Thursday, February 5, 2015

Superbowl Officiating Observations

With Superbowl XLIX behind us and finished in dramatic fashion, commentary regarding the officiating was generally very good. There were several things I noted, but turned to Football Zebras for a pro look.

Here are the top six points they came up with. One was right in front of our collective faces and I was stunned when I read it (it's point #6).

For me the largest point was the entire crew allowed the teams to play without any undue interference.

Yes there were a couple of calls (literally two) that I think they missed (roughing the kicker against the Seahawks and PI on Butler against the Pats when he stumbled and with a hand tripped the receiver). Beyond that they lets the boys play ... and play they did. There were wars going on in the front and while exceptionally physical, it was tolerated both ways.

There was also a very serious injury the team dealt well with on the Lane interception and ensuing runback. WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC PHOTO. Stuff like this takes a toll on a referee and crew and in addition to the natural tendency to be concerned about a player, equally as natural are the questions of "did I miss a call?"

We also had all the nonsense about "deflategate" swirling around, and the additional pressure (ahem) the referees were under, not because they had to do anything different, and in fact it is easier in the Superbowl (and has been in the past due to a neutral equipment manager) but all the extra eyes that were on the footballs was likely a PIA. I am sure the recording sheet that Walt Anderson did not turn in regarding ball pressure was done in triplicate and faxed into the league office 2h before the start of the game. I'm actually surprised that we have not seen it yet from the media. We did however have this crap from Seattle during the game.

Also, and finally, keep in mind none of these guys work together during the season (you can see the regular crew assignments here). So the NFL has basically put seven guys together, who never worked together before, in the biggest single annual sporting event on the planet earth and expect each to perform as flawlessly as possible.

Yes they do ... and yes they did.

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