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Parry playoff crew displays shock and awe in calling a strict game


John Parry’s crew set the tone in the pregame warm-ups: There would not be a repeat of the Week 14 nonsense between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. That game featured several altercations that later drew league fines.

Parry’s crew put on a visible display in the pregame. The entire crew, including alternates spread out across the 50-yard line and made sure no player stepped over the line into the “no-fly zone.” Officials patrol this demilitarized zone in the regular season, but very rarely do we see an entire crew on patrol.

The first real trouble occurred late in the first quarter when Steelers Offensive Line Coach, Mike Munchak, mixed it up on the sidelines with a Bengals player. Side judge Scott Novak (in his first playoff game in his first season of eligibility) moved in to play peacemaker. When Munchak kept stirring the pot, Novak threw the flag and called Munchak for unsportsmanlike conduct.

There were several occasions in the first half when Parry’s crew called unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecessary roughness on seemingly minor incidents that would normally call for a “talk-to” where officials warn players tone it down. Not so with Parry’s crew. When it doubt they threw a flag.

The teams finally lit the tinderbox at the 1:31 mark of the 3rd quarter. The Steelers Ryan Shazier went in with his helmet and laid out the Bengals Giovani Bernard. The Bengals screamed for a flag. Bernard left the field under his own power and even ran to the locker room. But, as Barnard lay on the field both teams started jawing at each other. Officiating analyst Mike Carey on CBS said Bernard was becoming a runner, wasn’t defenseless and called it a legal but “unfortunate” hit. On ESPN former official and supervisor Jim Daopoulos said it should have been a flag.

When the Bengals had to keep their poise late in the fourth quarter, they failed miserably and it cost them the game. Back judge Perry Paganelli flagged Vontaze Burfict for a personal foul, leading with his head when he hit a defenseless receiver over the middle. The penalty moved the Steelers into make-able field goal range. During the injury timeout, Adam Jones started to mix it up with assistant coach Joey Porter and drew a flag, turning it into a chip-shot field goal, made by the Steelers. Field judge Buddy Horton threw the flag on Jones.

(Porter was on-field with the medical staff during an injury timeout, which escalated with back-and-forth chirping, leading the Bengals defense to swarm around him. Porter was no saint in all of this, but his actions were not quite enough to draw a penalty.)

Many fans might criticize Parry’s crew for throwing so many flags and injecting themselves into the game.

Too bad. The officials had a choice to make: Either try to manage the mayhem, or flag it out of existence. The crew chose the latter.

Parry and his crew sent an early message that they were not going to tolerate any silliness out of either team that night, and it was up to the coaches and players to change their behavior and stay within the boundaries drawn by the zebras.

The Bengals and Steelers hate each other. Put that hate into a playoff game, and it is a near impossible situation to control. Parry and crew did their absolute best in keeping a lid on things Saturday night, and I am proud of the work they did.

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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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59 thoughts on “Parry playoff crew displays shock and awe in calling a strict game

  1. Our hits on defenseless receivers usually live or dead-ball fouls? Couldn’t the hit on Antonio Brown be a dead-ball foul? Wouldn’t that have given the Bengals the ball back?


  2. No problem with them trying to control the game but be consistent and control the game! A coach that shouldn’t be on the field is involving himself in the game and the player gets the penalty? That would be TWO coaches from the steelers going above and beyond which should be handled harshly and controlled by the refs. No problem with the jones penalty but the lack of an offsetting penalty on Porter is egregious in that situation

  3. Ben can speak better to this, but in the NFL there is a “continuing action” clause that very rarely makes for a dead ball enforcement. If it is a dead ball enforcement, you will hear the referee say something like “after the play” or “well after the action was over.”

    Hits on defenseless receivers are treated as continuing action and not as a dead ball foul.

  4. It was an incomplete pass on first down so regardless of it being a live or dead-ball foul, it is 15 yards from the previous spot and an automatic first down.

