Should Brady Be Fined for Cursing a Ref?
A top water-cooler topic in sports today is last night's no call/bad call by the NFL refs at the end of the Carolina Panthers-New England game.
As it should be. It was a terrible call.
Let's take a look at the game's final play. The Pats were down, 24-20, so a touchdown would have altered the outcome.
Brady's pass to Rob Gronkowski was underthrown, what with the tight end's momentum carrying him toward the back of the end zone. Brady was out of the pocket, so there could be no call for illegal contact. Defensive holding was out of the question because the ball was already in the air.
That means the judgment call of pass interference was the only option. And that means the officials had to decide if the ball was catchable.
That's where Gronk's momentum came in. The ruling was he couldn't have reversed his momentum, so the ball was uncatchable.
But while the controversy centered around the call itself, one incident has been overlooked: Tom Brady's and Ryan Mallet's reaction after the game was over. Brady dropped the prime word on officials:
And no one seems to care.
Why does this matter?
Because it shows you the power certain players have in this league. We saw another example of it Sunday in the Saints-49ers game when a marginal call went in favor of Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his collar.
Did we see it with Brady and the Pats? Well, yes and no. For one of the few times that I can remember, Brady didn't get a call to go his way. However, the NFL has -- to this point -- kept their mouth shut about Brady cussing out the refs last night.
He might have been justified, but that still doesn't make it right. If this was, say, Dez Bryant, would the NFL turn the other cheek? Probably not. But because Brady is who he is, not a word is said.
Same would happen if it were Brees, Peyton Manning, or even Andrew Luck. Quarterbacks drive this league, and for the league to punish one of their stars with a fine or a one-game suspension just won't happen.