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League explains Leavy’s replay ruling

Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

If the Packers had beaten the Giants by seven points or fewer on Sunday, the NFL offices in Manhattan would have been besieged by calls, emails, pitchforks, and/or torches as to the failure of referee Bill Leavy to overturn a ruling on the field that Packers receiver Greg Jennings had lost possession of the ball in the first quarter before he was down.

Even though the Giants won the game by 17 points, Leavy’s indisputable failure to find that indisputable evidence existed to reverse the non-fumble finding has made a major stir.  The league has explained the decision.

“Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 of the NFL Rule Book (page 35) states: ‘An official shall declare the ball dead and the down ended: (a) when a runner is contacted by a defensive player and touches the ground with any part of his body other than his hands or feet,'” the league said in a statement emailed to PFT by NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.  “So by rule, if Jennings’ calf was on the ground prior to the ball coming loose, he is down by contact.  Contrary to what was suggested during the game, there is no need for the runner’s knee to be on the ground.”

That’s a not-so-subtle slap at FOX, whose broadcasters (including rules analyst and former NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira) believed that Leavy had committed a pretty big blunder.  In the end, Leavy’s decision apparently flowed from uncertainty based on the video as to whether Jennings’ calf was on the ground before he lost possession of the ball.

“Rule 15, Section 9 of the Rule Book (page 98) governs instant replay reviews and states:  ‘All Replay Reviews will be conducted by the Referee on a field-level monitor after consultation with the other covering official(s), prior to review. A decision will be reversed only when the Referee has indisputable visual evidence available to him that warrants the change,'” the league said in the statement.

“Referee Bill Leavy conducted the instant replay video review and determined that there was no indisputable visual evidence to warrant reversing the on-field ruling of down by contact.  As a result, the ruling on the field stood.”

That’s fine, and we appreciate the explanation.  But the video clearly showed the ball coming out before any part of Jennings’ leg was on the ground.

Many of you will assume that the league is merely circling the wagons on this one.  Even though the NFL has been candid in the past about some officiating mistakes, that assumption seems to be valid this time around.

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107 Responses to “League explains Leavy’s replay ruling”
  1. iluvwikileaks says: Jan 16, 2012 4:02 PM

    The refs were Hell bent on getting the Packers back in this game. But, the Pack sucked so bad, their attempts were futile.

  2. dd2189 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:03 PM

    wait, what!?

  3. vahawker says: Jan 16, 2012 4:05 PM

    In other words…”we know Bil Leavey is a horrible official, you know Bill Leavey is a horrible official, the world knows our officials in general have been horrible all year(or over the course of the last several years) bur Leavey will likely be doing another Super Bowl and we want you to think his obvious incompetence was, in fact, supreme competence in regards to rule interpretation”.

  4. nbcstinks says: Jan 16, 2012 4:05 PM

    BS excuse. This season has had SO many questionable calls/non-calls that I have zero trust in the legitimacy of any close outcome. Something needs to be done before the NFL truly does turn into the WWE.

  5. vikesfansteve says: Jan 16, 2012 4:06 PM

    The officials did the same thing in the Steelers vs Seahawks Superbowl & Vikings vs Saints NFC Championship. So the officials have 2 rings.

  6. jaggedmark says: Jan 16, 2012 4:06 PM

    No damn part of his body was touching the ground when that ball started to come out!

    Now I’m more irritated with this issue than I was yesterday. “Investigation Needed”

  7. rugdaniels says: Jan 16, 2012 4:07 PM

    Nice try NFL. Leavy’s track record in big games is dismal. He should not be in charge of another game of consequence, nor should any official the league has to cover for.

  8. frogmantm says: Jan 16, 2012 4:08 PM

    A simple “we blew it” would suffice….

  9. cmich2006 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:09 PM

    It is common knowledge shin = down by contact. Well except to the Fox announcers. The shin is obscured from the camera angle but could have been down. Based on that it couldn’t be overturned.

  10. nfl fan says: Jan 16, 2012 4:10 PM

    Wrong is still wrong. Get it right, wasn’t that the purpose of instant replay?

  11. linvillegorge says: Jan 16, 2012 4:10 PM

    The only way to save face here is to just own up to the fact that the officials made a mistake and it was an incorrect call. It happens. Everyone makes mistakes.