  5. dmb is correct. The foul by Burfict was on 1st down. AB had just converted a 4th down play fur the first down. But even had it been 4th down, the continuing action clause would have resulted in a 1st down.

  6. If the foul is a dead-ball foul, and it is the ONLY foul, the down counts.

    A between-downs foul is one that occurs after the continuing action (such as the Pacman penalty). This does not create an offset/decline situation with the live- and dead-ball fouls; it is essentially handled as a pre-snap penalty.

  7. In theory, I agree with the need for offsetting UNS fouls during the scrum with the Pit assistant. However, the fact is that we don’t know what was said on the field. Also, from watching the replay, it looked to me that Cin #24 not only injected himself into a situation that the officials were attempting to keep under control, but also made contact with the Umpire and Field Judge while doing so. That deserves a flag every time.


  9. Very good analysis of officials’ actions (as always) by this site. Between the heavy rain and the heavier animosity between these two teams, the officials did a remarkable job. Kudos to John Parry, to the two officials working their first playoff games in the NFL, and to the rain.

  10. FJ 82 should never work in an NFL game again.

    First, he was wrong to call the penalty on pac man alone. Joey Porter was equally guilty, if not more so.

    Second, the officials should make every effort not to be part of the outcome of the game.

    Third, no way he can get around the field with that gut.

    I have no interest in the Steelers or Bengals. But, the officiating last night was a travesty. The sad part is that some of the officials out there in that game – Marinucci and McKenzie are quite good. I can’t speak to the others, but, I can assert that last night was another black eye for the officials.

    What also can’t be lost here is that Marvin Lewis needs to go. He had zero control over his team. It must be noted that Mike Tomlin should have to answer for some of his team and at least one coach Joey Porter.

    Last night was an embarrassment for the NFL in general. It looked like a carnival of thugs at the end. Sad.

  11. It’s a shame someone had to win this game and the performance of the officials is certainly not worthy of being proud of. I had no vested interest in the game last night. Jones deserved the flag. Munchak deserved the flag for stirring things up. Well, so did Porter, but of course, the intimidated officiating crew took the path of least resistance and did not make the same call they made earlier against Munchak. ESPN reports the refs lost control of the game by not calling spearing against PITT in the 3rd QTR. If the suggestion is Porter should be fined, then he should have been flagged. Proud of the officials? Heck no. The NFL got a black eye last night and the officials were part of it.

  12. It’s simple, actions equal consequences. 55 and 24 for the Bengals were out of control! We have no idea what was said, but contact will draw the flag. I thought the crew did a great job getting into guys and not using more flags with preventive officiating. Do you want to be a problem and hinder your team or maybe try the obvious and do your job of PLAYING FOOTBALL! The guys in stripes are not MMA officials!

  13. If everyone is talking about the officials the day after the game… that is bad. It was not a well officiated game. And, the ending was a flat out disgrace. A disgrace!

    On another note… there are multiple coaches that should be fined for their actions – Porter and Muncak at least. The Bengals and the Steelers should seriously look at firing Lewis and Tomlin for cause. The behavior of both teams was embarrassing. A total and complete lack of leadership.

    The NFL has a gigantic problem starting to brew. Forget concussions and off the field issues. The on field behavior is starting to become inexcusable. Time to hire some adults at the HC position. The league could use some more Coughlins and Belichicks.

  14. There were so many bad calls and no calls in this game! Buddy Horton single handily decided the outcome of this game. If they did such a great job why is every major media outlet discussing the officiating and the NFL is doing damage control all day trying to justify the officiating?

  15. You who read this site know I have been critical of the officials, especially in relation to the replacements’ accomplishments. However, I applaud the crew last night for having to babysit prima donna thugs who make millions and displayed unprofessional, whiny, and disgusting behavior for so-called professionals. Good job to the crew…although the size of the FJ is not good.

