enlightened a message board as SoSH is.
I've done HS football and baseball. Have a couple close friends that do college football.
I don't know that it makes me more inclined to give benefit of doubt. Depends on the call I guess.

I've said it multiple times but I think the NFL is horribly officiated. The college officials I know might give benefit of doubt on a single call but when I've been with them as a group watching NFL, they'll rip the officials as much as anyone. They don't feel they do a good job overall.
 

BroodsSexton

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How many people here have ever refereed/umpired/officiated a game in any sport, at any level? How about at a level where players and particularly coaches/parents/fans might yell at you if you make what they perceive to be a mistake? I don't think you have to have been an official to criticize officials, but I do think having that experience gives you a perspective that might incline you to give them the benefit of doubt in more situations than we tend to see even on as enlightened a message board as SoSH is.
So, you mean U8 Soccer?
 

jimmyjam

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Dec 26, 2010
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Someone mentioned it upthread that our standards have simply gotten bigger and bigger for officials - to a point where we are expecting perfection in a judgment call role. There will always be ambiguity in the rules/rulings and I think as viewers we are uncomfortable with ambiguity.

I watched the '85 Pats-Raiders playoff game over the weekend and it was a fumble fest. A turnover would occur and in seconds the teams changed out sides and continued playing. The announcers hardly questioned a call and few replays were shown. No one mentioned a "football move" or even "two feet in bounds." Several fumbles on receptions would have been deemed incomplete today - most likely after a several minute review/discussion. One turnover should have been called back because the defender who scooped the ball was no in bounds.

Unless we re-write the rule book (which I think should be done), remove slo-mo replay (fat chance), or simply have a mental "reset" as to our relationship with NFL officials, these conversations will only get more intensified as technology continues to improve and gambling becomes even more ubiquitous.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Well, finally found some video of the play from the OOB hit on Mac that they picked up the flag (still can't find one on the roughing call immediately before that play, where I'm still convinced Mac got concussed). It's below. This play happened right in front of us (if the cameras were on the other side of the field, you would have seen me), and it looked exactly how I thought it looked in real time. He doesn't make contact with Mac until Mac is planting his second foot out of bounds, probably 1-2 yards out at that point. And yeah, he tried to hold him up, but like I said last night, and Charles Davis says while announcing, HE NEVER SHOULD HAVE TOUCHED MAC JONES. When you reach out to shove someone, it is not fucking incidental, then he makes it even worse by trying to grab him and hold him up (a second act). The defender should have been able to avoid Mac altogether, and by rule, he had to at that point. This wasn't Josh Allen trying to tip toe the sidelines, Mac is going and gone out of bounds. Josh Allen got the call, the Pats lost 15 yards on the play.

https://sports.yahoo.com/was-this-a-penalty-refs-go-with-no-call-on-mac-jones-shove-200235830.html
 

BaseballJones

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One addition to that play. Yanking Mac down messed up his left knee brace. Now it's not Hughes' fault that Mac plays with a knee brace, and that brace can get messed up just from sliding on a regular play at any point in the game. But Hughes yanking Mac down clearly messed up the brace, and Mac had to spend time fidgeting with it. Given the play clock, it's possible that that could have cost NE a valuable time out to give him what time he needed to fix it. He managed to get it off, but (a) that took time, and (b) he wears the brace for a reason, and that could have put Mac in a more vulnerable position to get injured on the next play.

It's a minor thing, but it aggravated me at the time and it bothers me more now.
 

mikcou

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How many people here have ever refereed/umpired/officiated a game in any sport, at any level? How about at a level where players and particularly coaches/parents/fans might yell at you if you make what they perceive to be a mistake? I don't think you have to have been an official to criticize officials, but I do think having that experience gives you a perspective that might incline you to give them the benefit of doubt in more situations than we tend to see even on as enlightened a message board as SoSH is.

In my late teens, I did U14/U16 boys soccer in MA for a few years - all the way from being a one man show in regular season games to leading a 3 person crew in some tournaments (and before that did younger kids where everything was pretty meaningless).

I suspect it is probably similar to BaseballJones - probably more sympathetic that the general population on tough judgement calls at game speed. Probably considerably harsher on missing significant player safety calls - they are absolutely (with yesterday's game an obvious example) the way to lose control of the game quickly. Players will institute their own protections after the first fuck up.
 

