Officially speaking: Questioning key reversal

September, 30, 2009
9/30/09
1:04
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Referee 2009 Replay Reversals
Don Carey
6
Al Riveron
3
Jerome Boger
2
Terry McAulay
2
John Parry
2
Gene Steratore
2
Mike Carey
1
Carl Cheffers
1
Walt Coleman
1
Tony Corrente
1
Scott Green
1
Ed Hochuli
1
Peter Morelli
1
Jeff Triplette
1
Ron Winter
1
Walt Anderson
0
Bill Leavy
0
AVERAGES
1.5

Based on Jim Mora's general postgame comportment Sunday, the Seahawks' coach is probably fortunate no one asked what role officiating played in the game.

Referee Don Carey, who accounted for five of 19 replay reversals through Week 2, made his league-leading sixth reversal a memorable one when he returned possession to the Bears following Matt Forte's fumble at the Seattle 1-yard line. Linebacker David Hawthorne had recovered for the Seahawks, who held a 13-0 lead at the time.

"A decision will be reversed only when the referee has indisputable visual evidence available to him," the rule book states.

This one appeared inconclusive at best.

Mora's postgame rant against kicker Olindo Mare might have read differently had anyone pressed for his thoughts on Carey's reversal. I doubt he would have the ruling, uh, acceptable.

"If you’re a kicker in the National Football League you should make those kicks -- bottom line," Mora said of Mare. "End of story. Period. No excuses. No wind, doesn’t matter. You’ve gotta makes those kicks. Especially in a game like this, where you’re kicking and fighting and scratching your tail off and you miss those kicks, it’s not acceptable. Not acceptable. Absolutely not acceptable."

Carey suffered two reversals -- and Mike Singletary's ire -- while working the 49ers-Cardinals game in Week 1. He suffered three more reversals in Week 2. The NFL's 17 referees have suffered 26 replay reversals in 48 games this season. More than a third involved calls made by Carey, a rookie referee, and second-year ref Al Riveron.

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