  16. The poor officiating throughout the game is what led to the implosion at the end. They lost total control. Every critical call or no call went in favor of the Steele’s. I do agree with you on the disgusting behavior. Coaches on the field, pulling opponents hair. Even Dean Balndino’s predecessor was on national TV and sad several calls were incorrect or missed.

  17. on shawn Williams personal foul call, why was Markus wheaton not considered a runner like Giovani Bernard was? he had taken 4 steps, saw the defender coming and lowered his head into the defender’s shoulder causing the head contact. Giovani took 2 steps turned and got drilled in the head. Can’t understand how officials viewed Wheaton defenseless and Bernard not.

  18. If the league is fixed. Bill Vinovich will get Steelers VS Broncos. Lots of bias in these playoffs so far.

  19. budrick horton is incompetent. and so is that colossal prick tj from behind the stripes. useless to society.

  20. You can just about guarantee there will be fines coming based on the actions from Saturday nights Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati game. I would expect fines to be levied by the league office against Joey Porter and Mike Munchak from Pittsburgh and against Adam “pacman” Jones and Vontaze Burfict for Cincinnati. You need to remember these two teams completely hate each other and this goes back decades

  21. First, at one time I expected this site to give an honest evaluation of the officiating of games, looks like I was wrong this site is just an apologist for poor and biasd officiating. I wonder what these officials teach their own kids about ethics, honesty and morals! It certainly cannot be good. Lastly I wonder about these three attributes in the current crop of officials. I do not think the officials care about ethics, honesty and morals as long as the checks keep coming in. They really do influence the outcome of games and I personally believe it is purpose full and directed. Coaches get fired, players get fired, why don’t thebad officials get fired?

  22. Did they miss calls? Yes they sure did. Every official do, every official make mistakes. But those officials are the best available, so there isn’t much you can do.

    Did they influence the outcome of the game? Nope they didn’t. No official ever does that. If Burfict doesn’t hit Brown after the ball was pretty much out of reach Paganelli wouldn’t have thrown that flag. If Jones didn’t showe a game official he wouldn’t have been penalized.

    Long story short, if you don’t want flags to be thrown at you, don’t make stupid fouls.

  23. @Antani – Sadly, tou are wrong, they are not the best available.

    Just remember… if you want to be an NFL official, you best have skin or kin. Or, sadly now, they even want women, regardless of qualification or ability.

  24. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe not. Being a football referee myself I think my judgement is quite a bit informed.

    They sure beat any “expert” (with the exception of former officials like Pereira) or self declared “couch official”.

    Any fan who think they could do better should try and go officiate some game at the youth level.

  25. @Antani: And if Porter isn’t on the field – you know, like the rules say – none of that happens. But as usual, Steelers get the benefits of non-calls.

  26. Come on. Let’s not congratulate an officiating crew no matter how “hard they tried” to maintain control of an NFL playoff game. Because ultimately, they failed. Just as they failed in the Panthers Giants game a few weeks back. They can throw all the penalty flags they want, and they can stand in the center of the field during warm ups too. It’s not enough. If players are motivated to turn the game into acts of personal retribution, there is only one way for officials in any sport to deal with that and that is to eject the player(s). Look at baseball and hockey to see how they control their games from acts like this. They don’t wait. A hockey player targets another players head with an elbow. A baseball pitcher throws a ball at the batters head. They might get penalized and get ONE warning, but the second time they do it, or if another team mate decides to join in on the revenge game and they too decide to try to injure an opposing player, they are thrown out of the game. The league then determines if more punishment is required (usually it is) and either suspends the player for more games and/or fines them. THAT sends the message to the players big time. THAT is why baseball and hockey have very very few games that get out of control the way the Bengals/Steelers game did at the end. Because the officials in those sports sent the message well before the end of the game and ejected the players involved.