BaseballJones

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In my late teens, I did U14/U16 boys soccer in MA for a few years - all the way from being a one man show in regular season games to leading a 3 person crew in some tournaments (and before that did younger kids where everything was pretty meaningless).

I suspect it is probably similar to BaseballJones - probably more sympathetic that the general population on tough judgement calls at game speed. Probably considerably harsher on missing significant player safety calls - they are absolutely (with yesterday's game an obvious example) the way to lose control of the game quickly. Players will institute their own protections after the first fuck up.
Yeah I agree. The one I got really upset with in the Indy game was when the Colts' DB launched himself helmet to helmet and collided with Harry. I know it was a bang-bang play in real time, but you could HEAR the helmets crash into each other, and both guys were staggered - a clear sign that their helmets hit.

That is - or should be - an automatic 15-yard penalty. I won't pretend that it was easy to see in real time if he got there before the ball, but the fact that he hit his helmet directly into Harry's was obvious the instant it happened. And when the refs saw both guys go down staggered...well that made it doubly obvious.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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I agree that our expectations on officials have grown based on technology, which isn’t fair. Football is an incredibly difficult sport to officiate with the added responsibility of keeping control In a situation where guys are trying to (legally) maim each other. We all saw what happened with the replacement refs, and it was dangerous and a disaster. If you want to know how good professional referees are, while saddled with an an incredibly difficult job, sit on the floor under the basket during an NBA game. You quickly see how much contact the refs have to navigate through on each play, and actually how consistent they generally call things.
 

PedroKsBambino

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We also have no context for the UNS fouls. Maybe the officials had already told Andrews to shut the hell up 3 times and were tired of giving warnings. Maybe something totally off-limits was said. Timing matters too, two guys getting into a scuffle or verbal altercation after a play will not be treated the same as they would if it's after the officials have separated players.

You might say that the officials should then explain it to fans after the game, but there is a steep cost to that. You can hurt a guys future earnings if you broadcast exactly what dumb shit he said to the world. Officials primary concern is establishing credibility, trust, and respect with players and coaches. That evaporates quickly if they think you are going to sell them out to the media at the next press conference. Teams will be notified of the exact details of what happened, and if they think it actually an egregious call they can always appeal them to the national office. The officials have a pretty long leash for these UNS fouls, lots of fouls get sent in to the national office but the teams almost never challenge the UNS fouls. It's just the media and fans, who can't hear exactly what was said, that take exception.
Well, we have as much evidence that the referee told Andrews "I hate the Patriots and bet against you today" as we do of the above occurring, however. Sure it is possible any of those happened---and if the ref had said as much after the game the call would look better than it does. But the ref did not, so our choice is whether to judge what we saw and were told or make up other facts...and while I appreciate you sharing your perspective it should be noted that in this case, you're hypothesizing things that not only we have no evidence of, but which the official chose not to share.

On the Jones hit, what I don't understand is why the 'second act' is required---all of the contact began out of bounds. That is essentially indisputable on the replay. Isn't that a foul regardless of anything else? If the exact same contact which occurred had started in-bounds or right at the sideline I could understand the call---but I think it's very clear that isn't what happened.

I agree with others that the true bang-bang plays are much tougher to judge officials on, as those calls have to be made in real-time. The personal fouls and taunting, though, have a bit higher standard for me (and this is, I believe, acknowledged by the officials who regularly huddle and consult each other on such calls, appropriately).
 

Cotillion

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Well, we have as much evidence that the referee told Andrews "I hate the Patriots and bet against you today" as we do of the above occurring, however. Sure it is possible any of those happened---and if the ref had said as much after the game the call would look better than it does. But the ref did not, so our choice is whether to judge what we saw and were told or make up other facts...and while I appreciate you sharing your perspective it should be noted that in this case, you're hypothesizing things that not only we have no evidence of, but which the official chose not to share.

On the Jones hit, what I don't understand is why the 'second act' is required---all of the contact began out of bounds. That is essentially indisputable on the replay. Isn't that a foul regardless of anything else? If the exact same contact which occurred had started in-bounds or right at the sideline I could understand the call---but I think it's very clear that isn't what happened.

