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View Full Version : Week 3. The stupidest ending ever.



Amy
09-24-2012, 12:24 PM
Before I start the meat of this post, I want to say that the Raven's played awesome. The game was incredible for 59:58, and there's really no team I'd rather see beat the Pats then the Ravens. So, while there is ranting coming up, I don't want it taken as any sort of attack or negative feelings towards the Ravens or Raven fans. I'm also very glad Torie Smith scored. One would have been better then two, to me, but he deserved it.

Back before the season started, Biggie asked me if I'd mind writing a weekly column, with my own take on refs, the booth, etc. Like what I do here, except with no game breakdowns, and covering whatever games I watched. I told him I'd love to, but with no TV/internet for me week 1, and no forums week 2, I haven't had the chance.

This game changed that. I apologize in advance for my lack of drive breakdowns, but for the moment, I can't even think of doing them. I may add them later, as I did do them.

I've watched football for a long time. Probably since I was 6 or 7. I lost a boyfriend in college, cause in a pick up game, he thought I'd let him have the game winning TD, and I laid him out. I've always loved playing corner! I demanded my Wedding happen in the morning, on a January Saturday, so that I wouldn't miss a snap of Divisional Weekend playoffs. I watched both game in my wedding dress, trash talking with the pastor, who was as big of a fan as I am.

I've seen incredible wins, heart-wrenching losses. It's why we watch, the emotion that it brings out. It's why we all obsess, and what makes football so great. So few games, every one matters, and makes the impact of one game so much higher.

And that's what made the last two seconds of that epic game last night suck. Losing not to a play, not to common sense, but to a *rule*. We'll get to the FG that wasn't, and the dumbest rule in any game later. But, there are other things to hit first.

Starting with NBC:

Like many of you, I think Al and Cris are the best team doing football. And last night they sucked. I know many of you will not agree with that statement, and that's fine. My rant, my opinion! :) And, I'll explain why.

It starts with the all too typical Al doing half-assed play by play. He rarely gives the amount of yardage a play goes for, and he rarely gives the new down and distance. A lot of the time the tech guys bail him out, with a little arrow showing it. But they were off last night, too, doing that on maybe half the plays. Add to that the lack of a play clock until 5 seconds or less, and not even then sometimes, and we're not being given basic information.

To me, that's a very very strong negative. The core of the broadcast is the play-by-play. That's the narrative of the game, and if you skimp on that, it takes away from the game. All too often, they skipped on that to tell some not important to the game story. Now, I like CCs anaylsis, he does it much better then anyone else, but it doesn't take long to say 'Torey Smith gained 32 yards on the catch' (for example) *before* you do that.

To make it even worse, like every other broadcasting team out there, they were hitting the refs way tooo hard. As I'll discuss below, I think the refs did a good job last night and overall. However, CC, especially, was laying into them all night. At times, way too hard and wrongfully. I'll give an example:

Brady scrambled on a broken play in the 3rd. It was one of those very rare Brady runs, and he gets 5 or 6 yards and slides feet first. For the past 5 or 6 seasons, a QB who slides feet first is giving himself up. He's considered down by contact, and while he may be touched down, any hit is a personal foul. Hiloti Ngata (I hope I spelled his night correctly), slams into Brady. I don't think it was a cheap shot by any means, but it was a foul. And it was flagged. Correctly so. CC was critical of the call, even though the real refs would have made the same call, it was easy to see, and it was correct. I think that piling on the current refs is becoming too prevalent for the booth people, in all the games, especially after years of listening to them *refuse* to call out the real refs for calls that are bad.

NBC does a lot good, but they need to get the basics done better, and to be a little more objective about things. Just because you are the best (and CC and Al are, hands down), doesn't mean you can't get better.

NBC made it worse with Costas pretending the miss went inside the uprights, which no one with eyes can even begin to imagine being correct. Then they had poor Rachel Nichols ask Ray Rice what he thought. What's he supposed to say? 'We missed.' If it's a stupid question, don't ask it.

The refs: Pile on time, right? Wrong. In fact, I think they did a fine job last night. Yes, the game was chippy, and that's good. Ravens-Steelers and, now, Ravens-Pats *should* be chippy. I love the fact they let the teams play, that they let the game be aggressive and hard hitting. It felt like the heavy weight fight it was. After all, this game *could* determine home field in the playoffs. It's meaningful. There were 24 accepted penalties. I think 23 were right. The last I never saw. I was a 3rd down PI on Mayo, that gave the Ravens their first first down. We never got to see it, cause while we saw replays of every 3 yard Woodhead run, that wasn't deemed worthy of a replay. Dunno why.