  12. eddddddd says: Jan 16, 2012 4:11 PM

    Funniest thing thing I’ve read all year.

  13. rascalmanny says: Jan 16, 2012 4:11 PM

    It was a fumble. Period.

    Enough with “lawyer speak”. Keep it simple. The ball came out before the player was down.

    The everyday fan says that was a fumble.

    Just because something is written as a rule doesn’t mean it’s the right thing.

  14. satanicxhellxcreature says: Jan 16, 2012 4:11 PM

    The thing nobody is talking about is the fact that the ref that was right on top of the play called it a fumble and ran up the field with the Giant player that picked up the ball and started to return it. Then, miraculously, a different ref that could have been no closer than 15 yards away, and not nearly in as good of a position as the first official to make the call, came in and overturned the fumble call. It definitely makes some think about officials trying to help one team win.

    I hate both teams here, but no matter what, I hate seeing refs trying to decide the outcome of a game more.

  15. earthtopft says: Jan 16, 2012 4:12 PM

    “Bye, bye, Miss America’s Cheeseheads,
    who gave a Chevy to Leavy so Leavy would lie,
    Them good old boys are drinking anything find, singing this is the day our dynasty died!”.

  16. steelersmichele says: Jan 16, 2012 4:12 PM

    The league is defending one of their own, breathing a huge sigh of relief that the Giants won the game. I would, however, bet money that another ref would have called it a fumble.

    As for Piera, he is a big hypocrite. When he worked for the NFL, he did nothing but defend the refs. Now that he works for FOX, all he does is criticize the league and its officiating.

  17. bigshirk says: Jan 16, 2012 4:13 PM

    No need to explain. Those were some of the worst calls I’ve ever seen. There is no reason he could be a NFL referee. Should be fired!

  18. dirtmcgirt24 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:13 PM

    Lost in that weak response from the league is a discussion on why the call on the field, a fumble (a fumble that was permitted to play out until Phillips was tackled) was somehow overturned before the review. The line judge in the best position to make the call let the play go and threw the blue beanbag. Someone from somewhere else on the field changed all that.

  19. chmba says: Jan 16, 2012 4:13 PM

    Assume Leavy was relating what he saw (or couldn’t see) then his eyesight is insufficient for the job and he should retire. Otherwise more mindless dribble from the NFL office!

  20. phonymcringring says: Jan 16, 2012 4:13 PM

    That’s not an explanation of the ruling. That’s an explanation of a rule that in this case is irrelevant.

    The NFL needs to man up on this one. Too big a screw up on too big a stage.

  21. fissels says: Jan 16, 2012 4:14 PM

    There was no question it was a fumble, period

  22. pongonfl says: Jan 16, 2012 4:14 PM

    So every other ruling ever made on this has been wrong!
    How many superbowls have to have their outcome reversed because of this horrible mistake that has always been made?

    And the crazy ruling on the Giants First down being denied?
    And the field goal that wasn’t in?
    And all the roughing the passer calls not made on the Pack but then out of nowhere a flaky one called on the Giants?

  23. steelpenguin71 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:15 PM

    The NFL needs to get ahold of the officiating. Too many times they are influencing the outcome of the game. Helmet to helmet, defensive pass interference, holding calls and especially no calls all contribute to the outcome of the game. If it’s baseball’s “human error” you want then get rid of replay. Worst year I can remember and I can remember about 37 years of football.

  24. genericscreenname says: Jan 16, 2012 4:16 PM

    Ridiculous, the ball was on the way out before any part of his leg touched the ground. Utterly ridiculous, I’m going to have to start reconsidering whether or not the NFL is something I wish to continue to support.

  25. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Jan 16, 2012 4:16 PM

    Funny, I don’t remember the “knee” being down mentioned. In fact, I’ve heard several times mentioned by mutliple broadcast crews that anything other than a hand or foot being down. This includes, wrists, elbows, shins, calves, butts, etc., etc. Can’t believe Aiello would attempt to spin it this way, especially against people who are pretty cognisant of the rules (especially since Jenning’s knees were pointed skyward. Can’t possibly see that as the focal point of Buck/Aikman’s anyalsis).

