Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Aug 2012

MMQB: Camp Tour Continues

In this week's edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, Peter King writes about his stops with the Chiefs, Rams, Colts, and Packers. He says nice things about Andrew Luck and Blaine Gabbert, and some less nice things about the referee lockout and the work the replacement referees have done.

Posted by: Tom Gower on 20 Aug 2012

75 comments, Last at 23 Aug 2012, 12:48am by BaronFoobarstein


by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 10:42am

This seems as good a place as any to air my gripes about the refereeing in the Niners-Texans preseason game.

Awful, I've never seen anything like it and at times it was becoming dangerous. The referee missed a holding penalty on Houston's right tackle when Parys Haralson was initially held by his waist as he moved level with the blocker, the type of call that should be called but often isn't, but then he ripped through that arm bar and was spun around by the back of his shoulder pads. This was about five feet in front of the ref, blatantly obvious and he didn't see it.

Kareem Jackson grabbed hold of Ted Ginn Jnr (if I remember correctly) more than ten yards downfield, Ginn nearly fell over and spun around and the refs missed it. Again this should have been so obvious, the side judge was looking right at them and didn't make the call.

The officials forgot to run ten seconds off the clock when the 49ers committed a holding penalty before half time. Incredibly they decided that the best way to make up for it was to not stop the clock when Houston were penalised on the following play. They were actually saying that two wrongs make a right.

However, the most concerning faults were their inability to keep the players safe, specifically the Texans were allowed to beat the crap out of Alex Smith. The niners had some assignment issues picking up the texans rush and Goodwin struggled with the very impressive Antonio Smith so they have to take some of the blame but the refs also failed. Antonio Smith pushed Smith over when he should have pulled up and he butted his helmet into the qbs' facemask when he had knocked him to the ground (as I said he had a good game) before finally getting flagged for a blow to the head. The officials also failed to blow the whistle for in the grasp when Smith was in the clutches of three Houston defenders who then dragged him down over a stricken 49er blocking back.

These replacement officials aren't just bad, they're bad in a way that could result in someone getting needlessly injured. I'm sure that a Houston fan will have seen some stuff that hurt the Texans that I missed.

by Podge (not verified) :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 11:41am

The most glaring one I saw in the bits of the Rams-Chiefs game was Isaiah Pead being pushed back by Tamba Hali from 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage. He then got brought down 5 yards back from that by Hali, all in the same tackle. And it was marked down as a 9 yard loss.

There were a couple of other bits and pieces that I can't recall from the other games I caught, but that's the one that sticks out (because it was against the Rams). They really aren't very good. Its great PR for the proper refs.

by Theo :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 4:39pm

I tried to find your play in the gamebook to check it out on gamepass. I've found it, but despite of - and not thanks to - the gamebook.

You see, the NFL has gone complete North Korea on your play:
2-10-STL 14 (6:14) 10-K.Clemens pass short right to 13-C.Givens to STL 27 for 13 yards (35-J.Reeves).
2-19-STL 18 (4:54) 10-K.Clemens pass short middle to 83-B.Quick to STL 24 for 6 yards (21-J.Arenas).

It's not the bad spot that I'm worried about most.
The refs are hesitant to stop the play when it's over. You can clearly see they officiate lower levels of football where the game goes slower, so they don't realise how much action takes place in one second.
All in all, I must also say it's perception a lot. You notice mistakes more now because people focus on them. Sure they make mistakes, but it's all fun and games (until someone loses an eye).

by Travis :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 4:56pm

It's there, it's just that NFL.com has buried the gamebooks as part of its annual redesign. The play-by-plays easily available on the site are buggy.

1-10-SL 27 (5:40) I.Pead left end to SL 18 for -9 yards (T.Hali).

Semi-relatedly, "I.Pead" has to be among the most unfortunate first initial-last name combos in NFL history.

by Theo :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 5:50pm

Maybe it was buried behind my flash- or popup blocker.

by dryheat :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:20am

I'm waiting for him to follow the path of Maurice Drew and LaRod Stephens upon entering the NFL and pay tribute to his mother as well. It would make my juvenile heart smile to read in the gamebook "Run right for 2 yards by I. Pead-Freeley"

by Marko :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:48pm

Nitpick first: A holding penalty in the last two minutes of a half does not require a ten second runoff. The purpose of the ten second runoff for certain penalties is to prevent offenses from benefiting by committing pre-snap penalties while in hurry up mode and the clock is running. (The benefit would come in stopping the clock, as teams in that position might gladly trade 5 yards for stopping the clock. Of course, if a team still has at least one timeout remaining, they can choose to be charged with a timeout in order to avoid the ten second runoff.) Thus, it applies to penalties such as false starts and ilegal formation.

