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This is how long it has been since the no-call defensive pass interference in the NFC Championship game without acknowledgement from the NFL

1 week, 2 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes, 50 seconds

For reference, when offsetting penalties should have been called on a final play in a 2002 wild card game against the 49ers, the Giants were denied an untimed down. Director of officiating Mike Pereira (as the title was at the time) admitted the error the next day.

Commissioner Roger Goodell answered the first of many questions at his annual press conference, stating “It’s a play that should be called.”

Silent statements

  • Jan.  20 — Saints coach Sean Payton revealed in the postgame press conference that SVP/officiating Al Riveron admitted to him that this should have been a foul.
  • Jan. 20 — Referee Bill Vinovich spoke  to  a  pool  reporter after the game, but does not discuss subjective elements of the play, as he is required to do; only the league office is permitted to discuss judgment calls.
  • Jan. 25 — Rams DB Nickell Roby-Coleman is fined $26,739 for a hit on a defenseless receiver, which means the officiating department determined there also should have been a flag for the helmet-to-helmet hit.
  • Jan. 28 — NFL attorneys filed a response to a lawsuit from Saints fans which said that they were not disputing if defensive pass interference or a hit on a defensive player should have been called.
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Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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7 thoughts on “This is how long it has been since the no-call defensive pass interference in the NFC Championship game without acknowledgement from the NFL

  1. ccThe incompetent, blind, biased Referee/mental midget side judge with his hand on the yellow flag failed miserably to enforce the NFL rule stated below.
    Last two minutes of the game when 55 Dee Ford (brain fart) lined up in the neutral zone but was not warned by the biased Referee cost us the AFC win. Bull Shine!!! Fans need to protest Rodger Goodell and demand another game NOW!!! It’s either right or wrong and when it is wrong correct it NOW not next week or next year.

    It is a Neutral Zone Infraction when:
    1. A defender moves beyond the neutral zone prior to the snap and is parallel to or beyond an offensive lineman, with an unimpeded path to the quarterback or kicker, even though no contact is made by a blocker; officials are to blow their whistles immediately
    2. A defender enters the neutral zone prior to the snap, causing the offensive player(s) in close proximity (including a quarterback who is under center) to react (move) immediately to protect himself (themselves) against impending contact; officials are to blow their whistles immediately. If there is no immediate reaction by the offensive player(s) in close proximity, and the defensive player returns to a legal position prior to the snap without contacting an opponent, there is no foul. A flexed or split receiver is considered to be in close proximity if he is lined up on the side of the ball on which the violation occurs; other offensive players are considered to be in close proximity if they are within two-and-one-half positions of the defender who enters the neutral zone. If the defender is directly over the center, a quarterback under center, the center, and the guards and tackles on both sides of the center are considered to be within close proximity; if the defender is in a gap, the two offensive players on either side of the gap are considered to be within close proximity (including a quarterback under center, if applicable)
    3. A player, after he has received a warning, enters into the neutral zone. It is a foul, even if he returns to a legal position prior to the snap without contacting an opponent or causing a reaction (movement) by an offensive player in close proximity.
    Note: During the last two minutes of a half, after the ball has been spotted for the succeeding down at the line of scrimmage and the offense is legally set, if the ball is snapped before all members of the defensive team are on their side of the line of scrimmage, play shall be stopped immediately, and the defensive team penalized five yards for a neutral zone infraction.
    Penalty: For Neutral Zone Infraction: Loss of five yards from line of scrimmage. Foul is enforced prior to snap.

  2. Once again our Chiefs were screwed, blued and tattooed by the blind, incompetent, biased, mental midget monkey Referee Bill Vinovich and served up another unjustified playoff win for the Patriots cheaters and bottom feeders.

    Last year we were screwed by the blind, incompetent Jeff Triplette Referee who was fired for public relations reasons.

    The call on the field was Julian Edelman “touched” the football and the Chiefs recovered and scored a touchdown. That 7 points turned out to be the game winning score and our move to the superbowl to play the Rams again in another shootout.

    Replay shows Edelman acted like the ball touched him!!!

    Edelman’s left thumb grazed the ball!!! And, the ball just grazed the outside of his right arm on the bounce. The replay shows the ball in slow motion appears to change direction at least once and maybe even twice.

    The NFL rule is supposed to be overturned only if there is clear irrefutable evidence and concise 100% proof the call was a gross mistake to thereby justify reversal of the original call.
    Miraculously the ball changed directions after getting “too close to his thumbs” without touching either of them. Even a stoned blind man in a coma can see the ball movement.

    Apparently the blind Bill Vinovich Referee can make up a new wrinkle to the rule to justify the written NFL rule is not valid in this particular case!!! Referee Vinovich went against the rule…if not 100% positive the original call was wrong then the original call stands as called. Let the whiners whine until they feel fine.

    In the booth, Retired Referee Gene Steratore NFL official did not have the “stones” to challenge the Bull Shine call on the field!!!!

    The video replay from all angles only shows maybe the ball was touched and maybe it was not touched by his thumbs and/or right forearm…so the original call stands!! Like it or lump it.

    Also, roughing the QB passer call against the Chiefs was more bull shine. There is a 200 pound Patriots Tackle or Guard between the Chiefs player and Brady; so the Chiefs player reaches around him to barely even touched Brady on the shoulder not his helmet for facemask to justify the call.

    Referee’s cannot be allowed to “dictate”, “manipulate”, “influence” or “control-the-results-of-the-play” and the therefore the outcome of a football game that is much more than just a Sunday afternoon game for entertainment.