    Look – the NFL game officials KNEW this game could get out of hand before the game even started. That’s why the officials stood at center field during warm ups. The right thing to have done was to throw a Steeler and a Bengal out of the game, in the first quarter, rather than just throw flags. Go up to each head coach before the game and tell them that you are going to tolerate no nonsense. Any cheap shots, any intentional hits to harm another player, will be dealt with with a 15 yard penalty and warning for the first infraction. All subsequent infractions along those lines – the player(s) will be ejected. Maybe this crew did that and just failed to follow through? But it is telling that no player on either side was ejected from the game, even Burfict! Even at the END of the game, no ejections.

    I think I commented on this after the Giants/Panthers debacle a few weeks back when the official in that game stated that NFL officials are hesitant to throw any player out of the game because, and this is almost exactly what the NFL official said: ‘the teams have so few players dressed for the game that if we toss a player out it has too significant an impact on the outcome of the game.” OK, let’s consider that statement for a minute. Here’s what that ” unwritten, but real” game officiating philosophy results in:

    1. Players and coaches know NFL officials will be very hesitant to eject players (and coaches), so if they feel they can absorb the impact of a 15 yard penalty, why not take the shot (at the opposing player)? There is far more to be gained from hurting an opposing penalty (revenge for the players making the hit, taking the opposing player out of the game through injury, possible momentum shift, etc.) then is lost by a 15 yard penalty.
    2. Even worse then the calculated decision described above, and this is what you saw when Burfict decided to try to kill Antonio Brown even though it would cost his team the playoff win by resulting in a 15 yard penalty pushing Pittsburgh into field goal distance, is a player who simply does not even care what the outcome of the dirty play will result in – all he knows is HE will not be ejected (and he wasn’t).
    3. If NFL officials are taking the ejection of players and coaches off the menu of options they have to control the game (and everyone knows it), then they are throwing away one of the best tools officials have at controlling the game therefore……
    4. Ironically, this ends up deciding the game…..exactly what the NFL officials say they are trying NOT to do when they refuse to eject players and coaches.

    If Burfict knew he would be ejected for that hit on Brown, he probably does not take it. At the very least, he might add that (his ejection) along with the knowledge the resulting 15 yard penalty will push Pittsburghs offense into field goal range, into consideration, before he decides to take that shot at Brown. Maybe he does it anyway? But maybe not? And he sure doesn’t take that shot at Brown’s head at the end of the game if he had been ejected earlier for similar antics.

    And a shot to the head of a player is a shot to the head. If the NFL ever wants to get serious about head injuries AND they want to improve control of the game, then ALL hits to the head result in a 15 yard penalty and one warning to the player and coaches. The next shot to the head will result in an ejection. Automatic. No discussion. Just like a baseball umpire warns the pitcher and the Manager that the NEXT ball thrown at a batters head will result in the ejection of the pitcher (and possibly the Manager too). If that had been enforced on the hit to Giovani Bernard, as it should have, the end of the Bengals Steelers game might have been very different.

    And we should blame the coaches (especially the Bengals coaches) for failure to maintain order and control their players. But the coaches have one goal, especially in a playoff game. Win. It is up to the officials to control the game on the field. And in that, the NFL officiating crew blew it, big time, in the Steelers Bengals game. So let’s stop making excuses for the officials.

  27. I agree Patrick. There should have been ejections.

    DeCastro should have been ejected for spearing Burfict into the ground after the play was over, right before the Steelers scored their first field goal. But he wasn’t even flagged.

    Shazier should have been ejected for targeting Bernard in the third quarter. But he wasn’t even flagged either – and got rewarded with a fumble to boot. At the very least he should have gotten flagged for dancing next to Bernard’s unconscious body.