That being said, the officiating this preseason has been abysmal. I have watched bits and pieces of about 8 games this preseason. In every one, I have seen egregious mistakes by the officials. For example, in the Bears-Redskins game, there was a holding penalty on the Redskins on a passing play. The penalty was marked from the spot of the foul, resulting in a 17 yard penalty rather than a 10 yard penalty. In the Jaguars-Saints game, the officials botched two calls on questionable catches. On the first one, the ruling on the field was a TD catch by a Saints player, but the replay showed that it wasn't a catch. The Saints commentators were saying that the call would be overturned. However, the referee did not overturn it, and the commentators laughed. Then a few minutes later, the Saints had an apparent interception. On review, the referee overturned the call even though it looked like the ball never hit the ground and it was a good interception. Before the ruling, the Saints commentators said that the call would not be overturned and when compared to the earlier TD play, this was more clearly a catch. Again, the commentators laughed at the ruling. Then the referees took about 5 more minutes to decide where the ball should be put back in play and how much time should be put on the clock.

Also, the spotting of the ball after plays routinely has been off. In the Jets-Giants game, Tim Tebow scrambled and received a poor spot by the officials, after which the officials did not rule that it was a first down. Rex Ryan had to complain and ask for a measurement because even with the poor spot, it was close. When the officials finally agreed to a measurement, it in fact was a first down (barely).

I could go on with many other examples.

by PatsFan :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 10:17am

In the NE/Eagles game they apparently didn't know the rule about offsides on a PAT:

Bill Belichick was furious on the sideline after the replacement officials didn't give him the option to accept an offside penalty on a point-after-attempt following the team's second-quarter touchdown. He had to run down the sideline and yell to referee Jerry Frump that it wasn't an automatic enforecement on the ensuing kickoff, that he had the option to accept the penalty at that moment (which he did, deciding to work on a 2-point conversion). This is what has to frustrate coaches like Belichick the most when it comes to replacement officials -- the coaches have enough to worry about with their own teams, they don't need to coach the officials too.

(via ESPNBoston's Mike Reiss)

by chemical burn :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 9:35pm

I thought the awfulness of the referees was being slightly over-stated until watching that game last night. Everything was botched top to bottom - the Mallet TD throw had an amazingly egregious push-off that wasn't called matched by the insanely blatant pick (the guy locked on like he was playing o-line) on Foles' first TD. And the amount of unnecessary roughness calls? But then the guy launching himself with a lowered head and driving the QB into the ground on Vick's injury wasn't called? Crazy. The guy literally broke the rule 3 times in one play and wasn't flagged for it, while other are getting flags for nearly invisible infractions. It's impossible to even take anything away from a game where the officiating is so insanely executed. Both teams were getting away with murder right in front of the officials - holds, face-masks, picks. It seemed like they were playing Canadian rules or something - it didn't look like NFL football.

by dryheat :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 8:10am

Are you suggesting that the Cunningham's sack of Vick should've been flagged? To me, that looked about as clean as a sack as you'll see. He didn't launch himself, he didn't lead with the head, and as for the driving of the QB into the ground, I'll admit that's a bit vague, but I don't think it fits this scenario (I think it's when the tackler has the quarterback wrapped up and off his feet and chooses to turf him unneccessarily.)

I think if a flag was thrown on that play, it would be the new Exhibit A in the "these replacement officials are incompetent" argument.

by chemical burn :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 11:05pm

There's no doubt it should have been a flag: he left his feet, lowered his head and drove the QB into the turf. He's literally launching himself through the air to lay down a hit with crown of his helmet and then drive the QB into the ground. I suspect that play gets called on most Qb's other than Vick and it certainly meets multiple criteria for roughing. I mean, if that hit is on Brady, that's a sure flag. You just can't deny Cunningham leaves his feet and lowers his head. It's not borderline. You can like the rule or not like it, but the passer protection tweaks are designed to prevent exactly the kind of shost Vick took, leaping undisciplined desperation shots to an exposed QB when he has already almost completed his release. It was as late as it possibly could have been and he had to dive to get there -a massive hit that left Vick on the ground still made it 30 yards in the air, it would have gotten off cleanly if the rule hadn't been broken. You can debate whether the rule makes sense or whether it was a cheap-shot or whatever, but you can't deny the rule doesn't want defensive players doing exactly what happened: injuring QB's on last second desperation shots that have no real chance of becoming a sack.