  26. jbaxt says: Jan 16, 2012 4:18 PM

    That call was ridiculous. And they kept talking about it. That said, as much as they talked about it, they spent less than half the time talking about that call than that kook said “Honey Badger” during the LSU/Bama game.

    Dude, we got, they call him Honey Badger, you don’t have to make us relive the Waterboy comentary on “pulling out all the stops”…

  27. teamgoku says: Jan 16, 2012 4:19 PM

    I’ve said it numerous times in the past but the refs should start being fined or fired for all of the blown calls week in and week out

  28. goldrush4949 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:19 PM

    Looks like the league office is in arse covering mode after a blatantly bad call by the officials.

  29. kisstherings says: Jan 16, 2012 4:20 PM

    Not so subtle slap at FOX? What about the rest of you vultures in the media that were all over it as much or more as the broadcast team?

  30. themonster49 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:20 PM

    Last night on the radio I heard Mike Pereira say that it was possible the replay that showed the indisputable evidence hadn’t been send down to replay booth as it appeared to have not been showed on tv until the end of the referee’s replay review.

    I don’t know if I believe that but it was a sound theory. The rules above do state that the referee shall use the replays made available to make the determination, and I’m pretty sure they only get 30-60 seconds at the replay booth.

    Either way I will agree with the notion that something else needs to be done/tried to fix the issues within bad calls.

  31. muckman207 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:21 PM

    1. Why can’t they just admit he blew it? NFL just makes themselves look more foolish when they say something like this.

    2. It was a fumble, even if the ridiculous notion that his calf may have brushed the ground, this type of over the top scrutiny is why the NFL is getting to be a bit ridiculous.

    3. I am flabbergasted!

  32. edgarpoe2 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:21 PM

    The NFL will have to one day admit is is an exhibition and that games are, in fact, scripted, much like pro wrestling was forced to do years ago.

    I don’t really believe what I posted. But it makes more sense than the NFL’s explanation.

  33. rando74 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:21 PM

    Wait..what? Perriera called out an official and emphatically stated he was wrong now that he is working for Fox? HA! Two years ago he would have told us how the official “technically” got that call right. Blowhard.

  34. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Jan 16, 2012 4:22 PM

    cmich2006 says:
    Jan 16, 2012 4:09 PM

    It is common knowledge shin = down by contact. Well except to the Fox announcers. The shin is obscured from the camera angle but could have been down. Based on that it couldn’t be overturned.

    ————————————–

    Except for the fact that Fox had a replay angle that left no question NO part of Jennings was down prior to the strip. Now if for some reason Leavy didn’t see that angle … but still.

  35. mcl2177 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:22 PM

    I can’t remember a play when the ref reviewed a play and said the runners calf was down.

  36. glac1 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:23 PM

    It’s water under the bridge and calls are missed both ways in every game. The team that overcomes things like that generally win. Fickle fans who blame officiating for every loss irritate me.

  37. wasafan says: Jan 16, 2012 4:23 PM

    The NFL should have come out and said what they REALLY meant. “Yes, We wanted the Packers to win. Upon our request, Leavy Tried to keep them in the game, but was unsuccessfull. Sorry Packers. We’ll try again next year.”

  38. tombradysponytail says: Jan 16, 2012 4:23 PM

    genericscreenname says:
    Jan 16, 2012 4:16 PM
    Ridiculous, the ball was on the way out before any part of his leg touched the ground. Utterly ridiculous, I’m going to have to start reconsidering whether or not the NFL is something I wish to continue to support.

    _________

    We will miss you.

  39. dvdman123 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:24 PM

    A bad call is a bad call so matter how you try to sugar coat it.

  40. theandy59 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:24 PM

    That this was a bad call is indisputable. However, to take the leap from there and assume that because of a bad call (or two or three) that somehow the league was conspiring to keep the Packer in the playoffs is patently absurd. The Packers, while certainly a team with national draw, are simply never going to be as popular for TV ratings as the Giants. You’re talking about the largest TV market vs. probably the 30th, so it’s no even close. People, it was just a couple of bad calls…..

