Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The Wrath of the Coaches
After Week 3 of the NFL regular season, one thing is clear: the games are bordering on chaos under the officiating of replacement officials. The expected improvement as the weeks progressed has not happened. Instead, every week games are being poorly officiated with bad calls, missed calls, wrong penalty assessments and an overall failure to control the game. As expected, coaches have reacted, and not in a good way. Replacement officials have transformed many of those normally cool and stone-faced coaches on the sideline into red-faced, raving hotheads. Some of the more notable blow-ups include:
Bill Belichick - The Week 3 game between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Sept 23, came down to a field goal. As time expired and with the score 30-28 Patriots, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker launched a 27-yard field goal that many thought missed wide right. But the ref signalled that it was good and the Ravens won 31-30. As the chaotic exit of players, officials and sideline personnel began, coach Belichick chased after a ref who was running off the field. As Belichick explained, he had questions regarding the last play and he was trying to get the ref's attention when he grabbed his arm. Today, Belichick was fined $50,000 for 'impermissable physical contact.'
Kyle Shanahan - In another Week 3 Sunday game, the Cincinnati Bengals led the Washington Redskins 38-31 with 7 seconds left in the game. With the Redskins on the Bengals 34-yard line, quarterback Robert Griffin III spiked the ball to stop the clock. On the same play, the refs flagged tight end Fred Davis for a false start. But here's where the fireworks began. After one official said that there would be a 10-second runoff because of the false start penalty, Cincinnati's coaches and players, thinking the game was over, began walking on the field. Since that is not the correct penalty, (should be 5-yards) Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan demanded a clarification from the refs and insisted that the game was not over. For this, Shanahan was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Then the refs backed the ball up 20 yards (instead of 15) for that penalty. On the next play and now at third-and 50, Griffin hurled the ball downfield for an incomplete pass. Time expired - Game over. Still upset over the rulings, Shanahan pursued the officials into the tunnel and apparently hurled a litany of profanities at them. Shanahan was fined $25,000 by the league on Tuesday, Sept 25.
John Harbaugh - At one point in the same game as Bill Belichick's transgression, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh admitted that he bumped an official. His explanation was that he merely wanted to call a timeout and the officials did not hear or see him. The league has said they are investigating the incident.
John Fox and Jack Del Rio - After the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons game on Monday Night Football, Sept 17, both head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio were recently fined $30,000 and $25,000 respectively. The game was constantly interrupted by long delays and reviews, and reviews of the reviews. Throughout the game, both Fox and Del Rio could be seen berating, intimidating and badgering the officials. According to ESPN analyst Adam Shefter, the NFL even called the Georgia Dome at halftime to get the message to Fox and Del Rio to tone down their behavior.
The past three weeks have seen numerous clashes between coaches and replacement officials. Even with fines and memos mandating better behavior from coaches, we can expect to see more dramatics as long as the replacements are officiating.
Note: We do not own the above image. No copyright infringement intended.