It doesn't even matter, though - what's troubling is that they didn't call it but had about 5 mystery calls with roughness and other smaller infractions. The incompetency comes in the total incoherent inconsistency of their officiating. To not throw a flag there and then throw 7 others for roughness, several of which the announcers couldn't even find to point out, it just makes no sense. The phantom false start and the uncalled picks were worse though in how fundamentally they seemed to understand basic rules. The push-off and PAT penalty enforcement? Forget it...

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 08/23/2012 - 12:48am

No. That was not even in the neighborhood of a foul. You're allowed to leave your feet to make a tackle. That it a normal and common tackling technique. Whether that would have been called on Brady is a poor standard. Instead of being another example of poor pre-season replacement officiating it would have been another example of crazy superstar Tom Brady officiating. Cunningham leaves his feet, but if what he does is considered "lowing his head" because, technically, I suppose his head does move to a position nearer to Earth, then pretty much any diving tackle is lowering your head. You can debate whether you think it should be illegal or was cheap (no to both, BTW) or what the intention of the rule is, but nothing about what actually happened violates the rules.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 11:04am

The Blake Williams bit is a truly heartwarming example of the rampant levels of nepotism in the NFL. They don't need a system to promote ethnic minority coaches, they just need to put an end to this crap.

by Podge (not verified) :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 11:50am

They need to stop teams, after hiring a defensive coordinator who runs a scheme that is hugely different from the previous scheme, hiring position coaches who know the scheme (in this case a coach who has literally been brought up on the scheme)? That makes sense.

I get the point in some ways, but I don't think he's totally useless and has only got the job based on his name. It seems you've picked a really bad example in Blake Williams - from what people say, he's a very good coach, who, if he does call the plays, who be de facto the youngest coordinator in the league. I don't really see how its much different from a new coach bringing in a guy who they've worked with before - its someone they know can do the job, because they've seen them do it before.

I mean, if you want to pick holes in the Rams coaching hiring policy, you should point out that Fisher and Gregg Williams are apparently best buds, and Fisher essentially hired Williams because of that.

by bernie (not verified) :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:02pm

I think the best example of NFL nepotism was Bill Polian handing the Colts GM position to Chris Polian on a silver platter. Anyonw know what happened to him after he got fired? Maybe the Rats who tell lies about people have some idea.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:16pm

Most were also learning this stuff from the time they were kids. The Ryan brothers and Wade Philips have all shown they know defense as well as their fathers, and Eliot Wolf is now making a name for himself in the Packers front office. As more African-Americans get into coaching and the front office, I'm guessing we'll start to see many of their children also follow in their parents' footsteps. They may get hired originally because of their fathers, but unless they show they can actually do the job they won't be in the business long.

by akn :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:56pm

Lovie Smith is already doing this, and proud of it.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 10:23pm

Cool. Lovie's a good coach, who I respect even as a Packers fan.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 7:12pm

Say what you want about the Ryan brothers on other matters (and I would be happy to, given I'm not a fan) but I will give them credit for paying their dues. They both bounced all around, including small colleges, before landing coordinator jobs. The ones that bug me are the Kyle Shanahans of the world, where a young guy basically gets anointed and ends up in a coordinator job with almost no experience, with everybody pretending he'd shown something amazing in his short span as a lower-level assistant to warrant such a promotion. And then when the guy's personality is positively d-baggish, like Kyle's is, it is all the worse.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 2:33pm

The worst case was probably Paul Brown handing the GM duties to Mike Brown. Because that team's owner is too stupid to fire Brown.

by jackiel :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 3:23pm

Hahaha, nice bit of scarcasm (I think). I don't think any of the members of the Brown family are upset with how the team is run considering that many of them are on the payroll.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:36pm

If he was so good then he would be hired by one of the other 31 teams and wouldn't need to be given a job by his dad.

by jackiel :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 3:32pm

Blake has never called plays before at the NFL level. Most people have to work a decade plus to gain such responsibility, regardless of who their daddy is. He's calling plays because it's a way to circumvent the suspension and allow the father to remain involved. The league hasn't prohibted the father from having any contact with his son. If you think that Blake's father has zero input regarding the Rams defense right now, then you're incredibly naive.

