Yeah, I’m bitter too

Peter King momentarily indulges in a change of scenery by removing his nose from Brett Favre’s behind:

I think, at the end of the season, we will look back at one play as the most decisive and season-changing in all of pro football. And we will wonder: Why aren’t fumbles reviewable under the NFL replay system? Last week, with the Pack and Vikes tied at 31, Green Bay fumbled a kickoff in the final minute and there was a wild scramble for the ball. From the one FOX replay that showed anything, it appeared as though Vikings defensive back Derek Ross had his right arm covering the ball and holding it tight to his upper body before a pig-pile of players descended on him. “I just don’t understand it,” Ross said. “I had that ball cradled into me, and I had possession. There were people pulling and tugging at it, but it never left my possession. And when I stood up and showed the ball to the ref, all he said was, ‘Green Bay ball.’ I said, ‘How could you make that call! I got the ball!’ And he looks at me and says, ‘Green Bay ball.’ ” Problem was, the officials also saw Packers special-teamer Ben Steele with two hands on the ball. And director of officiating Mike Pereira told me that was the key. “If you’ve got more than one guy with possession, or more than one guy with two hands on the ball, the officials decided it’s an instance of co-possession, and the ball reverts to the team that had possession starting the play. In this case, that was Green Bay.” But why, I asked, couldn’t a fumble like this be reviewed, so that the ref would have a chance to see if one player — in this case, Ross — had possession of the ball before he got snowed under by bodies? “My experience is you could never be positive who had possession of the ball once the bodies start flying around,” Pereira said. Maybe. But maybe, in this rare instance, the ref would rule Ross had possession, or maybe would he rule it inconclusive. But at least the ref should have every possible aid in determining the outcome of the play that, in effect, determined that the Packers would be tied for first with the tiebreaker edge heading into the final seven weeks — instead of being two games behind with the tiebreaker disadvantage. “I am bitter,” said Ross. “Very bitter.” I don’t blame him.

No NFL team has been as reliably and consistently screwed by the league and its striped minions as the Vikings. You may think I’m just whining, but you weren’t there listening to Matt Millen (in his broadcast days) constantly going off on the Vikings for an entire game WHILE THEY WERE POUNDING ON THE PACK at Lambeau. I thought the White Buffalo was going to physically assault his TV for a while there. WB, Big Chilly and I all hate the Lions now because Millen is their GM. Oh, it’s been a glorious four years, hasn’t it, boys?

Yesterday was just another mind-bogglingly terrible anti-Vikings call to add to the collection. Harrington is in the shotgun and JUST BEGINS TO TURN towards the referee when the ball is snapped. The ball flies past him but the evil striped league servitor blows the whistle even though Harrington had definitely NOT called a time-out. He didn’t make the T or even face the ref until after the ball was past him – it wasn’t even CLOSE!

I’m still convinced that Atlanta was allowed four time-outs in the 1998 NFC championship game. I don’t know what the Vikings ever did that makes the league hate them so, nor do I know where they find these Vikings-hating refs, but it makes me proud to recall that my mother returned from the infamous 1975 Hail May game with an empty purse and without the usual game program. I’ve been a referee in a difficult game or two myself, and I still say that if you’re going to hand a playoff game to the visiting team by allowing them to blatantly break the rules, you deserve to get pelted with everything the fans can lay their hands on.