  41. roadtrip3500 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:25 PM

    Heck, it would probably help a ton if the NFL could just get the referees to be consistent and uniform when they turn their mics on. When a coach throws a challenge flag, some of the refs only report what the ruling on the field was, some say what the challenging coach wants the call to be, some say both.

    If the league can’t even get the refs to say the same things for the same play, we probably shouldn’t expect them to make the correct calls, either.

  42. nzyme says: Jan 16, 2012 4:26 PM

    To me this explanation is even worse for the league and officials! Why? Well that would mean the other 20+ times I’ve seen a fumble declared this year are ALL WRONG!!

  43. jaggedmark says: Jan 16, 2012 4:26 PM

    Bill Leavy = Tim Donaghy ?

  44. flyingviking says: Jan 16, 2012 4:27 PM

    99 drunk dudes in a bar called it an obvious fumble. The other clown was wearing green and gold.

  45. goldrush36 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:28 PM

    You can plate a turd in 24k gold but it is still really just a turd. That sir was a clear FUMBLE and no hot air that the league expels will change that. I wanted the pack to win, but they came out flat and it bit them. Any packers fans out there that honestly think that was a legit call should just commit themselves now because there is no hope left for you

  46. themonster49 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:29 PM

    In the same radio broadcast Mike Pereira tried to give the officials an out, he slammed them saying it was such a bad game overall for the officials that if he were still in charge he would have to release a statement apologizing for the unacceptable poor officiating. I’m leaning towards Pereira being the fans’ buddy more than the league’s. Sounds like he tried to dothe NFL a solid only because he of all people Has to know the rulebook language by letter and that the NFL could explain the timing and reasoning of it all, but then he spent mostof the time slamming theofficials and the ridiculousness of the overruling and really their entire game.

  47. giantego says: Jan 16, 2012 4:29 PM

    The call was flat out wrong, and the explanation is just plain insulting considering how obvious it is that the ball is out before any part of his body touched the ground, but what was most troubling was the purely invented roughing call that took place later in the game. It’s really disturbing to think that activist refs are a reality. It may be paranoid to call for an investigation, but after the calls in both games between these teams this year, maybe it’s not unwarranted.

  48. scrapingthefloorioforstorios says: Jan 16, 2012 4:31 PM

    always stirring things up, this writer. every single post is about some conspiracy or scandal. every one!

  49. jetsfaninmiami says: Jan 16, 2012 4:32 PM

    New England patriots, have the same favoritism around the league. For example, See, Grando pass at the end zone. League and tv ratings want certain teams to win, to keep up with ratings. This sux.

  50. pixelito says: Jan 16, 2012 4:34 PM

    In Roger Goodell’s dream world, the playoffs would be bypassed and the Superbowl matchup would be based on fan vote.

    In the meantime, this is what we’ll have to suffer through.

  51. bvanbvan says: Jan 16, 2012 4:34 PM

    As a disappointed Packer fan/owner, I’ll still say the officiating sucked and so does Pereira.

  52. skittlesareyum says: Jan 16, 2012 4:35 PM

    Packers fan here – Jennings fumbled. End of story.

  53. tharoostah says: Jan 16, 2012 4:36 PM

    In the past I’ve always laughed at/ disagreed with people who have claimed that the refs were trying to affect a game in favor of one team, I usually argue that they are simply making mistakes.

    But after watching this game, the only conclusion I can come to, is that they were purposely trying to tilt the game in favor of the Packers. The terrible call mentioned in this story which remained wrong even after review, paired with a horrible spot that brought up 4th and about the difference of the bad spot for the giants, and uneven officiating on hits to the QBs made this blatantly obvious and undeniable.

    Not to mention the TD catch for Jennings when these two teams played during the regular season being “questionable” at best.

  54. upperdecker19 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:36 PM

    Jeez….Tim Donaghy is looking more credible by the day.

  55. dontrunfromme says: Jan 16, 2012 4:37 PM

    Tuck rule. Worst call in all of professional sports. That is all. Carry on now.

  56. xmadmax32x says: Jan 16, 2012 4:40 PM

    Such a garbage rule, they need to fix that!

