I watched the Pats lose to the Colts at Joe Sent Me last night. They weren't actually playing in the bar -- but it felt a little like it, since, as someone commented, the big line of broken pixels splitting the TV screen down the middle conveyed the feeling of actually being at the park stuck behind a pole.
I don't usually revel in the failures of others, but I did cheer loudly to see Vinatieri choke not once, but twice. The iceman melteth.
Worst. Officiated. Game. Ever. My evidence: They flagged TROY BROWN for "taunting". This was comical enough, flagging one of the most understated and mature players in the game for an attitude problem. It's sort of like flagging Mother Teresa (born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) for "unnecessary roughness". Turns out that was also the catch that tied Brown with Stanley Morgan's record for career receptions. Here's what Troy Brown said about it after the game:
I still don't know what happened. He apologized to me. I told him that the ball boy was standing right next to him, and I usually toss the ball to the ball boy after I get up off the ground. It's what I've done my whole career. Later on at the end of the first quarter, he apologized to me. He said, 'if I made a mistake, then I apologize,' and I said, 'You did.' I don't know the reason for it. For me to get up and throw a ball at somebody...common sense would tell you that a player's not going to just stand up, look at the ref and throw the ball right at the player's head. He called it, but we overcame it. We had that big play down the sideline to get us out of that jam. It wasn't a good call, but I guess he was just doing his job.
One of the problems with football as a game is the way highly dissimilar actions are penalized at the same level. So Brown flipping the ball over his shoulder is penalized to the same degree as T. O. laying down in the end zone, using the ball as a pillow and pretending to go to sleep. Brown was in good company though, as MARVIN HARRISON also received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
My next favorite play was when they flagged Colvin for a late hit, when: a) there was no hit at all, b) the runner was still on his feet, c) the play / forward progress had not been whistled dead, d) Colvin was talking to the official while he (Colvin) leaned on the scrum.
For an egregious missed call, you can just look to Rodney Harrison's facemask on Marvin Harrison. He hung on all the way down. I love Rodney, but that should have been called. Also, yeah, don't worry about flagging the PUNCH that was thrown by the Colt — just keep an eye on Troy Brown and Marvin Harrison, those guys are troublemakers.
I don't understand why the Pats didn't keep the ball on the ground more. Indianapolis wasn't able to stop any of the three backs -- though they did probably stop Brady on a 4th down sneak, highly questionable spot by the refs to the contrary. But I think the Pats will still win a playoff confrontation. They won't make this number of mistakes again, and even with 5 turnovers and 88 yards in penalties, the point differential was only 7, and they were in position to tie with 1:30 left.
Nevermind about the Dillon "fumble". Whatever.