And let me preface this post by saying — in a declarative, upfront way, so that I cannot be misunderstood — that I don’t want people to obsess about the officiating in the final game of the season. My view is simply: There were missed calls, that happens, we discussed them, and let’s move on.

But I can’t let this pass. When people wonder why the NFL is getting an increasingly bad rap these days for its refs, having the head of NFL officiating tell people that they didn’t see what they saw is a good place to start. Via Greg Bedard, Mike Pereira used his regular Wednesday spot on NFL Network to explain that the facemask on the final play of the game Sunday was “incidental.”

I get that Pereira has an incentive to protect his refs, but that’s the kind of thing that doesn’t help his credibility…or theirs.

UPDATE FROM ANDY: Mike Florio from brings up a point that I wondered about myself concerning this whole situation. Isn’t it irrelevant whether or not the facemask was turned or tugged or whatever the rule is? Just the fact that Adams hand clearly was in contact with Rodgers’ facemask should have been enough to throw a flag because it’s an automatic penalty whenever a defender touches the head of a QB.

33 Responses to “Seriously?”

  1. Travis Says:

    I read yesterday in our local newspaper a section about the penalties. And one of the things it mentioned was the facemask controversy and the NFL made a public statement:

    “Twisting, turning and pulling the facemask usually results in a 15 yard penalty. But prior to 08 or whenever it was, the penalty for incidental facemasking was removed. But doesn’t any sort of facemask now result in the 15 yard penalty, and not decided between 5 or 15 yards.”

    And I don’t got the paper in front of me to read it exactly but that was the message, basically saying that it was incidental so there should be no penalty. Maybe I didn’t understand the rule change, but I’m pretty shocked either way and near positive it should of been a penalty.

  2. Aaron Rogders Says:

    Travis, i am with you. I don’t think Mike Pereira actually knows the NFL rules…. that’s like not knowing how to do your job. I hate that part of the show anyways, because it is just a bunch of BS. Mike tries so hard to defend his blind refs.

  3. Ben Says:

    So, would the Cardinals have the ability to keep possession and have the penalty enforced on them at the spot of the foul? Technically the fumble happened just before the facemask? Or is it treated as happening at the same time and Packers keep possession?

    I don’t remember a play like this off the top of my head.

  4. Travis Says:

    Ben, if I understand it correctly, Cardinals did not have possession before the penalty. And I think if thats the case, because they did not have possession we would keep the ball. But I’m not sure.

  5. sfhayes Says:

    Hey guys, click on the link to the Jason Wilde story below about Bill Carollo. He gets into timing of possession, etc. It’s good stuff.

  6. Travis Says:

    Regardless though, we can’t complain about losing because of the penalties, although we can be mad that the mistakes that the refs made are not being accounted for. Mistakes always require the responsibility of owning up to your mistakes, and the NFL, and Mike are not going about it properly. Refs are human, but they need to learn from mistakes like these. Big penalties missed. Maybe more refs, maybe better full time refs (like Mike Florio at PFT has suggested). Whatever it is they need to be looking at, and definately at least acknowledge their mistakes.

    As Andy pointed out, this is to complain about the outcome. Many things could of changed the game, so playing that “if that happened” really has no point to it. I mean what if our first quarter wasn’t horrendous. Or what if Cards made that game winning field goal. What if we hit Jennings to open OT. What if refs caught those penalties, THROUGHOUT the game. Many many things could of changed that game, its the definition of an incredible game despite poor poor defence. The only thing that bothers me are the missed penalties, and like I mentioned.. the TON of missed penalties.

    So it’s absolutely ridiculous how the NFL is handling this, and it’s pretty selfish. To shy away from the reality and not address these important issues is disgusting. The way they go about the officiating needs to continue to be looked at, there are still problems and it affects games, not in the way it should be. Games should be affected by plays, not by missed penalties. I know officials are human, but to just ignore their mistakes and pretend they didn’t occur shows the maturity they have about this issue.