Were they perfect? No. I saw a missed hold on Connely on a play that went 12 to Welker. I saw two missed holds on Oher, vs Chander Jones, one of which he had Jones in a headlock (and CC called it 'almost holding'), both of which led to long Flacco completions. (On a side note, Oher was fantastic. He shut Chandler down all night long). Ed Reed should have been called for a hit to the head on Julian in the first. And John Harbuagh did get a measurement before tossing a flag for a challenge on a spot. I don't see anything wrong with that, but BB and some of the chat room guys thought it shouldn't have been measured. Overall, however, I can't really fault them. I think they let the game be physical, and called the fouls that really needed to be called, but let smaller ones slide. I don't mind that at all.

CC trotted out the old 'The refs have to keep control of the game', but that's not quite true. They have a role in that, yes, but the coaches do as well, as do the players. But, rather then say that Harbuagh (or John Fox last Monday), was out of line, it's easier to blame the refs. After all, they're replacements. But, we've seen chippy games with the real refs, too, and it's a crew by crew thing how many flags they toss. Some won't toss any. There were some plays I wanted flags on the Ravens on, and I'm sure there were some that Kaba wanted flags on the Pats on. Overall, though, I was happy with the officiating.

(continued in Part 2)

Amy
09-24-2012, 12:24 PM
Part 2:

The Miss that Won a Game:

First of all, the FG missed. You'll never, ever, convince me it was good, so don't try. It was a miss. Brown's fans understand me, I think, given their own (much high stakes) miss against them that was called good.

Before I discuss that, though, I want to talk about the clock. The Raven's get a PI (correctly), on McCourty with under a minute to play, down 2. Flacco takes the snap, moves to the center of the field, and kneels to set up the kick. BB doesn't call time out, electing to make the kick the last play of the game. The Raven's call time with :02 left, and we get the whole kick situation. I agre with what Bill did. If we call timeout at :40, then either they miss and we do one, maybe 2, kneeldowns. Or they make it, and after the kickoff, we have 1 timeout and :30 or so seconds, to go 50+ yards. I don't think, against that D, we can do it that fast. Is it possible. Sure. If Aaron was playing, and if Edelman wasn't hurt, then definately call the time. But, yesterday, I think it was the right call - a walkoff kick, no matter what.

So, both teams are lined up. BB doesn't ice, he never does. But, *Mayo* calls timeout, on the field, right in front of the long snapper, with like 8 on the playclock. Ref immediately calls timeout, and Pats and Ravens lineman start to stand up for the reset. It's as the referee is moving to reset the ball, that it's snapped and kicked. Good, down the middle. But, not only does it not count, it should have been a delay of game. The play was well over. That five yards would have made the miss be even more of one. Honestly, I wish Mayo had not called time. A kick down the middle just is a fantastic ending to a fantastic game. (Even with my team losing).

Then we get the kick. Which misses. But, the Ravens are saved by a rule. The rule (which is stupid), is that if the ball goes right over the top of the goalpost, it's good. But, that makes no sense: If the kick is a foot lower, it hits the upright and misses. If the goalpost is a foot higher, it hits the goalpost and misses. So, why should it be good? That makes no sense at all!!!

And it gets worse. Even though *every* scoring play is reviewable, by rule, this one was not. Because, by rule, if a play happens as the game clock hits 0:00 it's not reviewable. So, we have 2 replay rules in direct conflict with each other. But, why even make the second rule? What's more important to review then a play that ends a game? One that directly determines a W or an L? Nothing. Nothing at all. We can challenge 1 yard spots, but can't review a literally game ending play? That's just stupid. To an incredible degree.

So, a game is decided by a rule that makes no sense, protected by a rule which makes no sense. In the end, the Ravens get a W, the Pats get a L, and the NFL - not the replacement refs, but the rules committee, should get a black eye.

To be fair, I have to mention BB touched a ref, trying to get an explination. And, that's being made a big deal of, even though it happens every game where there's a close call at the end. I've seen dozens of coaches do the exact same thing. It's a nice smokescreen, though, as the media will let attention be diverted from the miss, to talk about that.

What makes it even worse is how that last 2 seconds wrecks an epic, awesome, game.

vancemeek
09-24-2012, 12:46 PM
BB shouldn't have touched the official, but by the time an hour had passed, Twitter had blown up with stories of BB assaulting the ref, and deserved to be suspended for half the season. C'mon. He grabbed the ref's arm. Jesus.

