At the end of last night's Monday Night Football game between the Patriots and the victorious Ravens, Pats Coach Bill Belichick was so incensed that the Ravens' winning field goal was called fair that he pursued and grabbed a referee on the field.
The Ravens kicked the field goal with two seconds left in the game, thereby winning 31-30. Belichick thought that the kick, which sent the ball barely to the fair side of the right upright and well above it, should have been reviewed automatically, as by rule all scoring plays are reviewed throughout the game. Problem is that field goals are not reviewable, mainly on the basis that no one looking into a video box on the sidelines will have a better view of the ball than the two refs standing immediately underneath the two uprights.
At best, NBC Sport's replay of the kick was inconclusive, meaning that even if the kick could have been reviewed it would have remained a score, since to overturn a call on video review requires incontrovertible video that the call was wrong.
The League, however, is considering action against Belichick for placing his hands on a referee.
New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick might not have heard about the warning issued earlier in the week. More likely, he either wasn't thinking about it or just didn't care during the seconds following his team's 31-30 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night.
Days after NFL vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said the league was not going to tolerate disrespect toward replacement officials, the Patriots coach did something that likely would result in some sort of punishment even if the regular officials, locked out by the NFL in a contract dispute since June, had been in place.
Before his handshake with Ravens Coach John Harbaugh, Belichick angrily pursued one of the officials and grabbed him by the arm while berating him. The NFL does not allow contact with officials -- the Ravens were penalized earlier in the game when Harbaugh bumped one while attempting to call a time out.The NFL's senior vice president of communications, Greg Aiello,said today that the incident was being looked at. Pretty much no one expects that Belichick will escape unscathed, facing a fine or suspension or both. I would adjudge both, myself, with a hefty fine at that. The replacement refs, for all their oft-justified criticism, are still the only refs the league has on the field. If Belichick gets a slap on the wrist, players will interpret it as license to show contempt for the refs or worse.
Belichick should be stomped on and hard. Enough. And:
Bill Belichick isn't the only coach that could pay a fine this week for his treatment of the replacement officials. The NFL confirmed to Around the League on Monday morning that they are reviewing an incident involving Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan during the end of Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Shanahan ran after the officials and reportedly berated them in the tunnel after the game.Speaking of the 'Skins, during that game a Redskins player scored the easiest touchdown in NFL history.
And the wildest scoring game of the day - and in the NFL in a long time - was the Lions at Titans. Consider: with only a half-minute to go in the fourth quarter (and maybe not that much), the Lions were 14 points down. And yet the game went to overtime, where the Lions failed to convert a fourth and one to keep their drive alive and so lost to the Titans, who had already scored a field goal. During the game, the Titans repeated their now-infamous "Music City Miracle" play of January 2008 at the end of the playoff game with the Bills. See that replayed and yesterday's game's highlights here.