  28. @Antani If the officials were consistent the whole game the game would have been over long before the final events took place. The personal foul on Shawn Williams was horrible. The receiver took 3-4 steps and even ducked before getting hit with Williams shoulder. Then Ryan Shazier leads with the crown of his helmet and knocks Gio Bernard unconscious, celebrates with a teammate (orchestrated demonstration) next to his unconscious body and this does not even drawn a flag. There should had been 2 separate flags, one for leading with the crown of his helmet and orchestrated demonstration. The officials proves at the end of the game they would call back to back 15 yard penalties. Then to boot, they give the ball to Pittsburg when Cincinnati should of had a first and goal. Why wasn’t the Pittsburg coach ejected for hair pulling? There were numerous calls that were one-sided. Yes, Pittsburg had more penalties in the box score but they deserved even more.This game was decided by the officials and they put a lid on it especially Buddy Horton at the end of the game. They lost control early in the game and sealed it on the Shazier hit on Bernard. Furthermore, Shazier’s hit on Bernard and the reasoning for not throwing a flag was the same rational that the personal foul on Williams was called. The non-call foul on Shazier was far worse inciting the crown and players.

  29. I’m sorry. I disagree to a point about the way the officials conducted the game. For the most part, I must say the good lord could not have officiated that game without controversies. Having said that, I could live with everything that happened until the very last call of the game. And that one was atrocious.

    I am old school on this sort of thing. I can’t stand the cliches like a foul in the first quarter is no different than one in the last minutes or a playoff game is no different than the Hall of Fame game. That is utter, unadulterated bs. The late Bill Chadwick, a hall of fame NHL referee used to say all the time the most important attribute of an official is common sense. If you are going to make a call in the dying minutes of a game, any game but more especially a playoff game, you must be 1000% in a position that there was no choice to make the call. I will grant yoou that on the Brown call; t was a safety issue and had to be called. If Pittsburgh had kicked a 50 yard field goal from there, then all well and good. They would have earned it. But the additional 15 yard call on Jones lacked any common sense. If the official felt he had to call it for the incidental contact with himself, somebody should have had the common sense to also flag Porter for being on the field illegally, made them offsetting penalties after the play and not given Pittsburgh a chip shot field goal (although given what happened in the Minnesota game, who knows what a chip sho field goal is).

    I don’t want to hear all this high school stuff. Fans invest a lot into these games as do the plahers. Wherever possible, the officials should never decide a game which that last call almost did and please don’t give me the nonsensical answer the player decide it by committing the foul. For years, the NHL set the standard in this. You knew, I knew, everybody knew that unless a penalty was absolutely there, the officials would go out of their way not to make a marginal call late in a close game. It was an accepted part of the game and allowed the game to be decided by the players. For that lack of common sense at the most important part of the game, the officials had no business either letting Jones’ marginal behavior go or call offsetting penalties. I could have accepted either one as good officiating. Not what they actually did. For this, Parry should never again be allowed to work a Cincinnati game. Had I been the coach of the Bengals, I would have left the field. It was almost as bad as what Mark Geiger pulled in the Mexico-Panama concacaf gold cup semi finals and that’s what’s wrong with officiating in most sports today.

  30. If the league is fixed, you will see Chiefs and Packers in the 50th anniversary Super Bowl to commemorate Super Bowl I.

  31. Buddy Horton who made the controversial call on Jones is the BROTHER of former STEELER coach, Ray Horton. Tell you something?

    No, these officials did not do a good job. They allowed the game to needlessly spiral out of control. To what end? To help a mediocre Steeler team beat a hot & cold Bengals team? I hope it was worth it.


    “Mike Sando: No doubt. On a side note, Horton’s older brother, Buddy, is an NFL field judge. To avoid a conflict of interest, real or imagined, the league makes sure the elder Horton doesn’t serve as an official for games involving his brother. In the playoffs following the 2005 season, the league switched Buddy Horton from the Pittsburgh-Denver game to the Carolina-Seattle game.

    “I’m very proud of what my brother has done, both as a player and a coach,” Buddy Horton told the Tacoma News Tribune two years ago, “but I don’t want anything to hurt the integrity of the game and the league by me and him being on the field at the same time.”