  57. paul82461 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:41 PM

    The growing list of people who can screw up and still have a job

    1. Weathermen
    2. NFL Officials
    3.?

  58. captaintriumph says: Jan 16, 2012 4:42 PM

    Two years ago it was a flat-out conspiracy to make sure the Saints beat the Vikings, so why is anyone surprised by this??

  59. mlmeier says: Jan 16, 2012 4:42 PM

    An outrageous officiating blunder that severely impacted the outcome of the game.

    Oh wait….

  60. derekjetersmansion says: Jan 16, 2012 4:44 PM

    “In real time, the Jennings play looked like a fumble. I’m pretty sure it should have been called a fumble.

    But once the officials on the field had declared it wasn’t one, the question for the replay review was whether the video could prove the call was wrong. They decided it couldn’t. On that point, they were right.”

  61. trubroncfan07 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:44 PM

    The NFL is beginning to feel a lot like the NBA. You watch the games and you feel like the like the refs are controlling the out comes of these games. The fact the league and the head of officials are coming out weekly and defending terrible calls at crucial times is very disturbing as a fan.

  62. spfripp says: Jan 16, 2012 4:47 PM

    So basically they are saying every play stands as called unless the official feels like overturning the original call (Even though it was not the original call). So why do we have replay again?

    I just don’t understand why officials just don’t treat every lose ball as a fumble and then go back to the replay to make the correct call unless they are trying to control the outcome of the game. I have seen way too many fumbles called dead and then nothing can be done about it because an official had made the wrong call.

  63. quickwitt says: Jan 16, 2012 4:47 PM

    NFL explanation just validates the premise that the system must be changed. (Fat chance) Have a ref in the booth review every play, stop when necessary for longer reviews and BOTTOM LINE – GET IT RIGHT!

  64. fground says: Jan 16, 2012 4:47 PM

    this is the kind of play that sends every one in a tizzy…it comes down to what does it mean by the ball coming loose…does it mean the ball has started to move from a firm grasp, or does it have to be no longer touching any part of the hand or is it something in between.

    It is this type of play where it just gets ridiculous…it’s like the the tenths of second on a shot clock in basketball or in hockey…it’s a preposterous level of accuracy that isn’t achievable.

    I was watching with 2 others and none of us gave a crap who won…no bets, no rooting interest – and we were split 2-1 on the play (2 thought it a fumble). The truth is the rules aren’t clear enough to call it one way or the other.

  65. keevel says: Jan 16, 2012 4:48 PM

    As a life long Packer fan, I have to say…

    It was a fumble, it was clearly a fumble and I do not like that referees on different parts of the field use their ability to overrule the guy who had the best view of the play.

  66. matthewcarlson1 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:51 PM

    Could it be a coincidence that two of the worst calls ever both went the way of one team? This non-called fumble that led to a touchdown and then later the called hit to the head on Rodgers on a 3rd down. The Packers get calls like this all the time. Watch Charles Woodson play cornerback and you’ll know what I mean.

  67. kinguga says: Jan 16, 2012 4:51 PM

    This was just a bad call from the start. On the YouTube clip posted on this article, you can’t even tell what was or wasn’t touching the ground. (We can fault ESPN’s damn ticker for covering it up, although I didn’t see a clear shot during the actual game telecast.) Because of the initial bad call, Leavy needed clear proof to overturn it. He didn’t have it.

  68. vincentbojackson says: Jan 16, 2012 4:54 PM

    So the guy in charge of making the decision was the only one who didn’t clearly see what all the rest of us saw?

    Makes sense that he later claimed to see helmet to helmet contact on Rogers that never happened,

  69. vikingfan12 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:54 PM

    here’s one for us, the refs possibly gambled on GB ??, soo fishy, glad to see the pack gets there butts kicked, if it wasnt for the horrible officiating g men would put a fitty burger on em!!!

  70. gobigblue310 says: Jan 16, 2012 4:55 PM

    What a joke. The fact is the giants beat the pack twice this year. The officials stole the first win from them by giving Jennings a TD that wasn’t, and taking away a Ballard TD that clearly was. They tried hard to steal another win away yesterday but big blue was too good. Beating a 15-1 team, and a crew of officials at the same time on the road is pretty damn impressive. These officials absolutely need to be looked into.

