In close games, tempers usually flare between opposing forces. On Sunday, the Redskins and Patriots were in a back forth battle from the start, trading blows on each drive. Of course in the game of football, there will be some questionable calls, and referees will make mistakes. But on Sunday there was no excuses when the officiating team flagged, conferenced, then upheld a bogus penalty against London Fletcher.
Known as one of the nicest guys in the league, Redskins linebacker London Fletcher was flagged for an unnecessary hit on QB Tom Brady. When the replays were shown, it was clear that Fletcher’s forearm hit the chest of a slow sliding Brady. The Redskins star linebacker then went on a rampage, getting in the face of the officiating crew, a rare antic by Fletcher. That play moved the Patriots farther into Redskins territory and was capped by a touchdown that ended up being crucial in the loss. After the game, coach Mike Shanahan was asked about the play, and called it a “horrible” penalty. You could also hear the loud boos from the FedEx field fans as replays poured over the stadium. After the flag went flying, a play by play announcer for the game said “He (Fletcher) better calm down or he’ll be heading for the showers early.” The only possible explanation for a fine on Fletcher, which is not expected, would be verbal abuse on an official.
Officials may not notice, but plays like these cost teams games, and sometimes playoff hopes. And it turns out Fletcher wasn’t the only one who disagreed. as Tom Brady was quoted saying it was a clean hit. It seems as if the entire world even disagreed with the call, because Twitter does not lie. So what do you think? Was it clean? Was it on the line? Or, are these officials just ruining the game?