    Buddy Horton worked this past season on referee Mike Carey’s crew. That could mean the Cardinals will not have Carey officiating their games in 2011.”

  33. It’s time to see officials start ejecting players (and coaches) for this nonsense. And in my opinion, two personal fouls should be an automatic ejection.

  34. I just watched the replay (again) at least 4 non-calls and no wonder the Bengals lost their cool. The only thing worse than the officiating was listening to Phil Simms fumble over and over and over (how does he keep his job). Probably the same way that little fat FJ (#82) does…..

    Go Packers!!!! Go Chiefs!!!!

  35. Watch after “the play” how he comes running (okay, waddling) across the field to interject himself (I guess he didn’t get enough air time) into the outcome. He couldn’t get his flag out fast enough when when LB coach Porter tends to his player (WR Brown?). That explains why Porter got a game ball…..wonder if Horton got one who?

  36. To Antani: you say you are an official!? Then you should know better than anyone that officials A. Do influence the outcome of every game because; B. They usually go with an agenda or a bias against one off the teams. Who and how the agenda is set I have no idea, but I do know that a penalty could bed called on any team at any time during any play,you can see it for yourself.

    The problem becomes when the officials penalize one team lopsidediy and I see that a lot especially when one team is considered the fair haired boy. Now you may denigh all this but 95% of the reset of the readers know it is true. What you are also doing is defending the bad officials at the expense of the good ones.

    Officials should a professional group not a bunch of part timers making big bucks for a few hours once a week. They should also have a review by a neutral party not their NFL bosses. Please don’t give me that line about all the film review you supposedly do, because if that were the case there would be less bad calls, biased called and one sided calls. Just remember what you are teaching the next generation, both yours and ours, about ethics, honesty, morals and doing the right thing.

  37. “Buddy Horton who made the controversial call on Jones is the BROTHER of former STEELER coach, Ray Horton. Tell you something?”

    Buddy Horton is also the BROTHER of former BENGALS coach Ray Horton. Yeah he was the Bengals DB coach for 4 years. Actually much more than that as Ray Horton was DRAFTED by the Bengals and spent the majority of his playing career there (even includes a Superbowl appearance where he gave up the game winning TD to Joe Montana).
    He also coached for 4 other teams Browns, Cards, Lions, and now the Titans.) So it makes zero sense that Buddy would have any major loyalty to the Steelers over the Bengals…

  38. I attended the game and it will be my last. Been going for 33 years to NFL. Referee crew let everything get out of control. There were multiple helmet to helmet hits not called. The hit on Gio is when the chaos really began with the non flag illegal hit and red flag by Tomlin handing ball to Pitt. When the crew made the 30 yards of penalties at the end while Pitt coach was in Bengals huddle the crowd became violent with objects flying everywhere. Had 2 teenage boys with me and for the first time ever I felt unsafe at a NFL game. I blame the whole thing on these officials and their one sided view of the situation. Games should be decided by players on field not by thug coaches on field and blind degrees. Gio play was reviewed and still no flag and it was the most illegal violent hit of the night. Hate to say it but I am done. No honor in this game anymore!

  39. For all those complaining about the Shazier hit in Bernard – why?

    Would it be better to dive at his knee and tear his ACL?

    I think this idea of giving defensive players a strike zone to hit is silly. They are moving so fast. The Burfict hit was different in that it was very late and completely unnecessary. Late hits must be punished. Hard hits should be encouraged.

    Bad night for the NFL and a worse night for Buddy Horton and the Parry crew.

  40. The Shazier hit on Bernard is what ignited everything. I for one would say he was defenseless. However, not even considering being defenseless, Shaizer led with the crown of his helmet whihc in itself if a penalty. On top of it, Shazier and his teammate were celebrating together over Bernard’s unconscious body which is also a penalty. Numerous calls and non-calls prior to this incident seemed to go against the Bengals, This officiating crew was directly responsible for the unruliness in this game and Horton violated occiating101 but directly determining the outcome of this game.