I agree with others that the true bang-bang plays are much tougher to judge officials on, as those calls have to be made in real-time. The personal fouls and taunting, though, have a bit higher standard for me (and this is, I believe, acknowledged by the officials who regularly huddle and consult each other on such calls, appropriately).
And we have actually seen in evidence in other sports where referees have actually said "i am looking for something to call on these guys to even it up" (the infamous NHL open mic) and the sports betting Tim Donaghy...

and we even know Refs are explicitly told to manage the game and not call everything and they don't call the rulebook as written. The Seahawks infamously made that part of their legion of boom days. Force the refs hands by being as right up against the rules as you can every play (cause they aren't going to call everything). So much that hte NFL had to reemphasize the illegal contact/holding rules in early 2010's...

So we are just arguing around the margins of judgement calls no matter how black letter the rule is written.

There really is no excuse for the pickup on the out of bounds personal foul though. There's a reason why it isn't really being defended by anyone, but turned into a broader discussion about how difficult reffing is.
 

BusRaker

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Advancements in replay technology, the amount of cameras, and the definition and speed of these cameras has certainly put the officials under several times the scrutiny that say 1980's when the TV stations actually had big "REPLAY" graphics over the screen to make sure the viewers knew it wasn't the next play.

Man, those graphics were old school fonts ...
 

BigJimEd

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I agree that our expectations on officials have grown based on technology, which isn’t fair. Football is an incredibly difficult sport to officiate with the added responsibility of keeping control In a situation where guys are trying to (legally) maim each other. We all saw what happened with the replacement refs, and it was dangerous and a disaster. If you want to know how good professional referees are, while saddled with an an incredibly difficult job, sit on the floor under the basket during an NBA game. You quickly see how much contact the refs have to navigate through on each play, and actually how consistent they generally call things.
Our expectations probably have grown. Our expectations for quality of play has grown as well. I don't think either is really unfair and to say it is or to blame everything on HD and replay seems more like a cop out. The NFL has ignored issues with their officiating for a long time. They see officiating as a cost center. They don't really care about quality, their focus is on limiting any expenditures in this area.

I also disagree with your assessment of replacement refs and agree with the poster above who said the main difference was perception. We see refs every week lose control. We had multiple blatant dangerous hits in last weeks Patriots' game and that wasn't an aberration. To say games with replacement refs are dangerous is ignoring the dangers today.

And I don't think anyone is looking for perfection. Many of us would simply like to see competency and consistency which is no where to be found in todays NFL.


Also, I've sat under the basket in NBA games but that's comparing apples and oranges.
 

McBride11

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Well, we have as much evidence that the referee told Andrews "I hate the Patriots and bet against you today" as we do of the above occurring, however. Sure it is possible any of those happened---and if the ref had said as much after the game the call would look better than it does. But the ref did not, so our choice is whether to judge what we saw and were told or make up other facts...and while I appreciate you sharing your perspective it should be noted that in this case, you're hypothesizing things that not only we have no evidence of, but which the official chose not to share.

On the Jones hit, what I don't understand is why the 'second act' is required---all of the contact began out of bounds. That is essentially indisputable on the replay. Isn't that a foul regardless of anything else? If the exact same contact which occurred had started in-bounds or right at the sideline I could understand the call---but I think it's very clear that isn't what happened.

I agree with others that the true bang-bang plays are much tougher to judge officials on, as those calls have to be made in real-time. The personal fouls and taunting, though, have a bit higher standard for me (and this is, I believe, acknowledged by the officials who regularly huddle and consult each other on such calls, appropriately).
Ya when Allen was hit ‘out of bounds’ in first game i dont recall some ‘second act’ - he got hit and went down. What happened yesterday with the ‘second act’ pull back was far more dangerous.

I get the game happens very fast and 7 officials have to watch 22 players. But the lack of consistency is the issue. And discression. Taunting is so variable in calls. After the Mac oob hit, Bills were chirping just as much as Trent - did they explain why he got a flag vs them? Nope

After the Mac slide, with the Andrews penalty, he was saying some shit and I seriously doubt Milano was like ‘oh i am so sorry!’ Then Milano 2 hand pushed him. Shoving another player usually is a penalty, I mean it seem worse than yelling ‘hey you mfer.’

Kelce every first down or big play makes some excited celebration, but the Steelers wr yesterday makes a first and does a mild point, and gets flagged.

Inconsistency is the issue.
 

McBride11

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Our expectations probably have grown. Our expectations for quality of play has grown as well. I don't think either is really unfair and to say it is or to blame everything on HD and replay seems more like a cop out. The NFL has ignored issues with their officiating for a long time. They see officiating as a cost center. They don't really care about quality, their focus is on limiting any expenditures in this area.

