A day after the NFL supported, sort of, the decision to pick up the flag that had been thrown at the end of the Patriots-Panthers game, the NFL has acknowledged that it does not support Clete Blakeman’s bare-bones, real-time explanation of the non-call.
Said Blakeman at the time: “There is no foul on the play. The game is over.”
Should he have said more?
“Yes, absolutely,” the league office tells PFT. “In that situation, we certainly want the referee to explain over the mic why the flag was picked up and why the play did not result in a foul.”
While a more detailed explanation would have done nothing to make the call more or less accurate, it would have gone a long way toward making the general public feel good about the outcome. In an age where opinions become quickly cemented and then shouted around the world via Twitter, it’s important for the league to set the agenda quickly. And there’s no quicker way to do it than to have the referee tell the world the moment after the play happened.
People love to complain about guys like Ed Hochuli, who likes to talk even more than he likes to wear tight shirts. But having Hochuli assigned to Monday night’s game would have resulted in a far more detailed explanation than the one we got.
We possibly wouldn’t have been able to understand it, but that’s still better than having nothing at all.