  41. “From the sidelines”, that already happened 10 years ago when Kimo Von Asassian hit Carson Palmers’ knees in the first quarter – them cheap shots have been coming from Shittsburgh since they tried to decapitate Kenny Anderson on Monday Night Football back in 1983. Y’all don’t like it when the tides turn do ya?

  42. Bernard was not defenseless. It was a hit with the crown. The officials must have missed it. (Gee, inconsistent? Who would have guessed?)

    But they were not “celebrating together over Bernard’s unconscious body” as Shazier picked up the fumble and ran it in to the end zone. Fortunately for the Bengals the whistle was quick or they would have had MORE to cry about because without the flag that’s a clear fumble and recovery.

    Lastly, the only ones responsible for what happened are the “professionals” employed by the Bengals to play football who couldn’t control themselves like grown men.

  43. Actually the officials have been consistent regarding the crown of the helmet aka Spearing…they have not called a single one for the past two seasons. That is not hyperbole. The following is a quote from Mike Pereira when he recently appeared on NFL Network to discuss among other things the Shazier hit (he deemed it legal btw):

    “The crown of the helmet rule that was brought in 2013 and I was against the rule when it was brought in because it was really designed for when two players are lined up against each other like two rams with their heads down, It was for that type of direct contact. It wasn’t for when a player went sideways and in this case he turned around, spun around after the making the catch and was clearly a runner. The issue was that this rule is going to be so hard to officiate and that’s why when they brought in the rule there was two called in 2013. There were none called in 2014 and there have been none called in 2015. And I just don’t see it as the classic lineup, two guys face-up on each other and one guy lowering the head and making contact with the crown of the helmet.”

  44. What game were you watching. They certainly called a very tight game in the first half. It was precisely because they couldn’t find their flags in the second half that the game got out of hand. In the first half they flaggedCincinnati player for a hit on the defenseless player even though he led with his shoulder. It’s the second half win a Pittsburgh player player launched himself into a direct helmet to helmet hit causing this is that a player to lose consciousness and very naturally drop the ball, The refs did absolutely nothing. Their inaction became the primary deciding factor taking a playoff win from Marvin Lewis and the 99% of Cincinnati fans and players who deserve a game that is called fairly after all the sacrifice patients and money invested in getting their team to the playoffs Pittsburgh recovered The dropped ball and scored touchdown just as they did after the questionable call that went against Cincinnati in the first half by This refusal of the refs to do their job caused this and The Cincinnati fans and players to fell they had to take the requirements of justice into their own hands. Enter Joey Porter and the refs again swallow their whistles. Had they done their jobs Porter would’ve never had the opportunity to bait pack man jones. None of this excuses Cincinnati’s behavior it just points out that none of it would’ve happened had The refsdone their job instead of swallow their whistles.
    Obviously you got your teams confused or only watched the first half

  45. The Truth is evident. The refs blew it. Whether intentionally or not. The media isn’t gonna blow the whistle on them. It’s their bread and butter. Primetime called it out on NFL channel but they don’t replay that. It’s all about Big Ben’s triumphant return to the game. Rich Eisen asked for answers today in radio but NFL us tight lipped about Americas favorite team. The whole deal sickens me.

  46. I repeat…could you imagine if these were the replacements? What hypocrites in this country regarding the comments about replacements when we read the HUNDREDS of criticisms of the “regular” officials who are making $$ hand-over-fist for part-timers.

  47. Just for the record now both Mike Pereira (former VP of officiating) and Dean Blandino (current VP of officiating) have now both come out with detailed videos on the Shazier hit detailing why it was a completely legal hit. The NFL’s discipline office also did not send Shazier a fine envelope for that hit. I’m not sure what more you could want to prove that regardless of the brutality and unfortunate consequences of the hit it was indeed still legal per the current agreed upon interpretation of the rules. (In the offseason they may review it again and make a change that would make such a hit illegal, but that does not change the fact that no flag was the right call.)