  71. cmeyer49er says: Jan 16, 2012 5:00 PM

    On a related note, 60+ pass attempts by Brees on Saturday while the Saints’ offensive line was getting manhandled all day by the 49ers’ four-man rush, yet not a single holding call.

  72. johntonioholmes says: Jan 16, 2012 5:04 PM

    I had questioned whether the runner’s calf touching the ground counted. That was the only way that I could think that the ruling was justified.

    However, since I started watching football in 1995, I have never seen a runner ruled down because his calf touched the ground.

    Why wouldn’t Levy just enforce the rule that way that it has been understood since at least 1995 and probably since 1925.

    If that’s the case, why don’t they just start ruling in-the-grasp and eliminate the possibility of YAC.

    That was a bogus ruling and the league knows if.

    If they wanted to maintain any credibility they would have said just that.

    But the league is run like good totalitarian regime, and, thus, has to produce a high level of propaganda.

  73. johntonioholmes says: Jan 16, 2012 5:09 PM

    cmeyer49er

    It’s okay; I’m a Steelers fan. In 2008, the Steelers defense went 13 straight games without a holding penalty.

    Apparently, offensive lines only committed 3 holding calls the entire season against a defense that was #1 in every category.

    If you’re defense is too good, they won’t get holding calls.

  74. nywins42 says: Jan 16, 2012 5:12 PM

    Here is the shadiest part…one ref called it a fumble on the field and they went to commercial. When they returned we find out that they refs overturned their original decision outside of the challenge process. So, Coughlin had to challenge. If it was so cut and dry then why not leave it as a fumble and have GB challenge to get it overturned? The reversing of the original call was the shady part.

  75. dinkdribbler says: Jan 16, 2012 5:13 PM

    What a slap to every football fans face!! NFL you should be ashamed of yourself.

  76. jkcranshaw says: Jan 16, 2012 5:17 PM

    I don’t claim to be an anatomy expert… but based on the way the knee bends, if my calf hits the ground before either my hip or my a*s I am going to be in a lot of pain… my knee just doesn’t bend that way.

    In response to the person who referenced the Gronk touchdown review… his hand was under the ball the entire time. It was sort of hard to see it any other way based on the size if his hand and the fact that with those white gloves he looks like he has the Hamburger Helper mascot on his hand.

  77. glazerh8er says: Jan 16, 2012 5:18 PM

    I’m a neutral fan on this one. This was seriously the worst replay call I have ever seen. It was clearly a fumble, clearly.

  78. celbaum says: Jan 16, 2012 5:22 PM

    can someone explain how a shin can be down without the knee being down. my shin doesnt have a joint that allows that……arent they connected by one bone??

  79. omegalh says: Jan 16, 2012 5:43 PM

    Does the towel on jennings hip count? Thats the closest part to the ground.

  80. beeronthefridge says: Jan 16, 2012 5:45 PM

    Every week it’s becoming more obvious that the NFL referees are crooked!

    Their calls are based on who the NFL/Gamblers want to win.

    Godell, the creature from hell, is corrupt and should be fired, tarred, feathered and paraded on Wall Street.

  81. bhind8ball says: Jan 16, 2012 5:46 PM

    Your shin can be down, its happens all the time like when a reciever slides and his foot bends but usually the knee is down as well. But what does that have to do with this ruling NFL? No part of his body was down before the ball came loose. WTF man up fans are sick up this. And call some offensive holding calls. James Harrison gets held almost every play. 20/20 vision should be a must.

  82. scoregasmic says: Jan 16, 2012 6:06 PM

    Officiating sucks. And mike pereira needs to never speak on fox again, even though he was right this time, I’ve had enough of hearing him use the word process when I’m watching a lions game. He clearly despises certain teams and gets mad whenever someone makes a good point about why the rules are dumb. Gruden > pereira

  83. bbk1000 says: Jan 16, 2012 6:07 PM

    Just an opinion but to me the NFL wanted the Packers back in the game, the refs seem to be coached before each game as to what to do when they get into certain circumstances.

    Their explanation is garbage.

  84. drbob117 says: Jan 16, 2012 6:08 PM

    His calf was NOT down before he coughed it up;that was clear on replay to anyone who could see, so Leavy screwed up.Period.

