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Bengals and Steelers and Madness

From NBC SportsWorld:

Pro football is a savage Rorschach test, where some fans see outlines of angels, some see the outline of devils and the referees see clouds.

Official Decision

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31 Responses to Bengals and Steelers and Madness

  1. mmaattw says:

    All we can ask from officials in any sport is to be consistent. Shawn Williams was called for an illegal hit earlier on what appeared to be clean. That call and the Shazier non-call are what angered the Bengal players.

    • I have seen this sentiment stated many times, and I must respectfully disagree. Calling every pitch that is 2 feet outside a strike is consistent, but completely unacceptable to me. I do agree that we can’t expect the refs (in any sport) to get EVERY call right, and that consistency is required, but not sufficient, in my opinion.

    • Vernon says:

      I have yet to hear anybody talk about the non call when nucklehead ran back into the tunnel. Delay of Game or unsportsmanlike conduct, take your pick but a flag should’ve been thrown for that. Not our fault y’all snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. We don’t call y’all the bungles for nothing. Thank you and we’ll keep playing.

    • Ryan shaziers hit on Bernard was totally legsl. He was not a defenless receiver, he was a runner who took a few steps and shaziers hit was clean. Vicious but clean

  2. Phil Royce says:

    I understand that the Bengals want to blame the officials. However, perhaps they shouldn’t turn the ball over 4 times and drop a couple of third down passes that would have extended drives.

    • Or fumble instead of running out the clock, and commit a double unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the game to setup the winning field goal. The Pacman pentalty was far more damaging because it put the Steelers in easy field goal range. That was on Pacman, not the refs. Referees aside, the Bengals had the ability to win the game easily if they just executed basic plays & kept their heads.

  3. BenGal says:

    Thank you for writing an nonbiased review of the game. I was wondering if I was the only person who actually watched the game. Listening to media describe the events of the game is so very tragic. In a game where both teams were brutal, the Cincinnati Bengals seem to be the only villain. In full disclosure, I am a Bengals fan. I am not proud of the actions late in the game, but I saw two teams battling ruthlessly. Even the Steelers coaches got in on the action. However, I do believe the refs made terrible decisions that led to the heightened emotions on both sides of the ball. If the refs kept the game in better control, this would not have happened. I am also sickened by the fact that the Steelers gave the game ball to Joey Porter! Neither team deserves to make the playoffs.

    • steelerfan4life says:

      I’m a Steelers’ fan and my feelings are that the NFL players get paid to do their jobs and they allow testosterone to cloud their judgment — especially in Saturday’s game. The officials have their jobs and call games wherein I have seen plenty of mistakes made by officials throughout the years, but they did the best that they could do given the situation. It is not the referees fault. It the players themselves. These are supposed to be grown a** men. Spitting on people, stepping, kicking and/or kneeing a player after they are physically down, trying to decapitate a player, lowering your head to hit a player. Some players are better than others in controlling their emotions. Those players and any other players out there that cannot play by the rules should not be allowed to play in the NFL at all. That is a given in other job out here in the world. If we cannot comply we are out of a job — so why is so different for them. The NFL is trying to clean up it’s image and personally I don’t believe Burfict and anyone like him fits that image! I do not care what team it is, act like adults and do your jobs within the confines of the Rules!

      • BenGal says:

        Then by your comments, I assume you think Shazier should not be allowed in the NFL as either. He hit Gio Benard with the crown of his helmet and celebrated on the sideline while Gio Benard was lifeless on the field.

  4. Roberto says:

    Maybe your recent attempt to become a Browns fan has impacted your judgment, but comparing what Shazier and Porter did to what Burfick and Jones did is way off base. Calling the Steelers a “dirty” team without any evidence is inexcuseable. Only one team was out of control on Saturday night and that team will get exactly what it deserves – yet another playoff loss and (I hope) multiple suspensions and fines.

    • BenGal says:

      I guess we will ignore the hair pulling and taunting by coaches…

    • It’s really not hard to pick out the Homer comments. To believe that Pittsburgh’s actions were not comparable just ignores the facts. Suspensions are announced early in the week, fines come later in the week. Pittsburgh players and coaches will be getting fined along with Bengal players. Burfict was suspended, so obviously his actions were the worst. But there are a lot of fines coming, including a least two Pittsburgh coaches. When does that ever happen? Two assistant coaches pulling hair, running on the field, talking trash. That’s the sign of an undisciplined team. Pittsburgh won’t last much longer in the playoffs. BTW: I have no dog in the hunt. I couldn’t care less about either of these teams, but both were an embarrassment this weekend.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Joe didn’t say they were “dirty” — he said it would fit the narrative that they were dirty. The actions of Shazier and Porter were inexcusable. [Look up the word, I don’t think it means what you think.] Same with Burfick.

  5. Greg P says:

    As a fan of neither team, Joe got it right in that both teams deserved to lose. Porter should have been flagged at the same time as Jones and the FG attempt would have come from 50 and not 35 yards out. And I have watched the Brown hit about 10 times now and I think Brown was acting.

