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Monday, November 5, 2012
NFL admits officials wronged Redskins

By Dan Graziano

The NFL said Monday that officials in Sunday's game between the Washington Redskins and the Carolina Panthers incorrectly awarded Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams with a 30-yard touchdown run when the ball should have been ruled dead at the 17-yard line due to an inadvertent whistle.

The league also announced Monday that water is wet and that the sun had indeed risen in the East.

I mean, come on, right? The postgame explanation the officials offered for blowing that play was some of the weakest made-up excuse-making we've heard in years. This is from the transcript of referee Carl Cheffers' interview:
"The line judge blew his whistle. We had a lot of discussion about it. We just felt when the whistle blew, that the player would have already scored a touchdown. So, we tried to piece together if we had to spot -- by rule, we would have to put him down when the whistle blew, and we tried to decide where that spot would be, and we felt that spot would be in the end zone."

Huh?

If the whistle blew when Williams was at the 17-yard line, then he shouldn't have been allowed to go past the 17-yard line. Why would the line judge be blowing his whistle when Williams was already in the end zone? Williams is fast, but he's not so fast that the sound waves made by an official's whistle would take the same amount of time to reach the ears of the players on the field as it would for him to run 17 yards. The officials screwed this one up, as anyone watching the game could plainly see, and their explanation only made things weirder. It would have been more believable if they'd said, "Well, it's not as if the Redskins can stop anybody on defense right now, so we figured he was only another play or two away from scoring anyway."

So there you have it. The league says the officials gave the Panthers a touchdown they shouldn't have had in a game the Redskins lost by eight points. Stinks to be the Redskins. They still had plenty of ways they could have won that game in spite of that call, but at least now they and their fans know that they were right on that one play and the officials were wrong. Hard to imagine that helps much, but some people just like closure.