Jack Del Rio did not appreciate Gene Steratore’s smirk after first down measurement

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When referee Gene Steratore ruled that the Cowboys picked up a crucial first down on Sunday night, it was so close that he pulled out a slip of paper to see if there was any space between the ball and the stick marking the line to gain. As he stood up to signal a Cowboys first down, he smiled about the unusual situation.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was not amused.

“How you can look at that then get up with a smirk?” Del Rio said today. “I don’t know. That’s hard to take.”

Although Steratore wasn’t quite as demonstrative as umpire Leslie Nielsen calling strike three in The Naked Gun, he did seem to be enjoying the moment at a time when Raiders fans were understandably upset about what they thought was a bad call going against them.

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who gave Steratore a pat on the butt as he signaled the first down, liked seeing Steratore smile and signal first down. Del Rio did not.

80 responses to “Jack Del Rio did not appreciate Gene Steratore’s smirk after first down measurement

  1. Del Rio isn’t going anywhere. Raiders gave him a new four year deal in February and can’t afford to buy him out. Smooth move, Reggie.

  2. He also smirked when the highly overrated, overpaid David, err I mean Derrick Carr fumbled the game away.

  3. ref did a great job
    unusual circumstances and a great answer
    we all smiled
    it was a first down and I hate Jerry Jones, so I automatically hate the cowboys
    but it was a unique situation and an amazing answer by the ref
    grow up Del Rio

  4. All first down makers should be equipped with a bubble level so it is certain that it is on a proper 90 degree angle and second there should be a kick plate attached to the bottom and if the nose of the ball touches kick plate ,,,,,first downnnnnnnnnnn !

  5. It was a terrible call, it clearly wasn’t a first down as there was a small gap in between the ball and the marker. Will up until that point was no first down, raider ball. Maybe they score a td or fgn while milking the clock? But we had our chance at the end and Carr should have run it in or slid, we still have time for more plays. Crabtree being take out on last play for phantom concussion was another thing. But it’s just been bad referring all year plus the other stuff which is annoying at this point. Remember when everyone was making fun of MLB? Well they got it right now and NFL doesn’t anymore, and the raiders offensive playing is not where it was last year.

  6. Im not a fan of either team but since he was easily able to place the index card between the ball and the stick doesnt that mean it was short of the line?

  7. He smirked and laughed at the Raiders multiple times during the game. It was not a one time thing. It seemed like he enjoyed it. He’s there to ref a game, not to put on theatrics.

  8. Del Rio should worry more about the lousy job he and his team have done this year. I mean, c’mon Jack! Grow up!
    The officials have a job to do that is every bit as difficult as being a head coach, and in every game, 50% of the people say they did a good job, and the other 50% blame them for their team losing.
    I was glad to see Steratore smile, because it was that close of a call, and it’s good to see that officials are human, too, and not robots. Staratore is an excellent official and he does a great job each and every week. Too bad Del Rio can’t say that about himself or his team.

  9. Measuring the first down with a folded piece of paper was one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen in the NFL. What’s next the referees playing rock, paper and scissors?

  10. So let me get this straight, last two years Del Rio was seen as a good veteran coach who took some chances and got the most out of his team, now this same team with no defensive talent to be seen, a QB who forgot how to play, a WR who forgot how to catch, now it’s all coach’s fault. Right.

  11. “upnorthvikesfan says:
    December 18, 2017 at 6:58 pm
    Gene Steratore has been making bad calls all season. Worst ref in the game!”

    ————
    It was Steratores first game in 3 years.

    Thx Viking fan.

  12. Jack the offense still started the game on 4 flat tires until 3 minutes left to the first half. Just like I dont know how many other games. Thats your responsability.

    You get routinely outcoached and the team looks unprepared and checked out week in and week out.

    Go for a walk and dont come back please!

  13. Dak had a 1st down, Garrett would have challenged the play and the overhead view would have shown it, it was a bad spot to begin with

  14. Why are no raiders fans talking about the gift pass interference call and your o line holding on every down and not getting called. Grabbing Beasley and pulling him to the ground not called. Face mask on Morris twice not called. Stop crying you lost poor fans . Just like your coach. Its why Dallas cut him when he played for them

  15. So we have technology sort out everything else but for first downs it’s still two sticks and a chain.

  16. Dallas fans saw the same smirk and seemingly indifference to the
    Dez catch vs non catch at Green Bay. He seemed to have had his mind
    made up before a thorough review and quickly walked to the field after a
    5 second review to announce a non catch.
    I thought the game was horribly officiated. There was no consistency.
    There was a ton of offensive interference on both sides. Sometimes it was
    called …other times it was not. There seemed to be no clear standard.
    So it ended up in a free for all.
    There is a big problem with the officiating in the NFL. I feel like the officials
    are afraid. If they don’t call a technical penalty they could get in trouble ..
    if they let players play as they should ..they get in trouble. No way should a red
    call a defensive holding on a DB playing on the right side …when the Qb does a
    3 step in route to the left. The penalty had no effect on the play ..yet it is called.
    Tell the fans that .,.pick up the flag. If a d- lineman is lined up slightly offside
    don’t call it unless it ended up being a factor or at least warn him ….one inch
    is not a factor. So bottom line use common sense ..do not call technical
    penalties that don’t effect the play or game.

