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Of course we're Fair and Balanced!


NFL: Refs make a horrible call

Five minutes into the Bears-Colts game, Chicago coach Lovie Smith challenged the refs' call that Indianapolis player Courtney Roby was down by contact at his own 22-yard line after returning a punt from 3 years inside his own end zone. The replay showed he had tripped over his own player and clearly fumbled the ball. It was also clearly impossible to determine who had recovered this fumble from the replay footage shown on TV.

The referee ruled that the play stood as called and charged the Bears with a time-out. The commentators speculated that he ruled the way he did only because he hadn't been able to tell who recovered the fumble. I doubted that. I figured it was because despite the fumble, whistles had been blown before any recovery and therefore the ball would remain with Chicago. Shortly thereafter, the TV crew got word from the replay booth that it had been ruled the way it was for the very reason they had speculated.

What appalls me about this call is that despite Lovie Smith being totally correct in asserting that it had been a fumble, the fact that the refs had blown the call cost Chicago a time-out. Why couldn't they uphold his challenge, but admit that they couldn't determine who had recovered it and therefore had no choice but to allow Indianapolis to keep the ball? At least that way Chicago wouldn't have been penalized for the refs' mistake.

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