The Super Bowl was almost a week ago, but controversy still rages over how the game ended and the impact the officials had on what should have been one of the more dramatic finishes in the game’s history. Rather than a dramatic final drive for star quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles, fans were instead left with the Chiefs kneeling the ball and game out before kicking the winning field goal.
The NFL has largely ignored the controversy, instead choosing to make absurd statements about how good the quality of officiating is, in spite of the obvious discrepancies. Now the league with the help of NFL Films has attempted to squash the officiating issues by reviewing the game changing penalty, while still missing the overall point. Fox News reports:
— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) February 15, 2023
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry admitted he committed the crucial hold that was called in the final minutes of Super Bowl LVII that led to the Kansas City Chiefs winning, 38-35, on Sunday.
We now have the video to confirm it.
NFL Films had the perfect shot that shows Bradberry holding Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was looking to turn up field to catch a pass from Patrick Mahomes. Instead, the yellow hanky hit the turf after refs saw what Bradberry did.
The NFL is once again missing the point. No one watching the game in real time disagreed on whether James Bradbury actually grabbed a jersey. The fact is that happens on literally every pass play. The real question is why the official chose to call that particular penalty in that particular moment when it hadn’t been called all game?
If a rule is so hard and fast, then it should be called every time. Anything else is a judgement call, and the juncture of the game leads fans to wonder exactly what the motivation was to make that judgement call at that moment. Fox continued:
However, the outrage from fans and experts alike came because, in real time, it didn’t look like Bradberry held Smith-Schuster at all. While his hands were on Smith-Schuster’s waist, there didn’t seem to be a real hold to impede the receiver’s route.
“I feel like I only had two options, really: I could take responsibility for it or I could blame it on someone else,” Bradberry said after the game while admitting he held Smith-Schuster’s jersey. “I try not to live that way.”
We now have concrete proof that the right call was made that led to the parade in the Midwest.
It was the right move by Bradbury to own the penalty. He is a stand-up guy and solid player. However, the fact remains that even with the film, it’s clear the penalty didn’t really keep the receiver from making a catch, which is why pass interference, or a hold is usually called.
What we are left with is the obvious problem behind a judgement call that was made at a crucial juncture that led to the Chiefs ending the game. What the NFL is left with are legitimate questions about the quality of their part-time officials, and the integrity and motive behind calling a penalty on a play that is replicated dozens of times a game without being called.
Either way, the league can call the matter settled all they want, most NFL fans will still be crying “foul” again the next time a phantom flag is dropped at a game changing moment.
"*" indicates required fields