Cary Williams didn’t realize he was pushing an official

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One of the most glaring bad calls in Super Bowl XLVII, which inexplicably didn’t draw much attention during the CBS broadcast, came when Ravens defensive back Cary Williams applied a two-handed shove to an official after early-game chippiness erupted into a full-blown brouhaha.

Williams was neither flagged nor ejected.  Both should have happened.

The looming free agent recently addressed the situation during a visit with our pals The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan in D.C.

It was in the moment, man,” Williams said, via  “It was one of those situations where you let your emotions get the best of you.  As far as I’m concerned, I remember my helmet getting ripped off by No. 49 or whatever, and I just reacted.  I didn’t see the ref; I didn’t realize he was there.  I just pushed whoever to try to get to him.

“I just think that with the Baltimore Ravens, I feel like we play aggressively but we play between the whistles.  There was a lot of things that was going on outside of the whistles or whatever, and it was frustrating.  But at the end of the day, it happened.  The ref saw that I wasn’t trying to intentionally get him or hurt him or harm him in any way, and I think he played it the right way.  He made the right call, he made the right decision.”

But he didn’t make the right call.  And he didn’t make the right decision.  Williams should have been flagged, and he should have been ejected.  There’s simply no discretion in the rule book on that point.

At a minimum, Williams can expect to be fined.

“The league hasn’t contacted me,” Williams said. “I don’t know if I need to contact them or whatever, but it’s a situation . . . and I just gotta deal with that.  So whenever it comes, I gotta cross that bridge when we get there.”

Don’t worry, Cary.  They know where to find you.  And find you they will.

46 responses to “Cary Williams didn’t realize he was pushing an official

  1. Why isn’t anyone talking about the 12 men that the 9ers had on the field on 4th down though. If anything that was also a missed call.

  2. I guess he is in the moment when he was on top of the 49er and throwing punches at him (and landing them) before his helmet was ripped off! Also after he shoved the official he grabbed his arm and pushed him away the 2nd time. If he was really in the moment that long, punched another player, and shoved an official twice? Well that is not the kind a moment a NFL player should be in and that even shows more of a reason he should have been ejected.

  3. This is the moment that signified the refs were not going to decide the game. It was up to the players. They let them play. The refs knew this is the Super Bowl and not some mid-season “throw away” game. These are the highest rated refs for a reason. They know what’s going on and aren’t getting drawn into the emotion or become a factor. A lot of no calls and the players have to adjust.

  4. There were a lot of non-calls for the ravens I’m sure raven players felt were the right no call.. I wish the niners showed up earlier but come on! one penalty besides that mele,

  5. Not to say his backup wouldnt make the same play, but he did break up a pass at the goal line later in the game.

    I dont recall (nor do i really care) if SF ended up scoring a TD on that drive instead of a FG, but at the very least it cost SF precious seconds that could have resulted in a hail mary at the end instead of the clock running out.

    A little no call/ejection could have had a big effect.

  6. Who cares. Emotions were running sky high. No intent there. But he does need to chill out a bit. He is always involved in little shoving matches. Very underrated player

  7. One of many calls not made. No matter who you were pulling for most can agree that was a terribly officiated game.

  8. I saw a picture of Justin Smith being blatantly held by the OL in one of the articles posted here.
    Not one holding penalty was called against the ravens. So much for a good officiated game.

    That was not the reason niners lost. Ravens played better. I am a niners fan.

  9. No one is getting thrown out during the Superbowl unless they are actively attacking the Ref. The Ref knew he wasn’t coming for him so good call. gg

  10. What if the official saw Cary Williams get his helmet ripped off while laying defenseless on the field and decided since he wasn’t flagging the 49er he shouldn’t flag Williams.

  11. timmons94 says: Feb 6, 2013 5:58 PM

    Who cares. Emotions were running sky high. No intent there. But he does need to chill out a bit. He is always involved in little shoving matches. Very underrated player

    Emotions run high in a lot of football games. You still can’t touch an official.

  12. Not a Ravens fan, but I’m glad he wasn’t ejected. The referees showed discretion; only 7 penalties were called. That’s the way it should be in a Super Bowl. Let the players play. Don’t ruin the game with too many flags.

  13. No it’s not a good call. The super bowl needs to be officiated like any other game. You don’t play a whole season and then change the rules to allow a brawl in the playoffs. This let em play idea is a crap saying. We all want the refs to go unnoticed and a non factor. But when a guy makes a play because he made a penalty then those need to be called. This football not ufc. That’s for other weekends…

  14. It’s understandable that he didn’t know who he was shoving.

    I mean, I guess the only solution to that mistake happening would be maybe don’t shove anyone.

    Or at least only shove someone when you know who it is you’re shoving.

