This years’ Super Bowl was filled with controversy. Referees were more involved than ever, and it seemed to be quite one-sided. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seemed to get every big call, leading to massive momentum gains which helped them emerge victoriously. Today, Back Sports Page will be breaking down a handful of these unfair calls, and argue how the referees handed Brady and the Bucs yardage on a silver platter.
Before we go any further, it is important to give credit where credit is due. Tampa Bay made some amazing defensive plays against the Kansas City Chiefs. They came up with some really big stops, and didn’t give Patrick Mahomes a chance to do anything. The Bucs brought good pressure and did a great job containing Mahomes and Tyreek Hill. They also did a phenomenal job chipping away at the Chiefs’ defense, with in-and-out routes, screen plays, and a solid running game.
Unfortunately, the referees decided to get overly involved, and took the fate of the game into their own hands. In the second quarter alone, Tampa Bay was rewarded 90 penalty yards! When the game is still close and you’re rewarded almost a entire football field worth of yards, it has the tendency to shift the momentum quite a bit. Considering that Tom Brady was involved, this is no surprise. It wouldn’t be the first time the refs have bailed him out, handing him yards in key moments. Let’s take a look at some of these questionable calls that moved the chains.
Pass Interference Call Against Bashaud Breeland
Tom Brady threw a deep pass down the field to wide receiver Mike Evans. Evan’s feet got tied up with cornerback Bashuad Breeland, and pass interference was called. This was a big moment, and an unfair penalty was called. Evans threw himself into the ground, over-exaggerating as some receivers tend to do. But this was extremely obvious, and expert analysis Tony Romo (along with many others) argued the ball wasn’t even catchable. This was one of the times Brady and the Buccaneers were handed a second chance.
Tyrann Mathieu And His Woes
Tyrann Mathieu has his own section, due to the fact he was involved with multiple penalties. Some may have been deserved, but two stood at that were complete nonsense. First of all, Tyrann got called on a pass interference when the ball was thrown out-of-bounds. Mathieu and Evans gave each other slight nudges and shoves, and that was the end of it! This call was ticky-tacky, and was just another Brady cop-out. It’s just like how Brady threw an interception earlier in the game, but the refs called a nonsense penalty to save him. The referees made it clear what team they were gunning for.
Circling back to Tyrann Mathieu, he was also involved in one of the days’ more controversial calls. Mathieu and Brady got into it, verbally arguing after a play. Tyrann was pointing in Tom’s face, while both yelled and talked smack to each other. All of the sudden a yellow flag goes soaring through the air. A penalty was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, but it is against the Chiefs! It takes two to argue, so this call was yet again complete nonsense. Mathieu took to Twitter after the game, sharing his point of view on the incident. He has since deleted this tweet, but others have tweeted repeats of his words.
Antonio Hamilton’s Offside Penalty
The last penalty we are going to discuss is the offsides penalty called on Antonio Hamilton. It was fourth down and Tampa Bay kicked a field goal, which was good. After the play, referees called Antonio Hamilton on the Chiefs offsides, giving the Buccaneers the first down. This led to a touchdown pass thrown by Brady to Rob Gronkowski. This is another one of those ticky-tacky, let’s give Tom another chance type of penalty. Football is the type of sport where if you really looked closely every play, you could without a doubt find a penalty. It is the referees job to make calls on plays that affect the game, or put one’s safety at risk. Calling every little thing ruins the game, and it is suspicious when it is only called against one team.
In conclusion, we will leave it up to the reader to decide if this years’ Super Bowl was rigged or not. You have the facts needed to formulate your own opinion. Regardless of all the controversy, both teams played a good game, and as fans we look forward to next year and the surprises the season holds.