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2012To flag or not to flag? Pereira and Daopoulos try to answer the question

To flag or not to flag? Pereira and Daopoulos try to answer the question

Pereira and Daopoulos break down Super Bowl XLVII

SB47_chromeDid the Baltimore Ravens Jimmy Smith hold the San Francisco 49ers Michael Crabtree on that last gasp fourth and goal?  Did Crabtree push-off of Smith?  Were the officials correct in not throwing a flag on either player?  Two former NFL officials and officiating supervisors are of two different schools of thought on play in question.

Former NFL official, officiating supervisor and current NBC Sports Network officiating analyst Jim Daopoulos broke down three plays in the Super Bowl (video).  Daopoulos says the officials should have thrown a holding flag on Jimmy Smith on the fourth down play.  Daopoulos says, “The competition committee has made it a point of emphasis to allow receivers to run their routes unimpeded.”  With that point of emphasis in mind, Daopoulos concludes that the officials should have flagged the Ravens for defensive holding.  Former vice president for officiating and current Fox Sports officiating analyst Mike Pereira has a different opinion.  Pereira says “Smith had a quick grab and Crabtree had a quick push-off.”  He adds that in real-time he didn’t see a foul; it was only after slow-motion replay did he see the grab and push-off.  In his column, Pereira says he would not want to see a flag on that play if he were still in charge of the officiating.

Both Pereira and Daopoulos are in agreement that the Ravens Carey Williams should have been ejected for shoving head linesman Steve Stelljes (video).  This has been a growing concern for me, and Pereira predicts that the competition committee will issue a point of emphasis to the teams next season to clean up the dead ball shoving and taunting and direct the officials to flag such actions.  Daopoulos adds, “No matter if it’s a pre-season game or the Super Bowl, if (a player) contact(s) an official, you must eject that player.”

During his Pro Football Talk appearance, Daopoulos also discussed the missed holding calls in the end zone when the Ravens took an intentional safety out of punt formation.  Daopoulos says the holding fouls prevented the 49ers’ defenders from forcing the punter out of the end zone sooner.  The Ravens were going to take a safety no matter what, so committing a holding foul in the end zone did not hinder their game strategy.  What was more important to the Ravens on that play was to bleed off as much time as possible.  Daopoulos says he hopes the competition committee takes a look at this and other situations where teams gain an advantage by committing a foul.

Here’s hoping Pereira and Daopoulos share their officiating opinions with NFL fans in 2013!

Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"

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3 thoughts on “To flag or not to flag? Pereira and Daopoulos try to answer the question

  1. I’m not sure why more is not being made of the lack of even one holding call on the intentional safety. Forget about whether or not it would have changed the game, but remember that all ten players (other than the punter) had been instructed by their coach to intentionally hold the 49ers. So you’ve got the entire team intentionally committing penalties for 8 or however many seconds, yet not one flag. Regardless of the expected outcome of the play, the officials’ jobs in that situation are to call the penalties as the outcome is never certain and at the very beginning of the play the intent was not even clear. What is clear is that no matter what the Ravens did, the officials were not going to penalize them. Needless to say, this is deeply disturbing.

    A single play such as the missed hold on Crabtree can be written off. But when you view it in context of the safety play as well as other non-calls (the bear hug of Bruce Miller on the Jones TD return, and another unbelievably overlooked miss – Pollard and Williams lying on top of a helmetless Anthony Davis and punching him multiple times, right before Williams gets up and pushes the official – look closely at :36 of this video – http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000135128/Reed-intercepts-Kaepernick-fight-ensues), and the fact that the Ravens were only penalized twice the entire game, it’s clear that this game’s integrity was seriously violated. There are many possible explanations for why this is, but none of them are good. And it certainly puts the fixed selection of Boger in an even worse light.

  2. Dan, all you need to do is watch the Ravens vs Broncos game to see a similar version of integrity violation. 4 holding calls on Denver, one of them blantantly bad while reversing a key 3rd down conversion for the Broncos. Zero holding calls on the Ravens despite Miller and the NFLs 1st ranked pass rush getting held in plain site. Pass interference called uneven for both sides. Ticky tacky against Denver yet for the Ravens it was “letting them play”. The NFL has gone too far and their manipulation of games has become obvious and disgusting.

  3. I can see where Daopoulos is coming from in his comments, but in real time, it’s really tough to make that call either way and offensive p.i. was in the realm of possibilities there. Williams should have been ejected, period. Is the holding foul at the end of the game any different than taking a delay of game to push the ball five yards further back to aid in a punt. It’s one of the goofy vagaries of the game that’s been around forever. Don’t change it! The game is already set up for a team to come from behind, do they really need another edge? Teams take advantage of the rules in various ways over the years, it’s ok, the game is never going to be totally fair, just look at how he was unable to come up with a solution. There is not a fair answer. Frankly, I thought it was good coaching to take the safety and know the rules, I know not all coaches would have thought of it.

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