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Sunday, January 15, 2006

A weekend of horrible officiating

Three of the four games in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs were marred by very poor officiating. I say three of four advisedly since I missed more than half of the Seahawks/Redskins game and the officials may have screwed up in that game as well. Before I describe the problems, I want to be clear that the officiating was not the primary reason the games turned out the way they did. The Patriots lost because they fumbled twice late in the second quarter. The Steelers won because they had relentless pass rush the entire game. In the Broncos' win over New England a key pass interference call gave Denver the ball in great field position. On the play in question, the Denver receiver ran right over the defensive player. In the Colts' loss there were several missed calls including two instances of face masking by the Steelers and at least one failure to call pass interference. In the Bears/Panthers game there were also a couple cases where pass interference seemed like a very obvious call but no flag was thrown. I was left wondering if the The lack of interference calls on Sunday was partly due to criticism of the phantom call on Saturday. I know the league reviews each games officiating and hopefully they will improve the system. The appeal of professional sports depends on a trust in the officiating.

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