Ref from Hail Mary game agitated by lingering questions in Detroit

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One of the biggest plays of the 2015 NFL season happened in Detroit in December, when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw a 61-yard game-winning Hail Mary. But it was the play before that play that still gets questioned in Detroit.

On the previous play, time expired as Rodgers was tackled, only for the Packers to get one more untimed down when Lions defensive end Devin Taylor was flagged for facemasking. That controversial penalty was called by referee Carl Cheffers, who visited Lions camp today.

When Justin Rogers of the Detroit News asked Cheffers to view a video of the play and explain the call today, Cheffers became agitated.

“Dude, I’m not going to watch that again,” Cheffers said, walking away. “It’s 2016, dude.”

Whether you think the call was right or wrong, referees shouldn’t be above getting questioned. If the NFL wants fans to have confidence that the refs are doing their jobs correctly, then the NFL should encourage refs to answer questions about why they made the calls they made.

48 responses to “Ref from Hail Mary game agitated by lingering questions in Detroit

  1. Clearly not a face mask after review, but from the angle the referee and America saw on live TV, it undoubtedly seemed to be a face mask. So, why berate the guy?

  2. What do you want him to explain? He made a mistake. He made a call based on what he thought he was going to see rather than on what actually happened. He saw a Lion touch Li’l Aaron, Li’l Aaron turned his head, and the ref decided he was going to make a terrible call.

    The people who need to explain are the Packer fans who still think their team earned a victory that day.

    Also, the Lions coach who diagrammed the Hail Mary Defense play.

  3. When happening at game speed and from the angle he was standing I could see how he could call it as a facemask even if it in fact was not.

    Leave the guy alone.

    He’s right it is 2016 and a new season is upon us.

    I’m sure he understands he made the wrong call and I can understand why he doesn’t want to revisit the play he got wrong. What more can be said at this point by bringing it up?

    That’s right… nothing.

  4. I love that replay because you get to see the full Rodgers package. First he cries to the ref with his standard hands in the air move and then after he gets the call he immediately turns and starts finding fault with one of his teammates and bitches at him.

  5. ” I love that replay because you get to see the full Rodgers package. First he cries to the ref with his standard hands in the air move and then after he gets the call he immediately turns and starts finding fault with one of his teammates and bitches at him.”
    ===
    Remember this statement when it’s done to your favorite team this year.
    13 time NFL champions.

  6. He should have viewed it with the Detroit News and pointed out when the face mask took place. It was very easy to see….

  7. The official called the penalty at game speed and live. We watched the play from 17 different angles, over and over for weeks. I do find humor in all these armchair officials who slog around this website. I would like to see one of you cats do what an NFL official has to do. These officials are in the 40s, 50s and 60s and there isn’t a dude in here who could keep up to any of them. You all can judge them after the fact and after you see super slow motion replays of the play for a week though. The same people calling it a bad call, probably defended the moronic replacement official who called an interception a touchdown in Seattle a couple years ago.

  8. Unfortunately, some teams like the Packers, Cowboys and Patriots get all the calls in their favor. These are not honest mistakes.

  9. Exactly, cheese! They don’t want to look at the replay because it exposes Rodgers. And they don’t want to talk about it because it’s obvious that GB received preferential treatment. In real time it wasn’t a penalty and the replay just reinforces it.

  10. Refs should be above questioning. They are the refs, right or wrong they are always right, that’s how it works.

    Kind of like it used to be with police officers, until everyone realized just how many unarmed “suspects” they were gunning down. And that’s the problem, once we start questioning their every move and decision, it begins to compromise their ability to make the thousands of little decisions they have to make in the heat of the moment.

    Now with police, we have to find the proper balance, because when they make a mistake it can result in someone’s death. We have to balance their ability to do their job effectively with our expectation of public safety.

    With refs, nobody dies when they make an error. Human judgement will always be susceptible to errors but so long as the worst that happens is that Detroit loses 9 games instead of 7 (throwing in the Seahawks game too), we shouldn’t be compromising their ability to freely make their instantaneous judgements based purely on their eyes and instincts. If we start making them answer for every questionable call, self-doubt will inevitably creep in and start affecting every single play.

    So, please, leave the refs alone. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, the system is a bad one, but not as bad as all the alternatives.

  11. @InTeddyWeTrust

    The Packers DID earn a victory that day. They got a W and the Lions got a loss. Bad calls happen all the time. One play doesnt make a game. Next time maybe the Lions wont allow “lil Rodgers” to complete a 61 yard td pass. “Lil Teddy” couldnt even throw a football 61 yards.

  12. shaggytoodle says:
    Aug 5, 2016 4:57 PM

    At full speed, I would expect anyone to make the same call.
    _________

    Except for someone who only makes a call that they actually see, rather than what they think might have happened. The ref didn’t see a facemask, so why is he calling it? How about the standard should be that you only make the call if you actually see the infraction?

  13. The same people calling it a bad call, probably defended the moronic replacement official who called an interception a touchdown in Seattle a couple years ago.
    ————
    Say what you will about the replacement refs but give them credit for making the correct call on the ‘Fail Mary’ play.

    Don’t believe me search “why-the-seahawks-packers-finish-was-not-an-interception-and-why-it-would-have-been-called-the-same-by-any-referee-crew”

    You know you at the correct page when you are hearing the chariots of fire music.

  14. The same people calling it a bad call, probably defended the moronic replacement official who called an interception a touchdown in Seattle a couple years ago.
    ————
    Say what you will about the replacement refs but give them credit for making the correct call on the ‘Fail Mary’ play.