  17. You’re upset about the smirk?! What about the offense? Are u upset about the offense or defense? That’s the same smirk teams have when they have to play us. Pathetic. You’re worried about a smirk. Great!

  18. ref is just laughing because he knows how fun it is to ref a raider game- he knows he gets to make a bunch of bogus calls all night long, and the league does nothing about it. He also smiled on the offensive pass interference call on Jared Cook when Sean Lee held him, that took away the Raiders TD in the first half…..Personally I think he was smiling because he knew how much money he was about to go collect in Vegas

  19. The Raiders are the only team in the NFL, that has to beat the Officials, and their opponent week in, and week out, which means the NFL does not provide all 32 teams with the same chance of winning, which boys, and girls makes the NFL a corrupt enterprise!

  20. Things JDR should be worried about:

    – horrible starts by an offense that has a $125M QB and the highest paid offensive line in football
    – holding penalties by a punt return unit when the field position from the punting team dictates that there will be, at most, a fair catch
    – defensive backs that can’t cover a wide receiver
    – linebackers that can’t cover tight ends consistently (although 96 year old Jason Witten was covered once by 92 year old Navarro Bowman.

    He needs to stop whining and figure out why his team has stopped listening to him and the rest of his staff.

  21. I don’t care about either team, but it was a bad spot anyway. First down or not, it would have been reversed when the Cowboys challenged it.

  22. are you freaking serious?

    an NFL head coach is worried about the ‘smirk’ on an officials face?

    That is a major problem and probably why the Raiders are 6-8 this year.

  23. He was smiling because he was thinking about that check he got after the game. If anyone thinks these refs don’t take some on the side for favors then you’ve never objectively watched a game.

  24. He probably smirked because he realized how ludicrous it is that a league with this much money hasn’t developed a system to electronically measure first downs and seems to have a rule controversy every week. Most good high school conferences are run smoother than the NFL.

  25. jjfootball says:
    December 18, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    The Raiders are the only team in the NFL, that has to beat the Officials, and their opponent week in, and week out
    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    The Raiders lost because their idiot QB ran toward the end zone at the end of the game and then, for no reason at all, chucked the ball through the end zone. You can blame Gene Steratore’s smirk for that, but it was about the worst play I’ve seen a QB make since Bob Avellini sucked wind for the Bears every Sunday,

  26. It reminds me of an MNF game years ago when Jerome Boger high fived Vince Young only moments after gifting the Titans a win over the Texans with a well-timed phantom penalty. The NFL went to some length to cover it up.

    Also worth noting, Boger reffing a Texans game always meant they were going to lose. I stopped keeping track after 2015 or so, but Houston had never won a game he’d officiated.

  27. Really? A smirk has your attention. The Raiders are probably the most under achieving team in the league this year. Maybe any distraction from that point will do.

  28. flipola says:
    December 18, 2017 at 9:23 pm
    Egads! Not a smirk!

    —————
    IKR? Im sitting here in utter shock.

  29. howiehandles says:
    December 18, 2017 at 9:21 pm
    He probably smirked because he realized how ludicrous it is that a league with this much money hasn’t developed a system to electronically measure first downs and seems to have a rule controversy every week. Most good high school conferences are run smoother than the NFL.

    9 0 Rate This

    ———————

    would be hard for goodell to cheat with his precious article 46 if they had stuff like that.

    some of you aren’t getting it…lawyers like to leave things nice and grey in order to lie and manipulate the truth, hence why goodell testified in the back of his article 46. it does not matter what the truth is, it matters what goodell wants to do to keep making millions

  30. jjfootball says:
    December 18, 2017 at 8:53 pm
    The Raiders are the only team in the NFL, that has to beat the Officials, and their opponent week in, and week out, which means the NFL does not provide all 32 teams with the same chance of winning, which boys, and girls makes the NFL a corrupt enterprise!

    17 17 Rate This

    ————-

    ahem

    – pats fans

  31. If you’re going to use the paper/card to measure the gap, why fold it? And if you fold it, why not fold it flat? The ref made the gap smaller by making the paper/card thicker with the fold. If the paper/card fit in the gap that means there is space. If there is space, it’s not a 1st down. Getting dumber by trying to be smart.

  32. 14 penalties on the Raiders???
    Seriously if you are trying so hard to prove it’s a first down … you know its not.

