23 Sep 2005
The NFL has fined Mike Shanahan $20,000 for criticizing the game officials who negated a Broncos touchdown in Sunday's victory over the Chargers. For those who missed it, here's what happened:
Rookie punt returner Darrent Williams had broken loose for a 61-yard score. When he was in the clear, a few irrationally exuberant Broncos, jumping around on the sidelines, crossed onto the field of play. None of them had any impact on the return, but the fact remains that it's against the rules for more than 11 players to be on the field during a play, and the Broncos had more than 11 players on the field during the play.
On Monday, Shanahan said, "you don't see a lot of calls like that in high school." But the bottom line is, his team broke the rules. Yes, it's true that the officials often overlook it if a player absentmindedly steps onto the field, as long as that player doesn't impact the game. But you know what? Those officials are wrong to overlook it. The rules are there in black and white. The officials shouldn't decide on certain plays to disregard the rules; they should enforce them uniformly. So while Shanahan has a point, his real beef should be about all the times the rule wasn't enforced, not with the one time it was.
27 comments, Last at 25 Sep 2005, 3:45am by Kibbles
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?