  6. Carl says:

    The NFL is becoming what the NBA was in the 1990s… The refs decide who wins.

    Get within 10 feet of Michael Jordan and you were called for a foul. Meanwhile, Jordan could hit your arm hard enough to break it and he wouldn’t be called.

    • DB says:

      My son loves pro football and for his sake I have tried to watch some games recently (gave up on the game about four years ago). After watching the Shazier hit and the awful announcers defend it, I turned it off and was thankful I did not have to watch the other garbage later. As a former Dolphin fan, I guess I have not missed much either.

    • invitro says:

      You are right on the money about the 1990’s NBA. I’m not so sure the 2000’s NBA wasn’t just a little bit better though… many of the truly evil examples of biased refereeing happened in the 2000’s (Lakers-Kings, Heat-Mavs). I do think this kind of egregious bias toward players and teams has settled down now; at least I haven’t noticed an example in five years, and I’ve been an extreme NBA fan in that time period.
      The NBA is historically strange now as the US’s biggest cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia) have had almost no great players or teams for many years — the Clippers are the exception, and also Rose’s MVP year. I’m curious to see if bias takes hold again once the Lakers & Celtics get back to the late rounds of the playoffs.

      • Some day, the refs may even start to call travelling again. I watch a lot of High School basketball, so it’s a stark difference when you watch the NBA. I could do without some of the High School calls where the pivot foot is lifted up maybe a fraction before the ball leaves the hand. Those are annoying. But when you literally take three or four large steps to the basket, the reaction should be a whistle and laughs from the crowd. That’s the reaction in High School ball.

  7. Dale says:

    That game was everything that is wrong about the NFL.

  8. Reagan says:

    Joe, I completely agree with the main points of your column. I have now reached the point where I have a love/hate relationship with the sport. It won’t be long before it will be hate/hate. I don’t see any easy solutions for the problems; nothing short of a fundamental change in the way the game is played will fix this.

    That said, you made a sloppy error in your column:
    “Shazier picked up the ball. The cynical truth is that if Shazier’s hit was clean as officials decided, then it should have been called a Pittsburgh touchdown because Shazier ran untouched to the end zone.
    Instead, they just gave the ball to Pittsburgh at the spot of the recovery because … just because.”

    No, not just because; there is a reason. There was no touchdown on the return because the officials thought the receiver was down by contact prior to the fumble and, thus, blew the play dead. As for why, I’m sure you know that when a play is mistakenly blown dead on a fumble, the recovering team gets the ball but not the return. Fumble recoveries happen faster than (or simultaneous to) the whistle, returns do not. That’s the rule. Like it or not, that’s the reason.

    In addition, this possession/return issue has no relation to the legality of the hit. These are separate issues – if the hit was ruled dirty, then the whole play is negated by the penalty. Once the officials ruled the play clean, the only issue left was to determine whether there was actually a fumble, the same issue that is addressed on hundreds of other plays not involving questionable hits. The legality of Shazier’s hit is as relevant to the “Do they get the ball and the return or just the return?” issue as is the opening coin flip.

    • mark says:

      I can’t speak for Joe of course, but my reading of that “just because” line was that he knows what the rules are and this was no random act by the officials. I think his point was that you have a bunch of rules that make sense in theory but in some applications — especially in combination — they end up generating rather random looking results.

  9. mark says:

    Following up on my response to Reagan, I think that it would have been a brilliant bit of officiating on the Shazier hit if one of them threw a late flag after they saw the ball pop out and Bernard go limp. Because very quick thinking a that point could have foreseen the worst case scenario that eventually came to pass: Bernard has a concussion, doesn’t get up for 2 minutes, and replay rewards the Steelers with possession. I know that’s asking a lot of the officials, but its not fully beyond the possible.And it probably keeps the game from getting out of control later on.

  10. KHAZAD says:

    It is impossible to officiate these games in fast motion. The hit on Bernard was with the helmet, but didn’t really look like that was intent. It could have been called either way. When you are moving fast, and you lower your shoulder, you lower your head as well. It looked like an attempt to tackle with the shoulder, but the runner ducked his head down as well, and you see the result.

    The Burfict hit did not involve his helmet, but it kind of looked like he was taking a shot, even in fast motion. He throws his shoulder out there in a deliberate fashion. If Brown’s head had not snapped so distinctly, that one might not have been called either. These judgement calls we make after seeing the play close up in super slow mo 10 times have to be made on the field at super fast speeds from wherever the official is.

    The big problem with the game officiating was the lack of a penalty on Porter. The refs lost complete control of the situation and allowed a coach who should have been standing on the sideline to affect the outcome of the game on the field. If they want to flag Jones as well for his reactions, that is fine, but you can’t just ignore Porter and let him slide. To me, that was the officiating problem.