    The NFL Commissioner must be fired now!!! The name of the game is to get the calls right every time period!!…..Peoples lives, jobs, career’s and family are in the mix and just not a win or loss for the history books.

    I must admit that I do admire and respect Tom Brady for his physical and mental talent and his willpower to overcame all the dumb scouts and 31 NFL teams rejection during the draft and prove he is one of the very best QB’s to ever play the game.
    I also admire and respect Tom for his character to go to the Chiefs locker room and find Patrick Mahomes 2 for a self introduction, personal interaction and show his respect for our young GunsUP gunslinger.

    Like it or not Tom Brady has a reserved seat next to the greatest QB to ever play the game…. Joe Montana.

    More later when the plot thickens or I fall into the Abyss.

  3. HERE WE GO AGAIN! Referee verbal statement/bias towards Brady was clearly obvious and illegal.

    Late in the 4th quarter of the game, it seemed the our Chiefs had just defeated the mighty Patriots cheaters and WIFI beaters and their biased Referee’s thanks to a late pass interception with under a minute to go.

    A Chiefs fan saw something that didn’t seem right, so he recorded it on his cellphone and said the Referee went up to Brady during the game and said, “I got your back.”!!!!!
    It proves the Referee’s mindset to dictate the outcome of the game. This is clearly intentional bias and therefore totally unauthorized and illegal at any level of the game.

    Chiefs fans should be wild with anger and totally outraged and demand a petition to the NFL to replay the game at Arrowhead at no cost free game for the fans.

    Another play involved 55 Dee Ford making a huge mental mistake and lined up in the neutral zone that was NOT called by the biased Referee or side judge prior to the snap thereby costing the Chiefs a potential game-clinching pass interception and touchdown.

    The offsides/encroachment BEFORE the ball was put into play should have been VERBALLY “warned” by the biased Referee and/or Side Judge per NFL rules!!!

    The NFL rulebook states the Referee MUST WARN a player or coach before an obvious penalty call is presented. Neither happened and the biased Referee/side judge had his hand on the flag and tossed the yellow flag as soon as ball was snapped even before the ball was intercepted. The resulting Pass Interception should have gone back for a touchdown and our AFC win and onto the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years!!!!!!!!!

    The intentional non-warning-call along with two bull shine dropped passes that were not called incomplete and the verbal “I have your back” biased statement to Brady sealed the deal and the Patriots cheaters got away with another unearned win.

    Andy Reid said: 55 Dee Ford was not warned he was offside!!!(before the ball was snapped).

    Quote “Normally, you’re warned and the coach is warned if somebody is doing that before they throw it(flag) in a game of that magnitude,” Reid told reporters. “But they did. And he didn’t waste any time in doing it(quickly throwing the flag).

    “He didn’t wait until the interception to throw it. He had his hand on his flag right from the get go, and he saw it from his angle and he thought it was the call.”

    NFL neutral zone infraction rule:

    Section 3 of the NFL rule book entry on neutral zone infractions addresses that a player who has been fore WARNED about infractions is to be automatically penalized, even if he corrects his illegal position prior to the snap.

    Coach Reid believes 55 Dee Ford was not afforded a verbal warning by any of the biased Referee officials at anytime that he believed Dee Ford or any other player on or off the field was due per the rule book. Dee Ford concurrs he was not fore warrned by any Referee’s at any time during the game.

    A player, after he has received a verbal warning, enters into the neutral zone. It is a foul, even if he returns to a legal position prior to the snap without contacting an opponent or causing a reaction (movement) by an offensive player in close proximity!!!!!

    The simple truth is the biased Referee’s were not going let Brady lose the game…….. period!!!

    You be the judge and jury… Chiefs fans should be wild and totally outraged and vigorously demand a petition to the NFL to replay the game at Arrowhead, Also the screwed Saints game too!!!

    Believe me, If I had the money and a two-fisted, ball busting lawyer I would file a lawsuit againt the NFL Commissioner tomorrow.



  4. When will someone come to the defense of Bill Vinovich? Such a shit storm of undue criticism. No question the PI foul was indeed a flagrant obvious infraction, But it wasn’t the responsible of the referee to make that call, As a matter of fact it was one of three officials, the back judge, the down judge and most likely the side judge. The side judge a man with sixteen years of experience, ate his flag!
    Why has no one in the officiating world made this point clear? You are all standing by while Bill gets all of the criticism. I am ashamed of all of you!

  5. @michael – Vinovich was the man in charge when the travesty occurred. I am sure Coach Payton brought the bad call to his attention. He couldn’t call official’s time and confer with the SJ/ BJ/ DJ and make sure that they got the call correct?

    It’s not like it was the middle of the first quarter of a game between two teams with no path to the playoffs and you had a flight to catch. The trip to the Super Bowl was on the line!

    Vinovich should be held responsible and all 4 should face sever penalties. He deserves much criticism.

  6. Michael Cosgrove I agree with you 110%!! Most of the people commenting on these have no idea of the rules and/or responsibilities of the different officials on the field. Heck…half of them don’t relaize that when a call is challenged…the final decision comes from New York…not the Referee. It’s a real shame that Vinovich’s name has been drug through the mud of this shit when it wasn’t even his call to make. He is 10-12 yards behind the LOS…watches the snap and follows the quarterback. Im not saying that the PI didn’t occur, but why aren’t the officials that missed it being mentioned??? Everyone keeps saying because he was the “man in charge.” Well he can’t babysit everyone…and at that caliber of a game…each official should know their job. I don’t see people blaming the kicker when the quarterback throws an interception!! It was finally nice to read something that actually had some validity!!

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