And Fisher and Gregg Williams have had success together (1 SB appearance, a couple of AFC Championship appearances). Those Tennesse defenses were quite good and Williams had some good units with New Orleans. It was a solid hire before Bountygate came to light.

by bernie (not verified) :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 11:54am

There was a call that confused me in the Colts - Steelers game in regards to holding. The Steelers were on the Colts 48 and they were called for offensive Holding. The penalty was accepted, and then the ball was spotted on the steelers 35 - a 17 yard walkoff. Did something else happen here that I missed? I would have thought that the ball should have been spotted on the Steelers 42. The commentators never made a mention of a bad spot, so I'm confused as to what happened that made a holding penalty worth 17 yards.

by akn :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:08pm

At the Bears/Redskins game, the refs also marked off a 17 yard holding penalty on the Skins. Maybe they are under the mistaken belief that you mark the 10 yards from the spot of the foul. Even worse, there were two long pass interference penalties (one on Chicago, one on Washington) that were called when the WR was already out of bounds, making them ineligible.

by bernie (not verified) :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 4:45pm

I'm completely wrong here....it was the redskins/bears game I was thinking of. I was watching it on gamepass just before the Colts / Steelers came on, and that's why I mixed them up.

by Travis :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:57pm

The only long penalty I see in Colts-Steelers was a chop block for 15 yards early in the 4th quarter. The egregious blown call in that game was the refs not calling Andrew Luck down at the spot where he began his slide on his touchdown run. (Contrast that with Kurt Warner vs. the Packers in 2004 or Ken O'Brien vs. the Dolphins in 1989.)

The call in Redskins-Bears was just flat-out wrong.

A.R. 8.47: Third-and-10 on A30. During a run prior to an incomplete pass, offensive player A1 holds a defensive player on the A25.
Ruling: Choice for defense. Fourth-and-10 on A30 or third-and-20 on A20 (from previous spot).

by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:00pm

I watched about 10 minutes, and saw two Colts receivers tackled with the ball in the air, without drawing a flag.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 2:35pm

I will admit a certain enjoyment of a return to football from the 1980s.

The inability to correctly run the clock or spot the ball has been annoying.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 2:37pm

Agreed. The officiating in that game, like many others this preseason, was pretty poor.

Even the aforementioned slide by Luck -- correct that he should have been down at about the 1 foot line, but it also should have been a Colts 1st down after a personal foul for hitting Luck on the ground after he slid. The spot of the ball prior to that play (coming via an officials' review) was also off by a good 2 feet.

by akn :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 5:33pm

Is there any exception that covers sliding at the goal line? I figure you've got to give the defender some leeway in that situation. Then again, most QBs wouldn't slide with a potential TD on the line. I don't think I've ever seen that.

by tuluse :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 5:51pm

Remember the spot is where the ball is. So unless he's holding the ball with his feet, I don't see how someone slides past the goal line to score.

by chemical burn :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 10:56pm

Did you see the clip? He sorta sticks the ball out in front of him right to the exact edge of the goal-line and then decides to slide rather than make sure it gets across and risk getting hammered for no reason in a preseason game. It's tough to say when the slide starts and when it crosses the goal-line, if he gets it in before the slide or not because they virtually simultaneous..

by Jimmy :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 2:50pm

Isn't holding supposed to be 10 yards from the spot of the foul unless the hold is behind the line of scrimmage? If you held five yards over the LOS you would get the next down five yards back from the LOS of the penalised play.

by Marko :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 3:04pm

Yes. The plays that we are all talking about involved holding behind the line of scrimmage.

by Joseph :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:15pm

With regards to the officiating comments, I'm betting this gets done before the regular season. I can see the lawyers for the ref's union calling up their NFL counterparts, sending them replays of each of these screw-ups, and then asking when the NFL is ready to settle on the union's terms.
What is also shocking to me is that there have not been complaints from individual players/coaches when the calls have been obviously wrong (like the spotting of the ball).

by Marko :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:54pm

In addition to this, maybe someone should send a printout of this thread to the league office to see how passionate football fans feel about the incompetence of the replacement officials.

by akn :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:58pm

Are you really going to stop watching games because of replacement officials? That's the only thing the league cares about; otherwise, there is no leverage.