    I’m really not impressed. Maybe its time to look at Mike’s job and see if what he’s doing about the officiating is enough for the NFL. Maybe he’s the one we should be looking at, and finding someone to replace him to help improve the ongoing issues.

  7. Trav Says:

    It’s all about consistency. I wouldn’t be as upset with the missed calls in the last drive (the facemask and hit on AR with the crown of the helmet) if they had not penalized the Packers earlier for hitting Warner in the head (albeit it with the back of their hand, while they were held, but that’s another whole issue).

    That is the thing that drives me INSANE about the NBA. Consistent application of the rules regardless of player, scenario, or time of the game.

  8. PackerBelle Says:

    I don’t think the officials caused the Packers to lose. I agree with MM’s comments about the officiating.

    However, this seems like a load of B.S. The guy had his finger wrapped around part of the facemask – that isn’t indicental. Had Pereira acknowledged that there is an argument for a penalty there but that given that the ball was loose the ref should be more concerned with that I’d be less annoyed. Or if I didn’t believe that had it been Manning, Brady, Favre or even Romo or Brees rather than Rodgers that it would have been called.

  9. Dan Says:

    Five straight days of Packer fans complaining about a non-call.

    You’ve been repeatedly told why it wasn’t called. Now you’ve been repeatedly told why it was correct that it wasn’t called. You’ve also been told that it was more important for the ref to watch the fumbled ball in this case rather than a finger lying on the face mask of Rodgers.

    Packer fans have posted numerous STILL photos of this action, but the games aren’t reffed play by play.

    If the NFL was to call every play as you fans are asking, we’d still be completing games from week 11 of the season.

    • PackerBelle Says:

      Dan, the reason we’ve been told it wasn’t called doesn’t make sense – which is why we’re still talking about it. The explanation is that it was incidental contact. If you look at this video around 1:22, you can see the guy grab the facemask and twist Rodgers’ head to Rodgers’ right. That is a textbook example of a blatant face mask violation.

      That isn’t a finger lying on the face mask of Rodgers – it was a pulling of his head around which is dangerous and what the rule is meant to prevent.

  10. sfhayes Says:

    Dan writes: “The games aren’t reffed play by play.”

    How are the games reffed, Dan?

  11. 56Coop Says:

    Repeatedly been told it was the correct call by whom? Pierea, the guy whose trying to protect his job & his refs? The Pack had many chances to win this game other than on that last play & the way the defense forgot to show up probably means they did not deserve to win. So be it. 5 straight days later it is STILL a very bad no call and if people at PACKER geeks wish to discuss it, so be it. It’s called PACKER Geeks. What do you expect Dan. Your ability to not have to deal with it is only a mouse click away.

    And good question–if the games aren’t reffed play by play, then how are they reffed. Quarter by Quarter, half by half?
    I’ll be waiting.

    • Dan Says:

      I don’t think there’s been an official yet who said it should have been called.

      Not only would it have been a bad call to call, it didn’t effect the outcome of the play. He grabbed his mask after the ball was already dislodged. (Easily seen during the play and on replays and on still photos). Not to mention, in the judgement of the ref who watched the play in live action, he felt it should not have been called. (And he’s THE OFFICIAL so THAT’s OFFICIAL).

      What I meant by “play by play” is do you want them to stop after each play and review the video tape to look for missed holding calls, face mask calls, pass intereference calls, etc?

      “Pass complete. First down Arizona.

      Wait, wait, let’s go to the replace official… yep. The play was clean. Warner was not hit after he threw the ball. The O-line did not hold, and the defender did not hold or interfere. First and 10 Arizona.

      Next play… 4 yard run by Hightower. Let’s review the play. Hand off is clean. No fumble. He’s down before he lets go of the ball. Oh, wait… looks like Raji was grabbing the facemask of the center a bit… well, not really a grab, and it was after Hightower got down field, but it looks like is hand brushed the helmet and then the facemask, becasue you see the centers head go down. Also the other lineman bumped into Warner after the handoff. That’s two “unnecessary roughness” penaltys. Arizona will accept one. First down and 10 Arizona.”