  85. melikefootball says: Jan 16, 2012 6:08 PM

    How bogus the league is for when they get bombarded with question on a very obvious fumble by the fans and coaches and announcers they always answer with the exact paragraph of the rule in their eyes. the trouble with this type answer is there is so many calls that aren’t called by the paragraphs of the rule book and others called because the refs interpatation falls short of the actual rule. The rule of holding and the lame helmet to helmet unprotected player, roughing the passer, and pass interferance are calls that every Sunday you see not called over and over or called one game and not in ten others. Sad that the officials have gotten to the point they can’t make a call that they see individually and then have to have five others get together to call. God-del can’t see that is is taking away from the game as well as all the reviews.

  86. glac1 says: Jan 16, 2012 6:10 PM

    ok…. makes sense…

  87. stakex says: Jan 16, 2012 6:19 PM

    If the league simply said “It was a bad call, should have been a fumble.”, everything would be fine. However, giving such a bad excuse makes a bigger deal out of the whole thing then it should be since the Giants won anyway. Makes one kinda wonder why the league is so quick to give an obviously BS awnser when there is really not need to.

  88. optimus3 says: Jan 16, 2012 6:28 PM

    Even though it was an AWFUL call, I would respect the NFL a whole lot more if they just came out and something along the lines of, “Human error is part of the game,” or “The call should have been overturned and we will work to ensure this doesn’t happen again.” Show some goddamn humility for once instead of excusing it by not even providing a sensible explanation.

  89. ilovethenfl says: Jan 16, 2012 6:47 PM

    First, I am not a fan of either NY or Green Bay, though I have grandchildren living in both states. For officials to miss one or two calls can be accepted, because we’re humans and we make errors. However, the accumulation of bad calls and non-calls should send this official team back to the high school ranks. Over fifty years of watching the NFL, that I love so much, this officiating cannot be explained by the NFL, fans, or the officials themselves.

  90. squared80 says: Jan 16, 2012 6:58 PM

    This was all about getting Leavy’s favorite boyhood team, the Packers, into the Super Bowl. This is TWO MAJOR blunders on his part in playoff games… why is he still assigned to do them?

  91. trubroncfan07 says: Jan 16, 2012 7:04 PM

    Die hard Broncos fan, (Before Tebow) I can tell you right now that the calls the Broncos were not getting for the past 7-8 years, are now getting because of the whole Tebow media over hype deal. Not a huge Tebow fan, but boy does it pay to be the story in the NFL when it comes to the officiating.

  92. jakek2 says: Jan 16, 2012 7:07 PM

    1) The original call was “fumble”. Then, the refs strained to overturn the original call by ruling down by contact.

    2) Not only did Giants get completely hosed on the call, it forced them to burn a precious challenge and TO.

    3) I might have gotten a “C” in biology, but from a purely anatomy standpoint, isn’t it impossible for calf to hit the ground before the knee?? Wouldn’t they hit at the same time unless Jennings was a Transformer?

    – – – – Last thing the flag football league can afford is to think the NFL is the WWF.

  93. zaggs says: Jan 16, 2012 7:15 PM

    Actually Mike Pereira tweeted the calf part, but still said it was a fumble.
    Also unless the “Contrary to what was suggested during the game, there is no need for the runner’s knee to be on the ground.” has changed very recently there have been a few times where the runners shin, but not knee, was down after being touched and he was not considered down by contact.

  94. thatswhatimsayin says: Jan 16, 2012 7:38 PM

    My Tivo dislikes that explanation

  95. danlyle says: Jan 16, 2012 7:48 PM

    I can’t recall the timeline exactly, but it seemed like the first FOX televised replays of the Jennings strip all had bad angles that were inconclusive. Later on the clear view (best angle) showed up that really showed the ball out before any body part hit the deck. Did Leavy see that version? I would guess not, based on his decision.

    I wonder how the replays are fed to the “the hood” when the red flag flies. If there are 9 different camera angles and only one of them is useful for the call, how do they go through those? So many of the calls (or lack of calls) seemed really biased ( forward progress spotting, 5+ late hits on Manning, helmut on Rodgers (not)).