Colts01
09-24-2012, 12:59 PM
BB shouldn't have touched the official, but by the time an hour had passed, Twitter had blown up with stories of BB assaulting the ref, and deserved to be suspended for half the season. C'mon. He grabbed the ref's arm. Jesus.


http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f369/djerc7/BillBilicheck_Grab_original_zps4e1a78df.gif

Andy Freeland
09-24-2012, 01:15 PM
Back before the season started, Biggie asked me if I'd mind writing a weekly column, with my own take on refs, the booth, etc. Like what I do here, except with no game breakdowns, and covering whatever games I watched.

Not a correction, merely additional information. We had a chat session to decide who would write what during the season. Someone brought up a 'what we learned this week' column and I said that you would be a great choice. This post proves it. I disagree with a lot of what you said (as I'll detail), but this is a fantastic post and should be on the front page.


Brady scrambled on a broken play in the 3rd. It was one of those very rare Brady runs, and he gets 5 or 6 yards and slides feet first. For the past 5 or 6 seasons, a QB who slides feet first is giving himself up. He's considered down by contact, and while he may be touched down, any hit is a personal foul. Hiloti Ngata (I hope I spelled his night correctly), slams into Brady. I don't think it was a cheap shot by any means, but it was a foul. And it was flagged. Correctly so. CC was critical of the call, even though the real refs would have made the same call, it was easy to see, and it was correct. I think that piling on the current refs is becoming too prevalent for the booth people, in all the games, especially after years of listening to them *refuse* to call out the real refs for calls that are bad.

This, in my opinion, was a closer call than either you or Cris or make it out to be. It is a judgement call. While it's true that you can't hit a QB sliding feet first, the NFL also came out a few years ago and said that the QB has to give the defensive player time to pull up. If he slides as the player is in pursuit and the hit is imminent, as it was in this case, there shouldn't be a call. That's what Cris was saying. I would say the real refs would have called that about 50% of the time.


Then they had poor Rachel Nichols ask Ray Rice what he thought. What's he supposed to say? 'We missed.' If it's a stupid question, don't ask it.

Michele Tafoya not Rachel Nichols, but you're probably right. Why ask a question that only has one possible answer.


Ed Reed should have been called for a hit to the head on Julian in the first. And John Harbuagh did get a measurement before tossing a flag for a challenge on a spot. I don't see anything wrong with that, but BB and some of the chat room guys thought it shouldn't have been measured.

The Ed Reed play looked bad at real speed, but it was shoulder to shoulder. good no call.
I thought Cris and Al over-reacted a little bit to the measurement, but it was such a strange play. There was no way it was a first down as marked (great challenge by Harbaugh), so why let him stop the clock for a measurement? Would they have measured if it was 2 yards back? 5 yards? Just a weird move by the officials, I've never seen it happen before.


CC trotted out the old 'The refs have to keep control of the game', but that's not quite true. They have a role in that, yes, but the coaches do as well, as do the players. But, rather then say that Harbuagh (or John Fox last Monday), was out of line, it's easier to blame the refs. After all, they're replacements. But, we've seen chippy games with the real refs, too, and it's a crew by crew thing how many flags they toss. Some won't toss any. There were some plays I wanted flags on the Ravens on, and I'm sure there were some that Kaba wanted flags on the Pats on. Overall, though, I was happy with the officiating.

There were little skirmishes constantly at the beginning of the game, most would have been flagged by real refs. Once they tossed out the first personal foul penalty (on the Ravens, don't remember which player), that stopped immediately.

Andy Freeland
09-24-2012, 01:32 PM
So, both teams are lined up. BB doesn't ice, he never does. But, *Mayo* calls timeout, on the field, right in front of the long snapper, with like 8 on the playclock. Ref immediately calls timeout, and Pats and Ravens lineman start to stand up for the reset. It's as the referee is moving to reset the ball, that it's snapped and kicked. Good, down the middle. But, not only does it not count, it should have been a delay of game.

Not entirely true, but you'd have no way of knowing that. I had my binoculars on Belichick on the sideline. He signaled timeout to the special teams coach, the ST coach relayed the call to Mayo.

The center, holder and kicker train constantly to ignore all distractions. No matter what happens, make the snap and make the kick. This happens all the time and has never been or should ever be called a penalty.