  15. This is an example of a good non call by the official. The official recognized the gravity of the game and more than likely figured he wasn’t the target.

  16. I am enjoying all of the controversy surrounding the officiating of the Super Bowl. Not that long ago, many of the same people were begging the NFL to bring these refs back because the replacements weren’t making calls at critical times.

    The sequence at the end of the game, the shoving of the official, and the non-calls on contact down field.

    I hope the rumors of a cleanup of officiating quality is true because as it currently stands, these ‘regular’ refs are not that much superior to the replacements.

    Step 1: Get rid of Winter and Hoculi. And Bogar is close to making the list after Sunday’s performance.

  17. Another hater post by florio. The refs completely made the right call by not ejecting him. Anyone would have done the sane thing and the ref realized that. And i guess its too much to ask to talk about how the fight started and Cary was mugged. Those thinking or talking about how the only noncalls went for the ravens either weren’t watching or just can’t take their feelings out of it.

  18. Guess what started it all? #97 from the Ravens came in from behind and put a shoulder into #74 for the niners knees. Then Williams is punching a niner in the stomach. That’s when his helmet got ripped off. They should have knocked him out. Dirty player. ( watch the video. it shows who was giving cheap shots)

  19. You don’t eject players from the Super Bowl unless they do a lot more than shove an official during a group free-for-all. Of course, I might have more perspective on this if the shove didn’t occur during one of the 10 or so times the CBS feed blacked out on our cable system for at least 20-30 seconds during the game. Grrrr.

  20. You know it’s a slow news day when media REPEATS a a story that they talked about right after the superbowl.

  21. Rod Smith got ejected for incidental contact with an official in 03. Intent doesn’t matter Williams should have got run in the SB.

  22. Williams didn’t just push a ref, just before that, he was on top of a 49ers O-lineman, punching him in the chest, when somebody pulled him off, he pushed the ref and then continued to try to fight in the photo shown, with the same ref trying to hold him back.

    It was incredible there was no call and no ejection for either punching or the shove. The NFL was just lucky that the teams calmed themselves down – the refs certainly did nothing to control the game.

    I really thought the Superbowl refs acted just like the shy replacement refs early in the year – no control of the game and not enough spine to throw flags – just awful officiating.

  23. Not even a flag . . . from the same ref who had the flag sewn into his pocket on the Crabtree fade.

    And can somebody explain to me like I’m a two year old how not a single flag was thrown for any one of seven Baltimore holding fouls (actually tackles) on the punt/safety play? That was fishy enough for me to cast a wary eye at the integrity of the Shield.

    The fact that it didn’t matter doesn’t excuse or explain the lack flags. And “Ah, the refs just let em play” doesn’t fly in this case.

  24. Brandon Stokely was ejected a few years ago when he was swinging his arm in frustration and it grazed an official’s hand on follow through. There was no question it was accidental and barely contacted the official. This was a two handed shove! I don’t care if you’re Tom Brady in the Super Bowl or one of the Colquitt brothers in the Pro Bowl. If the precedent is set, then he should have been tossed. If the league doesn’t suspend him a game then it’s just further evidence of the hippocracy.

  25. The same ref makes the no call on the contact that is universally called a bad no call, also makes the no call on the key fourth down at the end of the game (ex-ref commentators are 50-50 on that one). What other calls were made or not made by this man?

    As Mr. Holmes would say, ‘there are no conincidences’.

  26. If he wasn’t trying to fight with a Niners player it would never have happened…a point no one cares to talk about. This was the Superbowl…millions watching…including kids…and the chippiness and fighting…poor sportsmanship on both sides. And the Head Coaches with their dramatic flair…and hissy fits….all I can do is SMH

  27. My wife doesn’t watch much football and I was trying to explain the rules to her based on the NFL rule book, but none of them applied in this game. There are 2 weeks that lead up to the Super Bowl, allow the coaches to review the new rules before hand. If you gonna let things go, awesome, but let everyone know so they can base their game plan on it.
    I think the Ravens did their share to win this game but it was decided by the refs and even Ravens fans should not be happy because so many think they have a tainted title.

  28. I’m still waiting on the NFL to fine Harbaugh for the cursing out of the NFL VP.

    But I guess a coach grabbing an official by the elbow to get his attention is much more serious.

  29. There was a lot of pushing and shoving going on from both sides during that scrum… but even as a Ravens fan, I was even surprised that he got away with not even a flag…

  30. I agree thry should let the players play the game. However the rules are there for a reason. If it shouldn’t be enforced during the SB, then in shouldn’t be on the books.

  31. If they are going to change the rules for the Super Bowl shouldn’t they tell everyone before the game?

  32. Just one of the many examples of poor officiating!! The Super Bowl does not have its own set of rules. It should be called like any other game.

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