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League Backtracks on Hobbs Call

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Incorrect Call Now Correct?
Fans Not Asking for the World; Just Some Common Courtesy
The NFL is now backtracking on its admission that the pass interference call on Ellis Hobbs in the AFC Championship game was incorrect. Now it is the correct call. Somehow.

According to The Boston Globe, Greg Aiello, NFL vice president of communications, "clarified" his remarks saying that "if" the call on Hobbs had been "face-guarding," the call would have been incorrect. However, the call was not that Hobbs was face-guarding, but that he did indeed make contact with Reggie Wayne.

Apparently, only the official who threw the flag and Aiello saw this contact, because no one else has mentioned it, and, in fact, even Phil Simms, who was all over the face-guarding call, said there was none.

Why, in the first place, didn't Aiello say, "The call wasn't face-guarding, but had it been, it would have been incorrect"?

"Why?" Because that's not what he said.

"Well, you didn't ask me if pass interference was the correct call. You asked me if face-guarding was illegal," Aiello must have said. "I mean, I couldn't have any idea why you were asking me about face-guarding. Why would a Boston-area paper ask me about face-guarding after the AFC Championship game? I thought you were just reading the rulebook and had a question about an obsolete rule."

I can understand that the league doesn't want everyone just pointing fingers at the officials, that they want the focus to be the play of the teams, but the league has set the precedent the last few years.

I find it utterly ridiculous that last year after the Pittsburgh Steelers won that Joey Porter called the officials "cheaters" and wasn't even fined.

After the 2003 AFC Championship, which the Patriots won 20-3, the league said that Walt Coleman's crew missed six calls against New England. **

But the Patriots can't even get the common courtesy of an official admission that a ref blew a call.

What a farce.

Clearly the league cannot under any circumstance admit that they made an incorrect call against the Patriots, while they admit to incorrect calls against every other team in the league. But it's not a conspiracy. It's just the actual 10.3 million to 1 chance that that's really the way it is: No official has ever made an incorrect call against the Patriots. Not ever since Sugar Bear Hamilton.

My question: Where is Mike Pereira, NFL director of officiating, in all of this? Why hasn't the NFL Network had him discuss any of these calls with Rich Eisen the way they did every week during the regular season?

**(That, of course, led to the "Tony Dungy rule" of not being able to touch or grab receivers or even breathe on Colts receivers, but Patriots receivers can get mugged a la Reche Caldwell.)

Final note: I think Terry McAulay's crew blew a couple key calls against New Orleans in the NFC Championship game when that was still close. Haven't heard anything about that either.

Poll

Who else saw Ellis Hobbs make contact with Reggie Wayne?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    No one
    (11 votes)
  • 9%
    Agent Fox Mulder
    (2 votes)
  • 4%
    Jimmy Hoffa
    (1 vote)
  • 19%
    Colts fans
    (4 votes)
  • 14%
    I (meaning you, the reader) did
    (3 votes)
21 votes total Vote Now