Welcome to the NFL, where neither of these are apparently pass interference pic.twitter.com/Zhb3m7Bb5G— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) December 19, 2022
These calls may have determined the outcome of the two games. In the one below, if the official had made the accurate call, the New England Patriots would have won the game in overtime. Instead, the Las Vegas Raiders tied it (with the fairly routine extra point) and won the game in overtime in arguably the most stupid play in NFL history.
I would have posted this YouTube video below but it is "unavailable" because "this video contains content from NFL, who has blocked it from play on this website or any application." Good thinking. Therefore, this will have to do:
In which the spokesperson deserves an “A” for effort
NFL senior Vice President of officiating Walt Anderson explained the call during a PFWA pool report conducted by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
“We looked at every available angle and it was not clear and obvious that the foot was on the white,” Anderson said. “It was very tight, very close. There was no shot that we could see — we even enhanced and blew up the views that we had. There was nothing that was clear and obvious that his foot was touching the white.”
Anderson said that there wasn’t a “down the sideline view” available to review.
“Probably the best view was what we term a ‘high end zone’ view. TV gave us the most enhanced view that they had as well,” Anderson said. “We blew it up and I believe TV blew it up and there was nothing that was clear and obvious either way. Had the ruling on the field been incomplete, we would not have been able to change that either.”
Here it should be noted that according to broadcasters on National Football League game telecasts, the NFL reviews every touchdown. Given what I’ve witnessed the last few years, that claim objectively lacks veracity. The naked eye viewing the video of the Raiders’ tying touchdown clearly reveals that the receiver was out-of-bounds when he caught the football. Yet, somehow, with all its advanced technology, the official couldn’t see it definitively. Or so we're told.
There is a possibility that all such errors should be attributed to an NFL official making make a bad call (as is fairly routine), then finding insufficient evidence to reverse it. There is also, as I like to say in instances of similar probability, a chance it will snow tomorrow inMiami. Nine years ago, when professional athletics still maintained a modicum of integrity, five professional sports leagues filed suit against New Jersey's plan to institute Nevada-style sports gambling, assistant professor of sports law Ryan Rodenberg, explaining the distinction in law between spectator sports and entertainment/scripted events, wrote
Uncertainty of outcome is also the reason American sports fans should take a moment to pause when commercialized sports are juxtaposed with the Quiz Show Scandal from more than 50 years ago. The web of laws applicable to sports, such as the Sports Bribery Act of 1964, only prohibits gambling-related corruption. There is no federal law explicitly preventing the clandestine manipulation of sporting events to enhance suspense. This gap is problematic. As with certain televised quiz shows decades ago, the in-game action of sporting events can be contrived in profit-maximizing ways. The federal law passed in the wake of the Quiz Show Scandal does not explicitly include televised sports; it only forbids deception of the public in connection with contests of an "intellectual" nature. Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire are covered by the law. Football, basketball, and baseball are not…
it is insufficient to act as though gambling-related game-fixing is the only threat in this regard. A non-gambling artifice bent on increasing suspense for the purpose of viewer engagement and advertisement effectiveness is equally dangerous. Academics have extensively researched the extent that uncertainty is important to ticket sales, at-home viewers, and sponsor marketing. Published empirical studies have found increased fan enjoyment during buzzer beaters, certain pecuniary biases among sports referees, and heightened advertiser brand effectiveness following close contests. Leagues, broadcasters, and marketing agencies are surely aware of such studies, all of which probably mirror their own in-house analyses. Accordingly, they have a strong incentive to be tempted to act insidiously absent any explicit prohibition.
"To be sure," he wrote "this concern is as of now hypothetical." It no longer is.