On the Monday edition of his podcast, Pat McAfee discussed the backlash against NFL officiating following the weekend’s AFC Championship game.
The former Indianapolis Colts punter pointed to the audience’s outrage over penalties that turned the tide of the game in favor of Kansas City. Coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, to advance to Super Bowl LVII against the Philadelphia Eagles. But their victory was certainly not without its share of confusing calls.
In particular, key plays and penalties in the fourth quarter appeared to steal any chance at victory away from Joe Burrow & company. Conveniently, the three-point win also helped Kansas City cover the point spread (which hovered around 2 points prior to game time), so that only added fuel to the fans’ fire.
Pat McAfee has been long established as one of the most popular outspoken sports commentators today
So, needless to say, he was more than happy to weigh in on all the online speculation during his show. He said a lot of the chatter stems from the fact that a large viewing audience was right there, ready to blow the whistle on such inconsistent officiating.
“I don’t know what the ratings are going to be, I assume that it’s going to be bananas,” McAfee commented. “I assume it was near 50 million people. So, 50 million people started watching that, questioning every single thing those refs were doing. Because that’s how poor the f***ing refs were.”
“Obviously, you talk about the way the game ended. With a punt and there was a potential block with a big return. Then, the late push. That’s 15 more yards,” he stated.
“And then, there’s a third-and-nine that they had to re-do. Because there was a back ref that definitely comes running in moments before the ball is snapped… His job is to keep his eye on the clock. So, he comes running in. He doesn’t blow his whistle,” McAfee pointed out
“Now, after the play has already been run, uninterrupted, with no whistles (and they haven’t stopped the clock), it’s fourth down, which is a pretty important play. Why couldn’t they have gone back and fixed the clock then, when they didn’t fix it on the down before?”
McAfee says that he can see where people viewing the game would think there was something nefarious going on as the outcome of the game hung in the balance
Especially the fans in the Cincinnati jungle, who were sure their Bengals were going to make a return trip to The Big Game.
“That third-and-nine situation certainly warrants the question marks about ‘why the f**k did you guys decide that this was how you were going to figure this out?‘ But on the flip side, it feeds – it absolutely pours gasoline onto the fire – of the NFL being rigged. And wanting Patrick Mahomes and a new dynasty back into the Super Bowl.”
McAfee pointed out later in the segment that so many people would have to be in on ‘the fix’ in the NFL, that such a scenario didn’t seem plausible. Networks, as well as corporate and gambling partnerships, make it all incredibly far-fetched.
Still, that did not deter fans and observers to add their own opinions, leading to #NFLRigged trending for most of Monday on Twitter.
Both Kansas City (16-3 combined in regular and postseason play) and Philadelphia (16-3) will have this week off, as we head toward the Biggest Game of the Year. Although not without some controversy.