by Marko :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 2:39pm

No, of course not. Nothing in my post was meant to suggest or imply that I would. But while it's true that the league would care a lot more if people stopped watching games, it's also true that the league doesn't want to look stupid and to have games adversely affected by incompetent officials. The league does look ridiculous by insisting that there is no problem with the replacement officials. On this issue, Roger Goodell reminds me of Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House ("Remain calm! All is well!").

by Aloysius Mephis... :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 2:59pm

Even if people are still watching the games, human beings don't like being embarrassed. It's in our nature. If the officiating is a big enough embarrassment the league will feel a pretty strong compulsion to do something about it, even if it costs money.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 4:30pm

You could also be 50% less likely to buy a Jersey or something like that without crossing your watch/no-watch threshold.

by akn :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 5:35pm

Well, I've already canceled my skin-tight Hoculi jersey, so there's that...

by Theo :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 4:55pm

it makes for a poorer product though
And it will cost the NFL if the games take too long or when not the football, but the refereeing becomes the major topic. Which it's becoming.

by tuluse :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:24pm

I'm guessing coaches are under strict orders to not complain about replacement refs, and no one really cares because it's preseason.

by Insancipitory :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:53pm

The only thing the regular officals are better at is keeping the game moving. At least with the replacements, there's the hope they'll get better. With the regulars there's the certainty that they won't.

by Jimmy :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 2:48pm

At least the normal refs seem to know the rules. The replacements seem to gather into huddles to guess them.

by jackiel :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 3:33pm

They've probably been warned not to complain too much.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 7:52am

It is true. They have been tosl to be quiet

by Hurt Bones :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:32pm

"The best negotiating leverage any group of workers could hope to have is a game tape of Friday night's game between the Lions and Ravens. The NFL's real referees, who haven't worked in the exhibition season because of stalled contract negotiations with the NFL, could use that tape as a bargaining chip the size of a manhole cover. For the good of the NFL and its image, the league must find a way to replace the replacements with the real guys. The Ravens are one of the NFL's benchmark franchises, and the Lions are a young team on the rise with their own star power. But the third team on the field -- eight men in striped jerseys -- were a disgrace on any level of officiating football."

I pity anyone who has to watch that tape. I can't remember a game so excruciating to watch. It was if all the refs were under heavy sedation. I couldn't stand it and left during halftime.

by Marko :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 12:58pm

"Speaking of charitable Hoosiers, check out the picture of young Eli Six, posing with me and the glove Robert Mathis gave him at the end of Indianapolis Colts practice Friday."

Why would a young Colts fan who presumably lives in Indiana be named Eli? I hope he at least has an older brother named Peyton.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 2:32pm

Or five male ancestors also named Eli.

by Marko :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 2:45pm

Or maybe his parents are fans of Logan's Run and wanted his first name to be followed by a number (like Logan 5 or Jessica 6).

by Theo :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 6:52pm

middle name "Pick"

by Guest789 :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 9:08pm

"I don't know how a team could get a player to concentrate on football better by managing a difficult situation to the benefit of the player and his extended family the way the Rams have with Jenkins."

That is... quite a sentence from PK. I had to read it a few times.


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by BaronFoobarstein :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 10:10pm

Me too. I've concluded that King is saying that he doesn't know how those things can help him focus on football better than he is focusing on football despite it clearly being better football focus thereby achieved, but that doesn't mean that football focus via difficult management of family wherein payments and housing are supplied forthwith necessarily is achieved fullwise, and from Jenkins cognizant perspective King references nonpersons jobwise.

by nuclearbdgr :: Mon, 08/20/2012 - 9:39pm

Nice Sylvia Poggioli reference.

by tuluse :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 12:29am

"Here's what happens at the this time of year: I write the column in chunks during training camp, and when I write something Tuesday night, I often don't recall everything exactly how it's written, so the thing I might write two nights later could include references that will appear redundant when the whole thing is read together. Again, my fault."

Or SI could hire a freaking editor for the most read football column on the internet.

by Chris UK :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 2:02pm

Is putting Lemon in your beer an American thing or a Peter King thing. I know a head brewer who would be horrified if you did anything to change the taste of his beer after it left the brewery.

by dryheat :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 2:09pm

Unfortunately, a garnish of lemon or orange has become standard practice for hefeweizen and the like, and starting to gain traction in "summer" ales (many of which are wheat based).

