Friday, December 26, 2008

Controversial Referee Calls: A Working List

Is there a good compilation of the controversial referee calls from the NFL season? Let's start a working list and please post some comments of some of the controversial calls that we should add to the list.

Also, let me know in the comments whether you think we should make a wiki so that people can add their own comments about the referees.

NFL 2008 Season
  • Week 2: Ed Hochuli, SD Chargers-Denver Broncos. Broncos QB Jay Cutler lost the ball when moving his arm back, which caused a fumble that SD recovered just after referee Ed Hochuli mistakenly blew the play dead for a supposed incomplete pass. In the aftermath, the NFL fined Jerry Jones $25,000.
  • Week 3: Ron Winter, NO Saints-Denver Broncos. Broncos LB Jamie Winborn was not called for offside on a play. Saints coach Sean Payton complained about that later and the NFL fined him $15,000.
  • Week 4: Ed Hochuli, Atlanta Falcons-Carolina Panthers. Carolina DE Julius Peppers hit Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Ed Hochuli called a disputed penalty for roughing the passer, negating a fumble.
  • Week 6: Ed Hochuli, Miami Dolphins-Houston Texans. Generally, Dolphins LB Joey Porter criticized Ed Hochuli and his crew on a call that a potential fumble was an incomplete pass, which Joey Porter thought was an example of how the Texas kept getting calls. The NFL fined him $20,000.
  • Week 6: Bill Carollo, Jacksonville Jaguars-Denver Broncos. Denver CB Dre Bly questioned calls by Bill Carollo's crew, including an illegal-contact call against Dre Bly and a defensive pass interference call against his teammate Marlon McCree. The NFL fined him $20,000.
  • Week 7: Walt Anderson, SF 49ers-NY Giants. NYG WR Plaxico Burress and SF CB Nate Clements got together on a pass to Burress. An official on Walt Coleman's crew called it offensive pass interference on Plaxico Burress, but replays suggested it should have been defensive pass interference on Nate Clements. Plaxico Burress later criticized it as one of the worst calls he'd ever seen. The NFL fined him $20,000.
  • Week 10: Tony Corrente, Arizona Cardinals-SF 49ers. SF RB Frank Gore was tackled before reaching the end zone and at first, referees placed the ball inside the 1-yard line. After reviewing the play, they moved the ball back to the 2-yard line but SF claims that the referees did not tell the SF coaches, who had to go ahead and run a play that was not suited to gaining two yards and failed.
  • Week 11: Scott Green, SD Chargers-Pittsburgh Steelers. Pitt CB Troy Polamalu picks up a botched lateral and returns it for an apparent TD on the final play of the game. After reviewing a replay, referee Scott Green applies the rules incorrectly and overturns the TD because he thought the play should have been dead when the lateral hit the ground -- a ruling that would only be correct if the lateral in question was an illegal forward pass such as a toss earlier in the play. Gamblers around the country groan.
  • Week 15: Walt Coleman, Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens. Pitt WR Santonio Holmes caught a ball right at the goal line and the referees ruled on the field that he was stopped just short of scoring a TD. After reviewing replays, they overruled the call and ruled that it was clearly a TD. Many commentators believed the replays were not clear about whether it was a TD -- even though it suggested it probably was a TD, it was not clear enough to justify overruling a call on the field.


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