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Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Dead horse? Wait, there could be a pulse

By Mike Sando

The Super Bowl officiating horse isn't quite dead, but it's taking a pounding. There's no reason to keep pounding it without advancing the conversation.

Mike Pereira, the former NFL officiating vice president working for Fox, advanced it during a recent conversation with KNBR radio in San Francisco. The transcript from sportsradiointerviews.com highlights a few reasons why Pereira thought officials were correct in calling no penalty against Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith on the 49ers' fourth-and-goal pass for Michael Crabtree in the final minutes:
I would have appreciated a more technical review of pass interference rules. Pereira referred to "any type of material restriction that would’ve kept Crabtree from making the catch" as the standard. He specifically singled out the term "material restriction" as appearing in the rulebook. My version of the rulebook uses that phrase in association with illegal blocks, not in relation to interference.

My version of the rulebook outlines the following acts as pass interference, among others that are not listed:
The rulebook then outlines the following acts, among others that are unnamed, as "permissible" ones:
A notation beneath this section then specifies that eligible offensive and defensive players have the same right to the path of the ball and are subject to the same restrictions.