Mike Pereira: "I Think I'd Move It"

Written By Bob Cunningham On Thursday, November 12, 2009

A good spot would have kept the game alive for Philly.

Mike Pereira, VP of officiating for the NFL, said on his usual Wednesday chat with Rich Eisen of NFL Network's Total Access program, said he would have moved the ball on the fourth down Donovan McNabb sneak.

Pereira said that with the presence of the field logo, it made the spot very easy to make because the ball lands at a point in the Eagles' logo. He said that had the logo not been there, he probably would have kept the call on the field.

However, the thing that will get your blood boiling is not the fact that it would have moved the ball, but that Pereira added, "It might have made a difference."

Which is the VP of officiating's way of saying, "Yes, it would have been a first down."

First, let me say that I'm very surprised, and pleasantly at that, with Pereira. He usually goes on those chats with Eisen and blows a whole lot of smoke for Eisen. He will waiver on calls here and there but rarely does he ever dispute a call.

This time, it was very obvious that the ruling needed to be overturned, and I give kudos to Pereira for actually saying it, rather than continuing to stick by the incompetent officials.

The first challenge that Reid made, I believe, was a good challenge. It wasn't conclusive, and was worth another look. He probably should have, and did, lose that challenge, but to lose the second challenge is inexcusable.

But when is the league going to make officials like Walt Coleman and Alberto Riveron, who is absolutely awful, stand up and be accountable? When is there going to be a repercussion other than a bad mark and maybe the loss of a playoff game?

It's a shame that there aren't more officials like Ed Hochuli, who messed up the call between the Broncos and Chargers last season, but instead of clamming up and acting like he did nothing wrong, the man read and answered every piece of hate mail he received.

That's a man with character. That's the guy who should be the new VP of officiating when Pereira steps down, which evidently is going to be at the end of this season.

It's always a stretch for me to say that one call could change the outcome of an entire game, because anything could have happened on that next play. McNabb could have fumbled the snap, threw an interception, gotten sacked and had the ball stripped or anything else.

Or, he could have hit DeSean Jackson up the middle of the field for a touchdown to take the lead late in the fourth quarter.

The fact is we just don't know, but what we do know is that Coleman blew the call. It was plain as day, even to Cowboys fans. Anyone can say, "Well, you can't see the left elbow," but if you look at the replay, it's not possible.

McNabb would have to have a much longer left arm, or be tilted to the left. In fact, he's tilted to the right, making it impossible that his elbow touched the ground.

Either way, the game is over and it's time to look ahead to the Chargers. Hopefully this blown call and knowing how close they came to overtaking the NFC East will light a fire under this team, which has looked lackluster, to say the least, at points in this season.

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