I also disagree with your assessment of replacement refs and agree with the poster above who said the main difference was perception. We see refs every week lose control. We had multiple blatant dangerous hits in last weeks Patriots' game and that wasn't an aberration. To say games with replacement refs are dangerous is ignoring the dangers today.

And I don't think anyone is looking for perfection. Many of us would simply like to see competency and consistency which is no where to be found in todays NFL.


Also, I've sat under the basket in NBA games but that's comparing apples and oranges.
Like when Mac got decked well afteR the play vs SD without a flag? Great control! (I agree with your point).
 

luckiestman

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That late hit was hardly a hit at all. The accidental pull down should have been flagged.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
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Apr 12, 2005
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That late hit was hardly a hit at all. The accidental pull down should have been flagged.
Any contact at all in that situation should bring a flag. There was ample time for the defender to pull up or go around Mac. Instead, he went to push him, probably realized he was 6 feet OOB and instead, tried to pull Mac by grabbing him (in an effort to minimize the damage of his push). You can see Mac's upper body move forward on the push, and then backward on the pull. The defender literally tried to cover up his crime, in broad daylight, in front of law enforcement, and law enforcement somehow bought it after not buying it.

But we don't need to get into a discussion about whether it was incidental, or if a second act happened. Mac was so far out of bounds when this occurred and the defender had time to get away from him that NO CONTACT should have happened. Any contact should have been flagged unless the defender was literally thrown into Mac by a Patriot blocker.
 
So, you mean U8 Soccer?
Heh...I've refereed rec league/intramural basketball games and umpired league cricket matches, and I've played Sunday League soccer, and in all of these cases it's just the players and no coaches/parents/fans. (I've refereed youth soccer as well, among other things, and...well, let's just say that my lovely wife can't understand why ANYONE would ever put themselves in the position to be abused like that.)
 

Ralphwiggum

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The accidental pull down only happened because the Bills defender knew he made contact OOB and tried to take it back.

Im not a blame the refs guy but picking that flag up was inexcusable. That said, the Pats have to keep their cool there after the play. The picked up flag hurt but that drive still had a legit chance to result in points until the Andrews penalty. I hate the taunting bullshit but they have been calling it all year long.
 

54thMA

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The accidental pull down only happened because the Bills defender knew he made contact OOB and tried to take it back.

Im not a blame the refs guy but picking that flag up was inexcusable. That said, the Pats have to keep their cool there after the play. The picked up flag hurt but that drive still had a legit chance to result in points until the Andrews penalty. I hate the taunting bullshit but they have been calling it all year long.
What upset me more about the Brown penalty is the referees already screwed up by picking up the flag, then they doubled down and threw a flag on the Patriots; what was going on there, did a Bills player make a smart ass comment that Brown reacted to? The referees ended up punishing the Patriots for their fuck up, that was a 30 yard swing there, instead of the ball being on the Bills 32 or so, it ended up on the Patriots 32.

Same deal on the Andrews penalty, only worse............Jones had just gotten popped, what did Andrews say, was it a response to something a Bills player said?

The referees let things get out of hand/they had no feel for what was going on in either situation.

To me, that is the bigger issue.

Not to mention Smith's explanation for picking up the flag was total bullshit; "there was incidental contact on the sideline and there was not a second contact to warrant a flag" or words to that effect; what was the pull on Jones, if that wasn't a second contact, then what the fuck was it?

He shoved him when he was almost past the white boarder along the sideline, there was ZERO reason to touch him at that point.

Picking up the flag there is beyond idiotic; would they pick up the flag if the same thing happened to Brady, Rodgers or Mahommes?

Yeah; I didn't think so.
 

ragnarok725

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I didn't get to watch the game yesterday (for the best), but just so we can all have the offending play in front of us here, this is some video of it:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxMvIC7_8Pk&ab_channel=PetersPackage


This, to me, is one of the easiest, most blatant late hit penalties I've ever seen. They'd call this on any ball carrier, QB or not. First contact happens after 2 steps out of bounds, and the hold-up/grab happens two more steps after that, which turns a late shove into a dangerous play.

The only explanation I can imagine is that one of the other refs (who didn't throw the flag) thought, in real time, that Hughes was just trying to keep Mac upright and he slipped or something. Then he was the loudest voice in the room during the huddle and, aided by the Bills bench, convinced the crew chief that the guy who threw the flag was wrong. How else could it possibly go down? This has to be one of the worst on-field reversals in recent memory.
 

