02 December 2013

Yes, I Watched the Washington-New York Football Game

I normally do not make comments about the outcome of sporting events on this blog, and at 3-8 (now 3-9) their playoff chances before the game were about the same as John McCain christening the Gerald Ford class carrier Barack Obama.

However, there was the worst officiating error I have ever seen in the game.

It was worse than the scab referees that they brought in last year:
The NFL’s officiating director said Monday that the officials should have stopped the game during the final minutes of the Washington Redskins’ 24-17 loss Sunday night to the New York Giants to clear up confusion over what down it was during the Redskins’ last drive of the game.

“In this situation where there is obvious confusion as to the status of the down, play should have been stopped prior to third down and the correct down communicated to both clubs,” Dean Blandino, the league’s vice president of officiating, said in a written statement released by the NFL. “This should have occurred regardless of the fact that Washington had no timeouts and it was inside two minutes.”

Blandino said the “ball was correctly spotted” by the officials and referee Jeff Triplette correctly “signaled third down” but the head linesman “incorrectly motioned for the chain crew to advance the chains, which caused the down boxes to read first down.

“Following a Washington incomplete pass, the chains were moved back and the down boxes correctly reset to fourth down,” Blandino said.


[Referee Jeff] Triplette told the pool reporter that the officials didn’t halt the game to sort out the confusion “because that would have given an unfair advantage,” apparently to the Redskins, in his view, by stopping the clock. Triplette said he couldn’t respond to Shanahan’s contention he’d been told by an official it was a first down because he was unaware of that situation.
No.  If you have an unclear ruling on the field, you halt play, and Mr. Triplette needs not to work in the NFL any more.

Instead, the Redskins took a 1st down play, a long pass, on 3rd down.

It's OK for refs to make a mistake.  Sticking with the mistake, even though you are aware of it at the time, because of its effect on the game, means that you should not be a referee.

Of course, this will be handled through the a process agreed upon by the NFL and the Referees Association, so the consequences of Triplette's decision are a part of a negotiated collective bargaining agreement, and I support this.

But if there is a way to keep this guy away from making on-field decisions, it would be appreciated. 

And while you are at it, how about making the Referees full time employees, so they can train the whole year. 

This whole part time thing ain't working.


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