* Actually any sports official

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2008 -- In the Charger's first game, a turnover occurred when a Carolina defender stripped the ball from a Charger receiver after he was down; it was clearly visible on the network's television replay. It wasn't reviewed because the reviewing apparatus was broken. My question is why couldn't they use a network feed? Anyway give the refs seven points. In the same game during the final two minutes Jake Delhomme threw a pass from his knees with Charger Meriman on the back of his legs. It was close, but the network announcer said, "He got that pass off from his knees." Whether he was down of not should have been replayed in any case. Although it makes me angry that the official blew the call, what really yanked my chain was that the Charger coaching staff missed it.

2008 -- In the week three Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia game, Ben Roethlisberger threw a pass from his knees (I'm a Steeler fan) while in the end zone with a defender all over him no call. The official allowed the pass but ruled it was intentional grounding because it didn't get back to the line of scrimmage and no receiver was in the vicinity. It didn't get back to the line of scrimmage because it was blocked duh. Well it just goes to show that two wrongs do make a right. The officials ruling about intentional grounding begs to raise the issue, if a pass is block and falls behind the line of scrimmage and a receiver is not in the vicinity is it intentional grounding. How ridiculous . Philadelphia should have gotten the safe for the quarterback being down, not intentional grounding. The official blew both calls. The bigger issue is when is the quarterback down? Are the rules different for quarterbacks? While the league can say it was very close in the Charger game, you would have to be blind and have no sense of time to not call Pittsburgh's quarterback down.

2008-- In the Chicago vs. Philadelphia game the Chicago quarterback drop back to pass while Philadelphia blitzed. The quarterback was still in the tackle box when he threw the ball into the ground just a few feed past the onrushing defender. It was obvious intentional grounding. If the official was asked why he didn't call it, I sure he come up with some bogus reason. For the record I didn't care who won the game I was watching it because the was nothing (so to speak) else on television worth watching.

2008 Notwithstanding the acknowledged early whistle in the Charger Bronco game, the official blew the incomplete pass call. I am trying to understand how a "Backwards" pass can be ruled incomplete. Even if the quarterback had not fumble, which was clearly shown on replay, the ball went backward with out the help of a defender (i.e. blocked.) A backwards pass is a live ball and every official is aware of that, I hope. So not only did he screw the fumble call up he blew the backwards flight of the ball.

In the September 3, 2008, Dallas vs Philadelphia game, a receiver (don't remember which team) was marked closely but cleanly. The receiver started to fall so he grab the defender shirt and pulled the defender on to him. The ref ruled pass interference and gave the receivers team the ball on the one yard line. Need, I say they scored on the next play. The replay clearly shows what I just spoke of. Also, it is questionable whether the ball was even catchable.

2008 -- In a game, I don't even remember who was playing, a defender was standing his ground, i.e., his feet stayed where they were. As the receiver ran at him, the receiver and defender both put up their hands in a defensive posture. The receiver ran into the defender and both pushed. The defender was called for illegal contact. Does this mean a defender is required to get out-of-the-way of an oncoming receiver. If the ref had observed the defenders feed, might the call have been different.

October 5, 2008 New Orleans vs. Minnesota: The official missed (or ignored) a serious face mask that could have injured Reggie Bush. The missed call resulted in a turnover that gave Minnesota the ball. Later in the game the officials called a player down by contact. It appeared that the player had fumbled it was very close; about as close as it could be as seen by the TV replay. It was challenged. Most observers, of the TV replay would have called it a fumble; the announcers thought so. The official ruled it was not a fumble because it looked like the ball was in the player hand when his knee touched the ground. It is obvious, to me anyway, that he did not have control of the ball because it fell freely almost an instant later, without it being touched or his hand hitting the ground or anything else. Some sports caster in a later show ask which call was worst, the face mask or the non fumble.

From the Past

At the beginning of the season several years ago (early 2000s) announcers at various times and games, stated that the NFL was going to enforce the offsides more specifically: lined up in the neutral zone rule. For the first few games they did, but it quickly returned to the old way. Now I know that the television angle makes it difficult for a viewer to determine if a player is off-sides by looking a player's head or shoulder. However, when the ball is on a major yard line and a defender has his hand on that yard line, it is clear that he is in the neutral zone, but it is nearly always ignored. I happen quite frequently. I don't remember it ever being called. Now the same thing occurs with the line the networks put on the screen. I guess their answer is we can't see that line. I've seen it where a defender head has been alongside the center's and not been called. Why have the rule? I guess if the defender were standing wholly in the neutral zone they might call it.

On the last play of a Charger vs Raider game, before replay, Ken Stabler throws the ball under-hand forward, when he had no one to pass to. Then another Raider picked it up but was tackled immediately, so he tossed forward again. Eventually the ball ends up in the end zone where a Raider fall on it to win the game. Everybody watching the game on TV could see that the ball was throw forward. The call was so bad that the league made up a special rule for the last two minutes of a game so the official couldn't give away another game.

In a Miami playoff game, two kickoffs to Miami ended in fumbles. In both cases the receiver started to run and was tackled around his legs. As he fell forward, his elbows hit the ground and the ball pop out. The ref ruled it a fumble and the opponents in both cases got the ball in or near the red zone. No replay at this time either. Nobody seem to notice; so no new rule. Like so many sports question the official's call results in game ejection.

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  • Updated November 23, 2008