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Sports Medley: The NFL would rather back up incompetent referees than get it right 7 Dec 15

by Tony Medley

Aaron Rodgers’ 60 yard TD pass on an extra play after time had expired against the Lions was only made possible by yet another atrocious penalty called on the last play of the game. Lions’ defensive end Devin Taylor barely touched Rodgers’ face mask in tackling him by pulling him down by his jersey. But the official called a face mask penalty and awarded the Packers another play which resulted in a game winning (or losing from the Lions’ POV) touchdown.

Here’s what the rule says (Rule 12, Section 2, Article 2), “No player shall grasp and control, twist, turn, push, or pull the facemask of an opponent in any direction.” Taylor did none of these, but the inept ref called it and Detroit lost the game. But further buttressing Taylor’s position, the rule goes on to state, “If a player grasps an opponent’s facemask, he must immediately release it. If he does not immediately release it and controls his opponent, it is a foul.” Taylor didn’t grasp it, but if he had and immediately released it, it would not have been a foul.

When this occurs on the last play of the game and the result is that a team won the game because of it, the NFL should reverse the result. But the NFL’s Vice President of Officiating, Dean Blandino, defended the official, tweeting, “Hand up to the mask, quick grab with finger and head gets turned. At full speed official is going to make that call almost every time.” Even if that call is incorrect? What’s wrong here? If they are going to make the call every time then they should be instructed not to! Instead the NFL defends them.

But Blandino misstated the facts, probably intentionally. There was no “quick grab with the finger.” Taylor’s hand brushed Rodgers’ face mask; that’s all. It wasn’t even close to being a foul.

The NFL primary obligation should be to get it right. There was no foul. It was the last play of the game. The NFL should reverse the decision and award Detroit the win. This is one of the main reasons I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a monumental waste of time spending Sundays watching the NFL. The best team doesn’t win; it’s all in the hands of these bungling officials. They have robbed the Lions of three wins already this season by their end of game bad calls. And that’s an outrage.

Attack of the Baywater Babes Continues: Fox Sports’ Molly McGrath appears for the second week in a row. Here are the idiotic questions she asked Michigan State running back, LJ Scott, after he scored the winning touchdown against Iowa:

  1. “LJ, this was a hard-fought, physical game but you powered into the end zone for the winning touchdown. What was going through your mind on that play?” This of course is NBC’s Michelle Tafoya’s question. One can’t get her credentials as a Baywater Babe if one does not ask this inane question.
  2. “Conner Cook was playing with a shoulder injury; he got roughed up by a tough Iowa defense. What did his performance say about his toughness?” If not for question #1, this one would stand alone for imbecility.
  3. “Coach Dantonio said that your motto this season is ‘Reach Higher.’ How are you going to use this momentum moving forward into the college football playoffs.” Words fail me.

Note that none of these babes ever asks a question about the actual game that was just completed and never shows even one iota of knowledge about the sport being covered.

However, I don’t blame them. They are taking a job for which they are totally unqualified except that they are good-looking. Why not? If I were they, I’d say, “If they are stupid enough to hire me, I’ll take their money!”

I blame clueless network executives who think there is some value in having a beautiful woman who knows nothing interviewing players and coaches. These execs should be banned from sports for several lifetimes because these interviews insult their audience.

Tagline: The one yard run freshman LJ Scott made for the winning touchdown could have been one of the best runs in the history of college football. He was hit by almost half of the Iowa team on the two yard line, but managed to squirm through them and get the ball over the goal line; it was amazing.