    So the only way the refs actually blew that play call was by whistling the play dead too soon negating a potential fumble return.

  48. As far as the Bryant TD catch this is what Blandino says. “I don’t think this is a catch. If I just had a blank slate and could say do you think this is a catch or not a catch? I would say no catch. But the ruling on the field was a catch and we have to see clear and obvious evidence that it was not a catch. And I can’t prove that he doesn’t have that ball at that point pinned up against his leg with the right toe still on the ground.”
    (This is at 3:56 on the video. Dean stops it and circles the moment where more than half the ball is obscured from view on the other side of Bryant’s body making it impossible to tell whether he has it pinned or not.)

    So again…BLANDINO DOES NOT STATE THIS WAS DEFINITELY NOT A CATCH. Look at that still image that he paused on and tell me if your life depended on it that you could 100% say that the ball was not pinned. Take off any homer glasses and just try to answer honestly. If you do then you like Blandino (and the replay official) can at most say you still don’t think it is, but there is still a shadow of a doubt because given the position of the ball and Bryant’s body that unless you have X-Ray vision you just can’t see for sure. Again if there is even a tiniest of possibilities of it being a catch, then that is all it takes to make the replay have to stand with the original call on the field.

    Now let’s go back to the initial call on the field. People seem to forget that these kind of major calls need to be made during fast live game action and that the officials often do not have the benefit of zooming in or views nearly as good as the TV camera angles.

    On this play the closest official is initially standing at the pylon. This means his view is always behind the play (unlike the camera replay which is in front of it). With this official’s initial position in mind watch the play again. Kirkpatrick comes up behind Bryant and crosses over his body from his left to his right. This is important because when he crosses over behind/beside Bryant he is obstructing the officials view of Bryant and the ball. This occurs during the exact moment of the obvious initial bobble as well as the moment of truth when Bryan either first pins the ball to his body or he does not. In other words there is a STRONG possibility that the official never even sees Bryant bobble the ball while his right foot is down.

    So despite an probably obstructed view the official still has to make the call. (The next closest official is standing all the way over at the goal posts about 25 yards away. That’s too far for him definitively be able to tell about whether or not a ball moved a little bit or not or was pinned.) What he can almost definitely see is that Bryant got two feet down in the endzone, and he follows Bryant’s landing out of the endzone to make sure that the ball is secure in his possession and has not hit the ground when Bryant lands. So then does it really require a conspiracy to cause him to rule it a TD? without the benefit of slow motion from his angle everything he could see potentially looked like it was probably a completed catch?

  49. Simply, it was not catch. I base my conclusion on Mike Carey! He stated it was a catch so it had to be incomplete!

    Seriously, the ball moved… the play would have ended in the field of play I’d say it was a catch. Since it was a continuation of a play out of bounds going to the ground I say it was incomplete.

    A week later fans and media are still talking about this game, all of the poor calls, officials deciding the outcome of the game, etc…..something has to change. Pittsburgh chooses to fight instead of playing football. Looks at the games against Denver, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Cleveland……the NFL is becoming the WWF. Goodell has been non-existent since Brady won in court! On New England…..that’s another WWF story!

  50. “If I just had a blank slate and I could say, ‘Do you think it’s a catch or not a catch?’ I would said no catch,” Blandino said, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

  51. That was a tough game to work, BUT I support Parry and his crew. Act like NON-PROFESSIONALS, the yellow hanky comes. NO official makes a player/coach act like a knucklehead–that’s a choice…not a SMART choice, but a choice with potentially game changing consequences–oh well.

  52. The real knucklehead was Joey Porter only problem was that Perry’s crew didn’t throw the flag now we see the NFL has fined Joey Porter so who was the knucklehead now really if the game was called honestly

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