NFL referee’s blow calls from time to time, it happens. But in high-profile games like Sunday’s matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, mistakes are going to be amplified. Especially, when a referee like Bill Leavy blows a call with an obvious ruling. We’ve all seen the play at this point, but the end result is still shocking.
After Clay Matthews hit Colin Kaepernick late out of bounds, a mini riot ensued on the sidelines, which should have resulted in offsetting penalties on both teams, as the rule clearly states: ‘dead ball fouls by both teams are offset at the succeeding spot, and the down counts, and any disqualified player or players must be removed.’ But for whatever reason, Leavy’s brain wasn’t working correctly and the 49ers were given another third down play, on which they scored a touchdown. The six points right before half acted as huge momentum changer, and who’s to say this blown call wasn’t the difference in the game?
Leavy admitted his mistake after the game:
“The down should have counted. The penalties were both dead ball, and they should have offset at the spot where the runner went out of bounds. And it would have been fourth down.”
Now, reports are stating that the NFL will ‘downgrade’ Leavy for his foolish mistake. While the exact punishment is not known at this point, one could assume that Mr. Leavy won’t be referring any high-profile or playoff contests anytime soon.
After that call, a downgrade is the least the NFL could have done. Leavy deserves every bit of downgrading that the NFL seems fit. Blown calls like that in big games are inexcusable on so many levels. I know we all complain about replay and that games take too long, but the point is that these guys should be getting 99 percent of the calls right, given the massive amount of technology and information they have at their disposal.
This clip from Billy Madison says it all: