The new Wade Phillips book, Son of Bum, contains plenty of stories from decades of NFL experience. One story relates to the aftermath of the last time the Bills played in the postseason.
In the offseason following a loss to the Titans as a result of the notorious Music City Miracle, an officiating crew traveled to Buffalo to review with Phillips and his staff the rule changes for the coming season. The presentation included video of certain plays from the prior year, with an explanation as to why certain calls were or weren’t made.
“All of a sudden, one of the first plays to appear on the screen was the Music City Mistake,” Phillips writes. “They didn’t just show the play, but they also said it was an example of ‘why we’ve got good officiating’ in the NFL. I couldn’t believe it. None of us could. . . .
“That really made me mad. Every coach in that room was fuming. As far as I was concerned, our meeting was over. ‘Turn it off!’ I said. ‘We don’t want to see that. First of all, it’s wrong. And for your to sit there and say it’s right is wrong. You need to get out of here right now.'”
And they did.
Phillips, by the way, takes responsibility for authorizing a “bloop” kick in that spot without clarifying that the ball should be kicked toward the sideline and not down the middle of the field. He also admits to not having a good plan for the situation, and for not being properly prepared.
But he still insists that Titans tight end Frank Wycheck threw an illegal forward pass, and Phillips contends that the officials didn’t overrule the call on the field via replay review because “[t]hey probably thought they would have gotten lynched” by a hostile crowd in Nashville.
The real hostility came later, when the seemingly mild-mannered Phillips ejected league officials who had engaged in even worse planning and preparation than Phillips and the Bills had.
Son of Bum, written by Phillips with Vic Carucci, is available at Amazon and elsewhere.