  12. Ron La Canne Says:

    Arizona should be returned to Mexico.

    As much as I hated the OT officiating, the Packers had many other reason for their loss. 45 of them. TT and MM need to get the D backfield backup up graded or figure out a new way to play while they are in the game. One lousy stop in the whole game. Pitt, Min and Cards should be enough evidence that the no-pressure approach requires better personnel. That is why they lost.

    I love Capers, but this one is on you Dom.

  13. Dan Says:

    Sorry, I misspoke. I don’t mean reffed “play by play”, but rather “frame by frame” of video.

    How many non-calls do you think occur in the average game? Just one? In some Packer fans opinion, there were two missed calls on that last possession alone.

    Considering the 7 – 10 possession per game each team gets, (20 total possessions per game) I’m guessing if you go back and watch games frame by frame, you’ll see 20 – 30 non-calls. Calling penalties is not automatic and 100%. It never will be.

    That’s the part you are having a hard time accepting. Games are called perfectly, and if you want to win consistently, you need to overcome those bad calls, missed calls, etc. The Packers simply did do that.

    • cindyv Says:

      Why do you even care? Let us Geek cry in our beers if we want to. You can go away and do whatever it is you do besides complain about fans that love their team.

  14. sfhayes Says:

    A couple of days ago you commented at length on a post entitled “On the Facemask and Aaron Rodgers.” It was clear then you didn’t read that post and it’s even clearer now. If you had, you wouldn’t have written: “I don’t think there’s been an official yet who said it should have been called.” In fact, most of that post discusses an article about an official who said just that and also explained why your reasoning here — “Not only would it have been a bad call to call, it didn’t effect the outcome of the play. He grabbed his mask after the ball was already dislodged” — is simply wrong.

    As I say, we love a good discussion. It’s one of the reasons we do this. And one of the things that sets Packergeeks apart, in my view, is the high level of football knowledge and understanding of the readers/commenters.

    The more comments, the better. But as a basic courtesy — and in the interest of not embarrassing yourself — you ought to read these posts before criticizing them.

  15. PackerBelle Says:

    “Not only would it have been a bad call to call, it didn’t effect the outcome of the play. He grabbed his mask after the ball was already dislodged. ”

    So if it doesn’t affect the outcome of a play it shouldn’t be called? That would basically mean that no late hits should be called because they don’t affect the outcome of the play.

    Secondly, we can’t know if it affected the outcome of the play. Maybe without grabbing the facemask Rodgers isn’t brought down, doesn’t kick the ball and the tuck rule applys, or he is able to fall on the ball or catch it in the air.

    “Not to mention, in the judgement of the ref who watched the play in live action, he felt it should not have been called.”
    Do we even know if he saw the face mask grab? Or was his attention on the loose ball? That will happen with a live game. No one disputes that there will be missed calls. What I think is generating comments is the fact that despite the fact that this was a text book case of a blatant face mask violation is that people are saying it isn’t.

    Officials make calls you disagree with, they miss things they shouldn’t have. That happens and no one is saying that is the only or even the main reason the Packers lost. Just that it happened, it was missed, and that league officials denying that it was an infraction when it was is aggravating.

    The rule book states ” For twisting, turning or pulling the mask: loss of 15 yards. A personal foul. ” Rodgers head was twisted because his face masked was pulled. So it was a foul. It was a missed one. And while I am not happy the official missed it I can understand it. Pereira saying it wasn’t when he has access to the same video I do not so much.

  16. Dan Says:

    It’s a difference of opinion on whether it should have been a penalty. The prevailing opinion that won is that it was not a blatant face masking penalty.

    Go ahead and believe what you would like, but as the official record states, it was not a penalty and in the opinion of anyone who matters, (officials, head officials, official supervisor) the correct call was made.

    • PackerBelle Says:

      Dan it is not a difference of opinion if it the Cardinal’s player pulled on Rodgers’ facemask causing his head to go to Rodgers’ right. You can see it clearly on the video provided by the NFL I posted earlier. And based on the NFL rulebook doing that is a penalty.