Then we get the kick. Which misses. But, the Ravens are saved by a rule. The rule (which is stupid), is that if the ball goes right over the top of the goalpost, it's good. But, that makes no sense: If the kick is a foot lower, it hits the upright and misses. If the goalpost is a foot higher, it hits the goalpost and misses. So, why should it be good? That makes no sense at all!!!

So it sounds like you have a problem with the rule, not the interpretation. You agree that the ball went over the goal post, but don't feel like that should be a make? I disagree. You don't know that the ball would have hit and bounced out. That depends on how the ball was oriented when it went through. We see plenty of kicks that hit and go through. Asking the ref to decide how it would have bounced had the goalposts been a foot higher is just asking too much. I think the rule is written correctly.


And it gets worse. Even though *every* scoring play is reviewable, by rule, this one was not. Because, by rule, if a play happens as the game clock hits 0:00 it's not reviewable.

I'm pretty sure this is incorrect. The play wasn't reviewable because the ball went over the goal post. A FG that goes between the goal posts is reviewable, but not one that goes over. I think that makes sense. Camera angles can be deceiving. There are officials under each goal post and there's no one in the stadium that has a better view of whether or not that kick is good.

Andy Freeland
09-24-2012, 01:40 PM
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f369/djerc7/BillBilicheck_Grab_original_zps4e1a78df.gif

Thanks for this Colts. I think it shows that Belichick should definitely be suspended for a significant number of games. Not for touching the ref, but as you can see he' not wearing a hoodie. Belichick not wearing a hoodie is like Johnny Cash not wearing black. Touching the ref? Who cares. He didn't hurt him or even slow him down, he touched him on the arm. As Amy said, this isn't the first time a coach has touched a ref. Every time it happens the coach gets a minor, slap on the wrist fine, which is what should happen here.

Swami
09-24-2012, 01:53 PM
BB should get a big fine - that's a pretty threatening moment when combining the rage, the yelling and the grabbing. I liked Amy's column and Andy's comments. My view of Ngata is that there was no time to slow down and he didn't throw a forearm or anything so a good no-call. That does get called, but I find it more frustrating. No one can predict when a QB will slide or not (except up in Buffalo, where Fitz is unaware that it's an option).

I'll be in Buffalo next weekend to personally witness the 1-3 start to the season of the Pats. Can't wait!

Amy
09-24-2012, 01:57 PM
Hi Andy! Thanks for the comments and compliments. I'll just touch on the kick itself real quick.

Yes, I think that given the rule, the officials ruled it correctly. I think the rule, itself, is insanely stupid. I agree with what you say, that there is no way to know how the ball will bounce. I disagree, however, on the rule's assumption of the minority event. Most times when the ball hits the upright, it does not go through. This rule, though, assumes that it does. I disagree with that. IMO, if the ball does not go through the upright's, it's a miss. The FG last night didn't. It almost did, but it didn't.

As for the review, if what you are saying is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, it boggles me. In effect, when I don't need to review a FG/XP, I can. When I do, I can't. To me, I'm sorry, but that doesn't make sense. Also, my own clock hitting zero comment about review was quoted from the studio, who used it to explain why there was no review. To be honest, I don't think it would have been overturned on review, as much as I would want it to be, but I do feel it should have been reviewed. I also don't think there should be exceptions to something as simple as 'All scoring plays and turnovers will be automatically reviewed'. Sometimes, there's no need, but when there is, review :)

packa7x
09-24-2012, 02:12 PM
The FG review/no review is based on the fact that it's literally impossible to judge depth, etc. on the FG. That play in particular is non-reviewable because it's a judgement call. It sucks, but if it was called no-good it wouldn't have been reviewed either.

Pruitt
09-24-2012, 02:43 PM
Unfortunately, I missed the end of the game and just now watched the field goal.

Tough call, but if there was a gun to my head and my life depended on getting the call right, I'd have said that it was good. Packa's point about the kick is IMO correct.

One thing about the ref though... if the coach wants to talk to you after the game - even if he's yelling and screaming, than the ref should have the decency to face his accuser rather than running off the field like a child. BB will get fined, but there's no way a real referee puts his tail between his legs and runs away like that. Another inexcusable action by a supposedly professional referee.

wxwax
09-24-2012, 03:16 PM
Yeah, TV cameras are a poor way to decide whether a kick is good. The angles, the distances involved, something called foreshortening that you get with long lenses -- it's a witches brew. FWIW, I saw a college kick hit the post Saturday and go in.

Great column, Amy, love to see your point of view. I didn't watch the game with your attention to detail, but I'm surprised you didn't object to a phantom pass interference call late in the game on the far sideline that gave the Ravens a critical first down.

