Did Bad Officiating Cost 49ers a Super Bowl Win?
to former NFL Vice President of Officiating, Mike Pereira, the ‘no-call’ in yesterday’s Super Bowl against Jimmy Smith guarding Michael Crabtree on fourth-and-goal from the Baltimore 5-yard line with 1:50 left in the game was the correct assessment of the play, and no penalty should have been called.
“It was not an obvious foul and until I looked at it in slow motion, it seemed like no foul at all. It’s not a penalty I would want called if I were still VP of Officiating for the NFL,” said Pereira.
Jerome Boger was making his first appearance as referee in the big game game and Pereira went on to say, “…I’m happy to say Boger and his crew did a commendable job.”
It’s easy to dissect officiating after the fact and often that’s not fair to do. These men are after all juxtaposing large men moving at incredible speeds in on a large field in real time without the benefit of replay. Some things however are so obvious, that it practically becomes a crime if not called.
Listening to the airwaves, there are a number of things that fans of both teams are talking about this morning. No doubt San Francisco fans are complaining more because of the end result. One was one glaring mistake that the officials made however that did not receive any air time by CBS and that was the bear hugging holding by the Ravens on the 2-point safety with just seconds to go in the game. While the result of the correct call would have been the same result, a 2-point safety, because an offensive holding penalty in the end zone results in a safety, that doesn’t mean that officials should not through the flag when a penalty occurs.
Honestly I don’t know whether holding or pass interference on Jimmy Smith should have been called or not. I would say it was holding because it was in fact after 5-yards and I thought the act of contact started before Kaepernick released the ball. Mike Pereira says that if any penalty at all would have been called, it would be pass interference and not holding because the ball was already in the air. To me the ball was uncatchable though as it was thrown out of bounds.
As an official you can’t use judgement and factor the game situation into whether you call a penalty or not. If a play would be called or not called a penalty on the very first play of the game, it must be called that same way throughout the game, including in the waning moments of a game with the game’s outcome on the line. If that’s not holding in the end zone, I don’t know what is.