      Also as was noted in the original post, touching a QB’s head is an automatic penalty and there is no difference in opinion that that situation occurred.

      The only rational for your position is that officials have said so. I’ve only seen one NFL official – Pereira – say that it was a non-call. And he has a vested interest in maintaining the belief that mistakes by officials don’t affect the game in a significant fashion. NFC information manager, Randall Liu said that it was a judgement call – not that it was a correct call.

      Your posts have no evidence to back them up and do not respond to points made by other people. That leads me to question your motives.

  17. 56Coop Says:

    Dan-Yes there are bad calls in every game. In that game alone GB got the benefit of two very questionable horse collar tackle calls. The first one, IMHO, clearly wasn’t, the 2nd one is debatable.

    No one here is saying the calls cost us the game. We had many other chances to put it away or not get blown out in the first half. Green Bay lost that game as much as AZ won it.

    That last offensive series for the Pack the officiating was atrocious. The holding call, the missed head-to-head on Rodgers two plays prior and the missed call on the last play.

    Like Packerbelle says, the NFL should admit their error. It’s scary that they didn’t or won’t. I do not know if you have indicated who your team is and am too lazy to go back & read all the posts but I’m sure you would/will have a little stronger reaction when (not if) it happens to your team.

    Personally if I came across a blog site that was obviously slanted toward a certain topic & I saw people on there discussing that topic I don’t think I’d jump in and tell them how wrong they are. What’s the point? You can go to PFT & talk all the smack you want. Takes all kinds to make a world though.

  18. Travis Says:

    Like everyone, including myself have said, there is no reason for the NFL to avoid the mistake.

    Dan wake the **** up. Were not just being biased because it was against Green Bay. You can see the facemask. He had atleast one finger wrapped around the facemask all the way to the ground, and at first he twisted it to the right. No question. Absolutely not. Incidental is if he would of been running to get to Rodgers and put his arms out and his hands hit his face. Then he moved them down lower to tackle him. And never would he be able to pull on it or twist it. He grabbed and twisted it/pulled it to the right. Simple, it is clear by pics and vids. And it’s also automatically a penalty when you touch a QB’s head.

    No matter what a flag should be thrown, whether the penalty is missed or doesn’t change the outcome, there was a penalty bottom line. If it was missed, it’s understandable. Why would Pereira need to hide behind this mistake. That is absolutely unacceptable. That is why after 5 days, we still give a dam. We accepted that we lost, but to have the NFL treat this issue like that is plain rude.

    Losing was one thing, but as we all keep saying, to ignore the mistake and pretend it didn’t happen, is just so wrong I can’t even describe. Pereira needs to really look at just the overtime and look and apologize for the penalties they missed. And what they will do to make changes in the future (i dunno, full time refs dammit!) With the amount of mistakes in officiating in that game, and with the NFL strongly believing nothing wrong had happened, I am deeply disappointed.

    From a huge NFL and Packer fan, I feel like I’ve been slapped in the face, as should any NFL fan. Even if you hate the Packers, if you were watching the same game we were, you should of seen plenty of mistakes. And with the NFL closing their eyes over the entire thing and not addressing this big issue is a slap to all our faces. Extremely disappointed.

  19. andrew Says:

    that guy dan.. there were people who have come out saying that it was a bad call that arent packers fans.. and referees ARENT ALLOWED to say a different ref made a bad call… it has never happened.. because they cant.. if they did they would get fired there not allowed to question other referees calls

  20. Jack Ferron Says:

    I posted a 44 second viseo of the last play of the Packers-Cardinals game on YouTube ( I had over 440,000 views and many comments.

    Today Youtuve took it down because the NFL made a copyright complaint. I have made a “fair use” challenge to that decision with YouTube, probably to no avail.

    Think maybe the NFL wants to destroy the “Zapruder film” that exposes its obvious spin that Rodgers was not really facemasked?

  21. Dan Says:

    I’d still have to say the right call was made. If they had called that it would have been the ticky-tackiest call I’ve ever seen. I have to agree with the officials.