  11. Samuel Whitech says:

    If you have the 4.4 hours to sit in front of a TV and watch 1 hour of football, 3.4 hours of beer commercials and multiple reminders to buy a new truck, you are saying it is a very important part of your life. If you agree that the commissioner should make over 40 million dollars a year, you are saying you think it is one of the most important positions a man can hold in this country. Cincinnati had to close a hospital to afford that new stadium:

    Have college sports like football driven education costs up 30% since 2000? Apparently:

    It’s your life. You get to decide.

    Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolf will miss the first month of the season after being suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.

    Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith has been suspended the first three games of the regular season by the NFL after pleading guilty to a drunken driving charge earlier this year.

    Vikings cornerback Jabari Price has been suspended by the NFL for the first two games of the 2015 regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

    Cowboys running back Joseph Randle has been put on probation for stealing $123 worth of cologne and underwear from a Texas mall.

    Saints have cut Junior Galette after he was arrested for domestic dispute. 2013 video emerges of man identified as Saints’ Junior Galette striking woman with belt; NFL, team aware of incident. Washington signs him for the league minimum of $745,000

    Commissioner Roger Goodell, in affirming the suspension he handed down in May, said new information about the destruction of Brady’s cell phone showed the four-time Super Bowl champion “sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.”

    New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was charged with resisting arrest and multiple traffic violations after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase in Missouri on July 14. The 24-year-old was “clocked by police as going as fast as 143 mph” as they gave chase in St. Charles County. Police allege Richardson attempted to flee after the officers stopped his Bentley and another vehicle that was speeding. He was eventually pulled over in the driveway of a home in an adjacent neighborhood. At the time of his arrest, Richardson was driving with two other adults and a 12-year-old child. Richardson, who made his first Pro Bowl in 2014, is already facing a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Reports indicated he tested positive for marijuana.

    San Francisco 49ers pass-rusher Aldon Smith has a long and well-documented history of off-field issues, and it appears as though the much-maligned linebacker has once again gotten himself into some legal trouble. After serving a nine-game suspension last season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct and substance abuse policies, Smith is once again making headlines: In a statement released by the Santa Clara Police Department on Twitter, it was announced Smith was arrested for a hit-and-run accident, driving under the influence and vandalism. (49ers OLB Aldon Smith collects a $300,000 roster bonus today, 7 Aug 15. As part of amended contract, he has made $800k in roster bonuses since April 1.)

    New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith is expected to miss six to 10 weeks after getting “sucker punched” by linebacker Ikemefuna Enemkpali on Tuesday. In college IK Enemkpali was convicted of battery on a police officer. Jets drafted him anyway, but cut him for battery on a quarterback.

    Cam Newton fights teammate at training camp, says ‘Hit me like that again, you’ll know something.’

    “One of the things I want to do is make people understand that with most teams, they really don’t care about winning,” she said. “Winning is last, and making money is first. I see that with how my husband has been treated over the years and how other players have been treated. I’ll never look at the sport as a fan. The NFL is too much of a business. Don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble, but that’s how it goes.”
    ~Miko Grimes

    “I let my homeboys know, y’all want to keep rolling like this, then I need to know who gonna be the fall guy, who’s going to be driving. Y’all not going to all do the right stuff now. So I’ve got to teach you how to get around all this stuff, too. If you’re going to have a crew, one of them fools got to know he going to jail. We’ll get him out. … If you’re going to have a crew, make sure they understand, can’t nothing happen to you. Your name can’t be in lights, under no circumstances. You all understand that?”
    Cris Carter

    “There’s a sucker born every minute”
    ~David Hannum

  12. Mags says:

    I am a huge bengal fan and here is what I saw. It all started with the Steelers coach pulling the hair of a Bengal player. So Pittsburgh started it all. Both teams were out of control…way too many personal fouls. The hit on Bernard was targeting as they call it in college football. He speared him with the top of his helmet and I can’t understand for the life of me why that was not called. But the Bengals did not keep there composure at the end, a fumble and the 2 personal fouls put Pittsburgh in position for the field goal to win it. So sad that both teams looked out of control. To win play-off games u have to keep your composure in the most intense situations. Bengals still need to learn that and they cannot complain about the refs with all their stupid penalties in critical situations. Pittsburgh didn’t win the game, the Bengals gave it to them.

  13. Russell says:

    The game cannot be officiated efficiently and consistently. Too many large men moving too fast, some in a confined area others in the open. The rules (there are too many) are open to interpretation by refs doing the best they can. Is that a catch? Is that a fumble? Is that holding? Yes it is if the refs said so. My viewing pleasure takes in all of the game, not what I think it should be but what it is.

  14. Could somebody explain to me the outrage of porter being on the field? Because if u look on the othe side of the field there are a bunch of bungle coaches on the field as well

  15. Tom says:

    If they want to flag Jones as well for his reactions, that is fine, but you can’t just ignore Porter and let him slide. To me, that was the officiating problem.

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