So let me get this straight. A primetime NFL matchup ended on a game deciding play that happened at the goal line. The refs huddled. The Seahawks celebrated. The Lions asked off the field dejected. The only guy in the building, and I mean THE ONLY GUY, that knew that there was a blown call was a 74 year old ex-referee that took 20 minutes to make his way up to the booth to tell the world the Lions got screwed. I guess my only question is why? Why would Jerry Austin, a guy that is indebted to the NFL for his long, successful officiating career, introduce something so controversial when he was literally the only person that realized it was controversial? Why would he bring that negative attention to the league, unless of course, he was given the green light to do so?
At this point, I firmly believe that the NFL will do anything to stay in the headlines. To see evidence of that look no further than an entire offseason spent arguing over the air pressure in a football that, according to a Federal judge, wasn't even deflated. Is it just a coincidence that the NFL got caught mustering up a fabricated narrative that kept them in the news cycle from February to September? The NFL firmly believes that there isn't such a thing as bad publicity. With the last three primetime games being complete bores, the NHL season right around the corner, and the NBA preseason starting up, maybe the NFL just decided that a good old fashioned 'Fail Mary-esque' ruling would get people ONLY talking about them again. I legitimately think that's as good of a reason as any for us to be discussing some batted ball out of the end zone.
I wouldn't be surprised if some NFL executive came up with that rule on the fly last night and just used the crypt keeper to deliver the message so it seemed legitimate. I mean, that rule, when instituted correctly, doesn't even sound like it makes any sense whatsoever. In fact, the only way it does sound right is when it comes from the mouth of a senior citizen that has dedicated his entire life to officiating. No one is going to tell that guy he is wrong. If Jon Gruden or Ray Lewis had delivered the message we would have awkwardly laughed at them like they were off their meds. What's more likely? That the NFL orchestrated this whole thing to create hours upon hours of "entertainment", or that 53 rostered players and about a dozen coaches weren't aware of a cut and dry rule that stole a victory right out from under their winless noses? Ask yourself that, because while the rule may seem obscure, it's not crazy enough that no one should know of it's existence.