  33. I haven’t read this anywhere, but I believe the folded paper was not used the way people are assuming…the nose of the ball was offset to the stick (there is no room for the nose to be exactly in line with the stick, because the chain is in the way)…I think Steratore used the paper (touching the stick and the nose) to determine which half of the paper was closer to the nearest yard marker short of the line to gain, by eyeballing the paper…if the paper looked like it moved away from the yard marker going from stick to nose, that’s a first down…if the paper looked like it moved closer to the yard marker going from stick to nose, that’s not a first down…the paper was folded to help insure the paper remained straight without bending…

  34. maverick2560 says:
    December 18, 2017 at 8:19 pm
    Dallas fans saw the same smirk and seemingly indifference to the
    Dez catch vs non catch at Green Bay. He seemed to have had his mind
    made up before a thorough review and quickly walked to the field after a
    5 second review to announce a non catch.
    I thought the game was horribly officiated. There was no consistency.
    There was a ton of offensive interference on both sides. Sometimes it was
    called …other times it was not. There seemed to be no clear standard.
    So it ended up in a free for all.
    There is a big problem with the officiating in the NFL. I feel like the officials
    are afraid. If they don’t call a technical penalty they could get in trouble ..
    if they let players play as they should ..they get in trouble. No way should a red
    call a defensive holding on a DB playing on the right side …when the Qb does a
    3 step in route to the left. The penalty had no effect on the play ..yet it is called.
    Tell the fans that .,.pick up the flag. If ad- lineman is lined up slightly offside
    don’t call it unless it ended up being a factor or at least warn him ….one inch
    is not a factor. So bottom line use common sense ..do not call technical
    penalties that don’t effect the play or game.

    ————————————————————————————-

    I don’t know how long you have been watching the NFL but I have been watching it since 1960. In my opinion, there was far less controversy with the officiating before replay and the challenge replay came along. The officials used to call the games as they saw them and everyone lived with it, because bad calls seemed to even out. Now, the officials are told when in doubt, throw the flag and let replay sort it out. The problem is, all replay does is cause more controversy. If they’d get rid of all replay, it would be a much better game, in my view. Because the games wouldn’t be stopped as they are now, which serves to take away one teams’ momentum very often, and there would be far less controversy.
    As for the officials favoring one team over the other, I think that’s ridiculous.
    The other thing I wish is all the fans who complain about officiating should go and give it a try somewhere, even if it’s Pee Wee Football. I used to officiate a men’s flag football league and I’ll tell you right now, it’s not nearly as easy as it looks. Especially when you deal with rowdy players and even rowdier fans. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to officiate in the NFL at the speed they play and knowing you’re under a microscope on every call.
    Plus, the NFL has made the rules so difficult that no one knows what pass interference, holding, or a catch is.
    If coaches and players did their jobs as well as the officials do theirs, it would be a much better league. Because the officials get it right about 95% of the time and that’s far better than the coaches and players do.

  35. Had the ball been properly inflated it would have been a first down. NFL should do a hokey investigation and suspend Carr. And Brady, he started it all.

  36. There’s some good comments in here. I always thought Gene Steratore was a good looking guy (there’s nothing wrong with that) but I can’t get the crack above about him looking like Sid Caesar out of my head.

    Also, Hollywood Jack isn’t going to Vegas. Well, he is, and wait until you see him out there in the limelight. Instant star (in his own mind)- hair slicked back, new clothes, may even bring the suit back to the sidelines like he did in Jax, pool interviews a la Namath.

    The tuck rule was just the makeup for the phantom holding call on Sugar Bear Ray Hamilton back in the mid-seventies.

  37. I’m a raider fan and Del Rio needs to get over that and fix this team. We had a chance to win the game at the end. I thought the first down measurement thing was entertaining, even though it went against my team, it was entertaining. When the measurement is that close, it can go either way.

  38. patbutler87 says:

    December 18, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    So let me get this straight, last two years Del Rio was seen as a good veteran coach who took some chances and got the most out of his team, now this same team with no defensive talent to be seen, a QB who forgot how to play, a WR who forgot how to catch, now it’s all coach’s fault. Right.
    ——————————-
    Firing the OC of the 5th ranked offense and keeping Ken Norton will get you fired.

  39. Some people cannot see beyond their own biases and conspiracy paranoia. I saw the smirk and I did not think he was smirking because he gets to screw the Raiders over. I thought he was smirking because “You must be kidding. I can’t believe I just had to do that on national television”

  40. Jason Garrett seemed to have no problem with the smirk. I imagine that Del Rio would have been OK with it and Garrett would have been upset if the call went the other way.

  41. sonofpenn says:
    December 19, 2017 at 10:03 am
    If you can fit a folded piece of paper between the ball and the stick, it’s not a first down.

    ************************
    And if the official holding the stick holds it straight up and down, you see that it was in fact a first down. Collinsworth mentioned on the broadcast and Garrett was arguing on the sideline during the measurement that the stick was leaned back away from the ball.

    Also, the ball and the stick were offset due to the chain….so he didnt “fit the a folded piece of paper between the ball and the stick” as you put it.

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