    Don’t believe me search “why-the-seahawks-packers-finish-was-not-an-interception-and-why-it-would-have-been-called-the-same-by-any-referee-crew”

    You know you at the correct page when you are hearing the chariots of fire music.

  15. Everybody but those with cheese brains know that it was a terrible call and Rodgers is a whiny little biatch . Even his own brother can’t stand him .

  16. that’s the textbook Donald Trump response of someone who knows he was wrong as Saturday night sin on that call–wrong for calling it in the first place and wrong for not at least consulting his crew before making the call final;

    too bad it’s not the old days–Alex Karras would’ve damn near killed him with his helmet, Carl Brettschneider with his bare hands and Joe Schmidt would’ve peed on him on sight…and that is more than he is worth;

    Green Bay and Seathl had no damn business making the playoffs on the back of two of the worst calls ever seen in officiating ANYTHING, just like Dallas had no business advancing past Detroit the year before on one of the most blatant non-face-guarding calls since one of Cleopatra’s maids dropped a palm on the barge 3000 years ago, not to mention twelve players on the field between plays–but then, the NFL are the paragon of fairness and honesty, always have been, right?

    what do WWE and NFL have in common?

    they use the same referees!

  17. Baffling how you can call something that you didn’t actually see happen. When you screw up that epically you have to expect that you’re going to be scrutinized…. for years.

  18. A few years ago a Vikings player crashed into a Bears punter while he was off his feet and in the air. Knocked him down. Big no-no off his feet and hitting leading leg. Automatic.

    Guess what? No call, and the Vikings went on and kicked a winning field goal.

    I don’t recall the Vikings fans screaming for a replay.

  19. I agree that refs are not above questioning. However that doesn’t mean that he has to answer the same question every time it is asked. He has clearly talked about the call many, many times. He is just tired of talking about it which is kind of normal for any person including a referee.

  20. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Aug 5, 2016 4:55 PM
    …….. He saw a Lion touch Li’l Aaron, Li’l Aaron turned his head, and the ref decided he was going to make a terrible call.
    ///////////////////

    C’mon, dude, be original. Li’l Aaron? Just because Li’l Teddy has been written here many times, I get why you’d consider this. Are you related to ArianiCody?

    Don’t tell me next I’ll see from you “Li’l Aaron looks so cute running around out there trying to play football” or “Tinyhands Rodgers”.

    Still
    Keep
    On
    Losing SKOL!!!!!!! (I do give you permission to use this)

  21. This Packer fan says no referee is losing respect by not answering redundant, last year questions from wanna be media types.
    Dude made the call.
    Rodgers made the throw.
    Rogers made the catch.
    Move on.

  22. Dude. Make the right call – no matter what year it is – and you won’t get questioned about it, dude. Dude.

  23. I agree with most everyone else here saying that at game speed it looked like a facemask. But when Justin Rogers offered to show the video, it was in response to the ref saying that he still believes it was the right call and that the other players on the team looked guilty after the call. I think trying to show the video was an appropriate response.

  24. All he had to do was admit he made a wrong call. Instead he he called it a good call. If you are a ref and have seen the video. Calling that a good call should be grounds for demotion.

  25. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Aug 5, 2016 5:24 PM

    The ref didn’t see a facemask, so why is he calling it? How about the standard should be that you only make the call if you actually see the infraction?
    __________________________

    I didn’t realize there are humans on this planet that can say with certainty that they know what another human saw with his eyes, as you seem to be able to do.

    Dude, that’s incredible. And to think you’re wasting your talent commenting on a football blog.

  26. A few years ago a Vikings player crashed into a Bears punter while he was off his feet and in the air. Knocked him down. Big no-no off his feet and hitting leading leg. Automatic.

    Guess what? No call, and the Vikings went on and kicked a winning field goal.

    I don’t recall the Vikings fans screaming for a replay.
    ——————————
    What is a leading leg? Are you sure you were not watching dancing and imaging this whole thing?

  27. Refs are supposed to be stodgy old farts. Any ref using the term “Dude” should be fired. 🙂

  28. What was he supposed to do? Admit the league office buzzed him and told him to call a BS penalty so one of their favorite teams could get one last chance to win the game??

  29. The Packers decline is a hard thing to watch for some people. They will need a lot more refs to save their bacon this year. Zimmers time is now

  30. The team obviously just wanted to show the ref he was “wrong.” There’s no “learning moment” from the play, like a fine point in the rules the team didn’t understand. Kind of bush league move, if you ask me.

    If the hail mary hadn’t worked, they never would have asked this question. Fix your hail mary defense before baiting a ref who made an understandable mistake in real time. Work to make those kinds of calls reviewable if you’re that upset, but please, give it up, you lost and got a higher draft pick as a result. You know who should be mad? The Redskins and whoever missed the playoffs bevause the Packers got in.

  31. The Packers fans who think the face mask was a good call are the same fans who have to cling onto the hope that the refs will help them find any way to win.

  32. skol4life says:
    Aug 5, 2016 9:22 PM

    The Packers decline is a hard thing to watch for some people. They will need a lot more refs to save their bacon this year. Zimmers time is now

    You Viking fans are hilarious!! Dream on, you happen to win the division once in how many years (of course get knocked out of the playoffs right away) and now you are beating your chest! The Pack is still the superior team and the Vikings……..well are still the Vikings. Hey, I just heard they are moving the trophy case in your new stadium to make room for the Packer fans when they play up there!

  33. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Aug 5, 2016 4:55 PM

    What do you want him to explain? He made a mistake.
    ———————————–
    Exactly. That’s all he had to do… admit he made a mistake. He didn’t. He, along with everyone else, knows it was the wrong call so he continues to get questioned about it.

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