It's not as automatic as putting a lime wedge in a Mexican-made beer, but it's close.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 3:19pm

He must hate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

by Chris UK :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 3:25pm

That will affect taste more than dumping a slice of lemon in it? I know someone who's job it is to taste beer in Europe, and he says lime in any beer (his Mexican beer was corona) is ridiculous in this day and age.

You didnt answer my question but if all wheat beers/European beers get lemon in them in America I'm sad for you guys.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 3:47pm

Is this where I bring up how Lipton invented Earl Grey as a means of simultaneously ridding themselves of a surplus of an inedibly sour citrus fruit (citron) and the shameful spoiled dust they called tea, and managed to pass it off as a high-end drink?

Because in this day and age, there's no excuse to continue doing that to any reasonable tea.

\IPAs have a similar history

by Chris UK :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 3:59pm

Are you sure Lipton invented Earl Grey? I would be interested in that.

I wasn't talking history, I was saying currently. If people add lemon to their wheat beers or IPAs then it surprises me because that's not how they should taste. And I would suggest alternative refreshment.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 4:40pm

Hmm, I seem to have missed on the Lipton thing -- Twinings and Jacksons fight about it which of them did it first. And the citron should have been bergamot.

But Lipton absolutely did get rich passing off execrable tea as an exotic item to naive Brits. You can thank him for breaking the Chinese hold on the tea trade, though. He basically made Sri Lankan tea.

by tuluse :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 4:04pm

I don't see why anyone would want a Corana sans lime. It's not especially good.

by Chris UK :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 4:07pm

I always have corona with lime. If I'm drinking it which is rarely. I had a friend at university who brought free cases of it who said his dad tasted for them and said that putting lime in it ruined the taste.

by dryheat :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 7:03pm

Nor with a lime

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 7:22pm

There was a bio on the Coors family a few years back with a great section on Corona. Coors and Coors Light ended up losing a lot of market share when Corona came along in the 1980s with them doing almost nothing initially to stem the tide because the Coorses could not fathom they'd lose out to a beer so bad it required a lime to be drinkable. (I'm not going to get into the merits or demerits of Coors, other than to say it is at least drinkable at room temperature, which Corona sans-lime most certainly is not, imo.)

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 3:41pm

Seems to be fairly recent, but I only see it in the context of Corona and other very light (and often skunked) mexican lagers and the more citrusy of witbiers and weizens. Blue Moon did the orange thing in-house, but Blue Moon is especially orange-flavored to start. Considering the American trend towards domineering levels of hops and citrus yeasts, tastes seem to lean towards the sour/bitter in beers.

Even outside the concept of radlers, apparently Germans have been adding citrus syrup to Berliner Weisse for years.

It seems to exist in the same spirit as the German style, of something which is done to a drinkable, but not especially top-shelf beer.

by Chris UK :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 4:01pm

In context to the reply im going to add below, I have seen the syrups thing, but preferred the Pilsners to flavouring of a wheat beer when I was there.

by InTheBoilerRoom :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 3:51pm

To add to what Aaron Brooks Good Twin said, it is rather common in Germany to have a lemon wedge included as a garnish on the rim of your glass with a hefeweizen, and I believe kristallweizens. I don't recall it being as common with dunkelweizens. The choice to actually add the lemon to your beer is entirely up to you, though.

by Chris UK :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 4:03pm

Where in Germany? I have travelled extensively there and not come across this. You may be German and I would defer to you but having been to so many different cities and never having been offered this, I would like to know if it is a regional thing?

by InTheBoilerRoom :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 1:55pm

My experience is from living in Karlsruhe (just north of the Black Forest). Very possibly a regional thing, as I cannot say for certain that I ever remember getting lemon with my hefeweizens in Munich. I also don't live in Germany anymore. This is based on my memory from over 8 years ago. But I do vividly remember the first time I received a hefeweizen with a lemon at a biergarten in Karlsruhe, and I found it rather odd at the time. I was never a fan.

by Jerry :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 6:53pm

There are brewers who accept that there are people who want lemon with their weizens, and brewers who don't. I should also mention that at the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Francisco, they serve their Hell or High Watermelon with a slice of watermelon on the glass. (It works pretty well.)

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 11:23am

" I know a head brewer who would be horrified if you did anything to change the taste of his beer after it left the brewery."

And therein lies the problem. I love craft brews, but it's starting to become almost like the wine snobs. If people want a lemon in their beer, they should put a lemon in their beer. If enough people are doing it, the head brewer would be well-advised to rethink his recipe.