    Obviously, you all have already disagreed with this take and your minds won’t change on it.

    • PackerBelle Says:

      How can you say it was the right call? The video post by the NFL clearly shows that Adams pulled on the facemask – by the rule book that is a personal foul.

      You still can’t seem to actually respond to the facts in this matter, just express your opinion with no argument to back it up.

  22. Travis Says:

    Dan, you have absolutely just amazed me. I am flabbergasted (I know it’s a word, but I don’t know how its spelt) by just how idiotic you are and how you have an argument over something that in no way makes you correct.

    Look, lets just begin here. Touching a QB on the head with your hands, your helmet etc results in a penalty. That is a very simple understandable rule. Now looking at the millions of video’s you can find and the various one’s posted right here seconds away for your service, you can blatantly see Adams touching Rodgers facemask/head area. As the rule states, that is a penalty.

    So no matter what happens next, a flag should of been thrown regardless. Whether he missed the call or not, that is not important, the issue we have is, there should of been a flag thrown, even if it may not of changed the game. And if they missed the call, we sorta understand, it angers us (FULL TIME REFS?!) but we understand. We just don’t understand and are more pissed off by having Mike P and the NFL outright ignore this issue and act like they are perfect and never made a mistake. They clearly did, now we want an apology, and them to consider how they can avoid future encounters like this.

    And what is probably the most controversial part of this is if it was a facemask penalty. Considering we already know a flag should of been thrown, even if this wasn’t a facemask, there is still a penalty. You have no argument. And clearly, it your going to repeat yourself with no argument over and over, just don’t come back. Either make a good point, which you can’t, or accept the fact that Adams had an illegal play there, and Mike Pereira is shying from the truth.

    And it just confuses me to no end, seeing the video replays. Seeing solid grab of the facemask all the way to the ground. There is absolutely no way his hand was softly resting on his facemask if he had his hand on it all the way to the ground. If that was the case, he would of taken his hand lower, realizing, uh oh, I just grabbed his mask! But instead it was grabbed on, all the way to the ground. And the initial point where Rodgers is grabbed shows him clearly being affected by the grab. He reacts with his head pulled right. Clear proof of a pull and twist. And then Adams procedes to take him down, holding onto his mask. Listen, case closed. Facemask – or at most, he touched the QBs head, and yes I believe some rules are a little extreme, but a penalty is a penalty, and they are denying clear evidence.

    Answer this Dan, is it right for the Mike Pereira to deny the officials mistake even though it clearly shows they made a mistake. If you acknowledge the mistake, reason with why the mistake was made, and inform that it will be looked at to think of ways to keep it from happening in future, we’d understand and feel a bit better about it. But it is not right to avoid all that and just say it was right, when it clearly shows its wrong. And you cannot argue that in any way. If you deny dealing with an issue and just act like it was the right call, that is not right. That is flat out, no question, terrible and if you seem to think you can argue that, leave now.

  23. campbell Says:

    This entire train of opinion has morphed into a convenient camouflage/balm for a the real “miscue”. We’re not having this clamorous discussion if Rodgers hits a wide-open Jennings in the OT.

    But as Packerbelle said so eloquently, we are Packergeeks. Its our “sorry for ourselves party” and we’ll cry if we want to.

    And consume beer or any other adult beverage.

    If y’all can overcome this profound grief, there’s a good Ryan Grant interview on I found his comments re Green Bay, his teammates, the future and the Packer org. etc., interesting…and he picks Dallas over #4.

  24. Travis Says:

    Yes, there would be no conversation about this if he hits a wide open Jennings, but we wouldn’t even get that far if Rackers makes that kick. If you play the if and but game we could change the game by 20 points.

  25. foundinidaho Says:

    I hope and pray Ryan Grant is spot on.

  26. bucky Says:

    The NFL’s actions in denying that a facemask occurred are positively Sternian. There’s a reason I no longer watch the NBA; let’s hope the NFL chooses to take a different path.

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