A part of me wonders if Belichick didn't plot the ref thing. The guy doesn't often lose his cool. The isolation camera on him when the FG was kicked showed his fairly dispassionate initial response. He might have subsequently lost it. Or maybe he wanted to make a point with the NFL that these officials aren't cutting it. He's a big wheel in the NFL. Belichick doing anything is news. As I said, a part of me is wondering whether he had this in mind when he grabbed at the ref.

Swami
09-24-2012, 03:35 PM
Finally saw the kick - Murphy's Law that would come on a Sunday Night game with replacement refs - I think they made the right call but we'd be hooting and hollering no matter who made the call no matter which way it was called.

I disagree with fellow Bill fan Pruitt. Well, I agree with what he wrote - you do talk to a coach. But BB was not talking, he was raging. That does not deserve respect.

Pruitt
09-24-2012, 06:09 PM
Finally saw the kick - Murphy's Law that would come on a Sunday Night game with replacement refs - I think they made the right call but we'd be hooting and hollering no matter who made the call no matter which way it was called.

I disagree with fellow Bill fan Pruitt. Well, I agree with what he wrote - you do talk to a coach. But BB was not talking, he was raging. That does not deserve respect.

"Upon further review..."

You're probably right. He did look berserk...

I think the league should suspend him for the rest of the season. And Brady, Wilfork, Lloyd, Mayo, Gronkowski and any other Patriot who has ever been to a pro bowl should be suspended for this Sunday's game.

I think we can all agree, it is the right thing to do.

:)

Rich Gapinski
09-24-2012, 06:20 PM
This whole thread has been gold, Jerry, gold.

The NFL needs Adam Carollas idea of lights being projected above the goal posts. I don't really think it could happen but it feels like something could be done to make the calls easier.

darvon
09-24-2012, 07:01 PM
OK. Let's talk.

#1 Point - Lasers. The FG OVER is not reviewable because the data from which a review happens, i.e. TV, is vastly inferior to to data from the ref directly under. The reason why a FG THRU is reviewable, is because those same TV cameras should get a good view of the occlusion happening when a ball passes outside or in of the posts. It's why they paint em Yellow.

#2 FG OVER Rule - It's arbitrary. Pick one way an make a rule. You need to rule "passing thru the cylinder" of the upright either IN or OUT. Obviously more kicks bounce out when the Center of Mass of the football "passes through the cylinder" but it is easier to call on the ground by seeing if the upright occludes the football as viewed from directly underneath the upright. Thus it is easier from the bottom to tell Missed outside or Not Missed outside, than Missed Inside or NOT, because the crossbar gets in the way of viewing the lack of occlusion if the OVER ball is completely in. But bottom line, pick one and use lasers.

#3 You raise an interesting point also raised by Cris at the end, as he was trying to soften his Scab Ref position. Was the difference in officiating providing a better, "old-school" viewing experience? It did seem so on TV. This FELT like a feavy weight fight.

#4 BB was grabbing the official to stop him and turn him so that BB could scream at him. Has this been done before? Not that I can recall, and probably hardly ever. Anyone who can find some linkees, please post. I am sort of getting tired of the fines. They seem to be getting upwards of $1M per week. It sort of sounds silly that you can't play 16 games without $1M in fines. I would love if PFT would start making cumulative lists of fines for the season.

The NFL wants to break the pension, it won't back down. Let's see what the union does.

Swami
09-24-2012, 08:41 PM
This whole thread has been gold, Jerry, gold.

The NFL needs Adam Carollas idea of lights being projected above the goal posts. I don't really think it could happen but it feels like something could be done to make the calls easier.

The whole world needs a ton of Adam Carolla ideas! (Yes, I'm active today, trying to top 500 posts as I'm tired of just being a "Member.")

ScottDCP
09-24-2012, 09:11 PM
I think the goalpost rule is modeled after the goal line rule, and appropriately so, if only for the hobgoblin of consistency.

ScottDCP
09-24-2012, 09:14 PM
And I love more lasers.

Andy Freeland
09-25-2012, 01:10 AM
No matter what you thought about the Sunday night game, 'the stupidest ending ever' was just claimed by the Monday night game.

packa7x
09-25-2012, 01:20 AM
I'll be on suicide watch if you guys need me.

wxwax
09-25-2012, 01:48 AM
No matter what you thought about the Sunday night game, 'the stupidest ending ever' was just claimed by the Monday night game.

Indeed.

The Big One just went off.