  96. Angry Orange Man says: Jan 16, 2012 8:37 PM

    OK…so what about the ludicrous roughing the passer call that led to another Packer TD?

    Two TD drives handed to the Packers and the Giants STILL won. I am proud of my team and Tom Coughlin for not bursting a blood vessel after these calls.

  97. aljack88 says: Jan 16, 2012 9:00 PM

    dontrunfromme says:
    Jan 16, 2012 4:37 PM
    Tuck rule. Worst call in all of professional sports. That is all. Carry on now.
    ———————————————————–

    No, the officiating by Ben Dreith during the 1976 playoff game between the Raiders and the Patriots was the worst officiating of any playoff game; high lighted by the bogus “roughing the passer” penalty on the Patriot’s Ray Hamilton.

    Dreith was so pathetically bad, for the next 14 years until he was “retired”, the NFL did not allow him to ref another Patriot’s game again.

  98. aljack88 says: Jan 16, 2012 9:16 PM

    Angry Orange Man says:
    Jan 16, 2012 8:37 PM
    I am proud of my team and Tom Coughlin for not bursting a blood vessel after these calls.
    ————————————————————
    I have a lot of respect for Coughlin. Not very many HCs could handle being under so much scrutiny for so long by the nation’s largest city’s media circus. After 3 weeks of the 2007 season, the city papers and the majority of their fans were calling for his head to roll. Tom just kept his teflon coat on and took the Giants to the SB crown.
    And again this year, they had been just about written off and yet they hang on and are playing their best ball of the season right now at the right time.

  99. bigjdve says: Jan 16, 2012 9:18 PM

    Something that I learned when I was training to be a softball umpire really hits home here.

    If you explain something at the time or before someone asks it is a reason, if you do so after you are asked it is an excuse.

    If he had just given his reasoning then, which I have seen some refs in the NFL do on close plays, it wouldn’t be this bad. It wouldn’t change the call or the BS helmet hit call on Osi, however it is what the NFL is right now.

  100. waxedagain says: Jan 16, 2012 10:26 PM

    Most fans don’t understand that the ref under the hood does not have a slow motion replay feed. The officials are fed normal speed replays. I don’t understand why, but perhaps the NFL is trying to be fair to officials who view the original play at normal speed. Still, they probably can stop/rewind the film at critical points to get a better view.

  101. equtrader says: Jan 16, 2012 11:06 PM

    Leavy should be bunking with Art Schlichter soon!

  102. sb139422 says: Jan 17, 2012 12:24 AM

    since the ruling on the field was that hes down by contact, by rule the ref has to see conclusive evidence that the ball was before his lower calf hit the ground. there is no angle of the replay that shows the ball out and also that his calf didnt hit the floor yet therefore it actually was a good call by rule. hate it if you want but leavy went by the book

  103. dannyreneau says: Jan 17, 2012 9:33 AM

    Being from Seattle Leavy’s officiating doesn’t surprise me in the least

    @paul82461

    3.Congress

  104. sojumaster says: Jan 17, 2012 11:34 AM

    I need to start putting bugs on the ref’s phones. That way I know who to put my money on.

  105. joseph1463 says: Jan 17, 2012 12:11 PM

    Bill Leavey is a disgrace. The NFL needs to get rid of these old men, paid very well for part time work. For the money they pay the officals they could hire full time officals, to get training, stay in shape. Leavey is incompetent, what a mess. The Giants were lucky not to be effected by this dismal officating crew.

  106. tgpaul says: Jan 17, 2012 1:11 PM

    Please explain to me how your calf can be on the ground but your knee isn’t barring your lower leg being snapped in half. As far as I can tell, the calf and knee are connected and if the calf is touching the ground the knee also will touch the ground. Try this… take a metal bar and have the middle of the metal bar touch the ground without the top touching the ground.

  107. vikingfaninpa says: Jan 17, 2012 9:04 PM

    Replay tells a different story. Doesn’t address the change in original ruling ? Doesn’t address the other bad calls / non calls. It’s obvious the fix was in. The fact that the league is attempting to defend this proves their support of those actions. If they were concerned with their integrity, they would make fire that crew and boast about it. It’s been going on for years and there is no one to police them. Follow the money: network ratings ? Vegas ?

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