BroodsSexton

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It’s obviously a fuck up, but film at 11…

What I don’t understand on the “taunting” call is what is he taunting about? “Oh yeah! You just made a late play on our QB out of bounds and got away with it!” Almost assuredly he’s not taunting, but worked up about the bullshit call. So that’s where a good referee realizes that—having made himself at issue (ESPECIALLY if it’s a legitimate pickup)—don’t compound your own fuck up by penalizing the NE player for being a bit worked up. It’s not taunting. It’s frustration at the referee. So referee with a little humility amd just settle everyone down.

That said, STFU and play the game.
 

PedroKsBambino

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The acid test on the out of bounds play is this: if any coach tells their player “you can initiate a grab and pull down of the opposing QB all out bounds so long as you let go on the way down” will it always be let go? If so, that’s fine…..but if not (and the rules say “no”) you can’t defend picking up that flag.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I didn't get to watch the game yesterday (for the best), but just so we can all have the offending play in front of us here, this is some video of it:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxMvIC7_8Pk&ab_channel=PetersPackage


This, to me, is one of the easiest, most blatant late hit penalties I've ever seen. They'd call this on any ball carrier, QB or not. First contact happens after 2 steps out of bounds, and the hold-up/grab happens two more steps after that, which turns a late shove into a dangerous play.

The only explanation I can imagine is that one of the other refs (who didn't throw the flag) thought, in real time, that Hughes was just trying to keep Mac upright and he slipped or something. Then he was the loudest voice in the room during the huddle and, aided by the Bills bench, convinced the crew chief that the guy who threw the flag was wrong. How else could it possibly go down? This has to be one of the worst on-field reversals in recent memory.
I'm glad that video went all the way to the incompletion Mac threw after all of that. Immediately before the OOB hit, Mac was roughed (blasted in the facemask) and I'll keep repeating it until I'm blue. I thought he was concussed the way he got up and walked around. Then the OOB play, then he threw that incompletion which was off by almost as many yards as he threw it, and then he was off again by that much on the third down play.

I can't believe I still can't find that first roughing penalty (it's been so overshadowed by the picked up flag on the very next play).
 

djbayko

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The acid test on the out of bounds play is this: if any coach tells their player “you can initiate a grab and pull down of the opposing QB all out bounds so long as you let go on the way down” will it always be let go? If so, that’s fine…..but if not (and the rules say “no”) you can’t defend picking up that flag.
I think the refs viewed him as doing the opposite of what you say here, and that's why they picked up the flag. And honestly, I don't think they're wrong about that part. I think he realized that he fucked up and tried to make it better. It doesn't make the late OOB hit okay, but if they missed the fact that the first contact was OOB or thought it was just a love tap, then it's understandable that trying to help Mac stay upright would be viewed positively.

Not saying they didn't fuck up. They absolutely did.
 

lexrageorge

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I'm glad that video went all the way to the incompletion Mac threw after all of that. Immediately before the OOB hit, Mac was roughed (blasted in the facemask) and I'll keep repeating it until I'm blue. I thought he was concussed the way he got up and walked around. Then the OOB play, then he threw that incompletion which was off by almost as many yards as he threw it, and then he was off again by that much on the third down play.

I can't believe I still can't find that first roughing penalty (it's been so overshadowed by the picked up flag on the very next play).
On the broadcast, they spent a lot of time showing McDermott yelling at the officials for the roughing call, and, IIRC, at least one of the announcers seemed clueless about the fact that it was a clear helmet to helmet hit.

What irritates me more about the out-of-bounds play is the fact that the crew chief is making shit up on the fly to justify the call, shit that is not even in the rulebook.
 

ragnarok725

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I think the refs viewed him as doing the opposite of what you say here, and that's why they picked up the flag. And honestly, I don't think they're wrong about that part. I think he realized that he fucked up and tried to make it better. It doesn't make the late OOB hit okay, but if they missed the fact that the first contact was OOB or thought it was just a love tap, then it's understandable that trying to help Mac stay upright would be viewed positively.

Not saying they didn't fuck up. They absolutely did.
But that doesn't even track for me. If a player tried to keep a player upright, but fucked up and wound up slamming them to the ground, that should be a penalty too. If you don't need to make contact, but then you do, and it knocks the player to the ground, that's just a penalty. Intent really should not and (most of the time) does not matter.
 

BaseballJones

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But that doesn't even track for me. If a player tried to keep a player upright, but fucked up and wound up slamming them to the ground, that should be a penalty too. If you don't need to make contact, but then you do, and it knocks the player to the ground, that's just a penalty. Intent really should not and (most of the time) does not matter.
"I didn't mean to hit the wide receiver before the ball got there."

"Oh, in that case, no defensive pass interference. Incomplete pass."
 

djbayko

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But that doesn't even track for me. If a player tried to keep a player upright, but fucked up and wound up slamming them to the ground, that should be a penalty too. If you don't need to make contact, but then you do, and it knocks the player to the ground, that's just a penalty. Intent really should not and (most of the time) does not matter.
You see it that way. Others can see it as Mac was falling, an he did his best to help keep him up, but it wasn't enough. I honestly think that's a reasonable interpretation. The problem is Mac was falling because of his own late hit.
 

PedroKsBambino

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You see it that way. Others can see it as Mac was falling, an he did his best to help keep him up, but it wasn't enough. I honestly think that's a reasonable interpretation. The problem is Mac was falling because of his own late hit.
If they thought that they should be fired immediately—-it is literally indefensible on the replay. So, yeah, maybe they thought that? But if so, it’s an even bigger indictment of their competence….as I said initially, the part of this which I suspect no one associated with the NFL will actually try to defend is that 100% of the contact happened well after Jones was out of bounds, and that is a inexcusable mistake by the refs. You can argue “if the contact happened sooner it would be ok” and you can argue as you do that “the contact was de minimis if it started as legal’ but each has a fatal factual flaw
 

CFB_Rules

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Great points CFB. Quick question - do you have any idea why they picked up the flag at the end of the first half when the Bills' player clearly hit Jones late? It is just interesting in that in the first Biils vs Pats game, they flagged a Pats' player that hit Allen while he was still in bounds, but heading out.
Was the pick-up yesterday just incorrect?
To my eye it was kind of a weak flag but one that the NFL has historically called. The rule of thumb for the hits OOB is that you can be a little late and a little forceful and not get called for a foul, but if it’s very late or very forceful you get no latitude. To me this contact falls into the category of very late. I expect if they left the flag on the ground the NFL would have supported the call, but I’m not sure they’ll be downgraded for picking it up. The other factor is that this play will have more eyes on it than any other. Usually only one or two officials will have a look at any particular play, but given this is the QB the Referee will have an opinion as well.

This goes to another point: If you spend any time around NFL officials, you’ll know that they are by and large very good. Yet there is no question that there are a lot of puzzling decisions in games. My personal opinion is that this results from a poor leadership structure. The NFL uses a coaches committee every year to make rule changes and points of emphasis that read like a list of grievances for how individual coaches on the committee feel like they’ve been screwed. Contrast to the NCAA, where a panel of officials, ADs, and coaches make the rules and most importantly the final rule book is written by an official. It’s hard to enforce rules, but it’s almost impossible when the interpretations you are asked to enforce are things you fundamentally disagree with.
 

heavyde050

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To my eye it was kind of a weak flag but one that the NFL has historically called. The rule of thumb for the hits OOB is that you can be a little late and a little forceful and not get called for a foul, but if it’s very late or very forceful you get no latitude. To me this contact falls into the category of very late. I expect if they left the flag on the ground the NFL would have supported the call, but I’m not sure they’ll be downgraded for picking it up. The other factor is that this play will have more eyes on it than any other. Usually only one or two officials will have a look at any particular play, but given this is the QB the Referee will have an opinion as well.

This goes to another point: If you spend any time around NFL officials, you’ll know that they are by and large very good. Yet there is no question that there are a lot of puzzling decisions in games. My personal opinion is that this results from a poor leadership structure. The NFL uses a coaches committee every year to make rule changes and points of emphasis that read like a list of grievances for how individual coaches on the committee feel like they’ve been screwed. Contrast to the NCAA, where a panel of officials, ADs, and coaches make the rules and most importantly the final rule book is written by an official. It’s hard to enforce rules, but it’s almost impossible when the interpretations you are asked to enforce are things you fundamentally disagree with.
Thank you for the detailed response. That makes a lot of sense, and I found it fascinating the difference between college and the pros.
Not to belabor a point (too much), but do you think the flag for the hit on Allen in the first game was weak as well?