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Greece beats Ivory Coast after controversial stoppage time foul (Video)

The drama thus far in the 2014 World Cup has been nothing shy of incredible, and Tuesday afternoon’s action was no exception. Just when it appeared that Ivory Coast would be advancing to the knockout stage with a draw, a controversial penalty in stoppage time handed Greece a 2-1 win.

Greece forward Giorgos Samaras was lining up to take a shot at around the penalty kick spot in the 91st minute when his kicking leg caught the inside of Ivory Coast defender Giovanni Sio’s leg. That caused Samaras’ foot to get stuck in the turf, and he lost his balance. The officials called a foul on Sio and awarded Greece a penalty kick.

Greece-Ivory-Coast-foul

Of course it helped that Samaras sold the call:

Greece penalty kick

Samaras scored on the penalty kick to give Greece the win and send them to the round of 16.

If you thought Team USA’s game against Portugal on Sunday ended in heartbreak, this should give you an entirely different perspective. The US still has a great chance to advance, while Ivory Coast has been sent packing thanks to a brutal call.

GIF via SB Nation

Referees screw Clippers at end of Game 5 vs. Thunder (Video)

The NBA officiating crew of Tom Washington, Bennett Salvatore and Tony Brothers stole Game 5 from the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night and gave it to the Oklahoma City Thunder with a series of bad calls at the end of the game.

The Clippers blew a 7-point lead with 49 seconds left to lose 105-104. They were up 104-102 in the final 20 seconds following a layup and 3-pointer from Kevin Durant. Chris Paul had the ball for the Clippers and probably thought the Thunder were going to foul him. Russell Westbrook went after him and got a steal but was not called for a foul. That was the first questionable call of the sequence. Then Reggie Jackson got the ball after the steal and went up for a layup. Forget that Paul fouled Jackson but the refs didn’t call it; Jackson lost the ball out of bounds and the Thunder were awarded the ball after a review.

Replays seemed to show that Jackson, not Matt Barnes, was last to touch it:

Reggie Jackson Matt Barnes

Even after the review, officials gave the ball to the Thunder with 11.3 seconds left and the team down by two. OKC gave it to Westbrook, who hoisted a 3-pointer with 6.4 seconds left. The refs then called a b.s. foul on Chris Paul, giving Westbrook three free throws.

Westbrook made all three free throws to give his team the lead, and then Paul turned the ball over on the final possession for the Clippers. You could even argue that Jackson fouled CP3 with a reach in on that turnover. I still put that on CP3, but the Clips had already done enough to win. The refs stole the game from them.

That’s three pretty terrible calls in my opinion, and all three went against the Clippers.

“We got robbed,” Rivers said after the game.

He is absolutely right.

Florida State taunting penalty takes away 2-point conversion (GIF)

Florida State tauntingFor a time during the BCS National Championship Game, it looked like the referees were going to have a major impact on the contest.

Florida State was flagged for a taunting penalty after scoring a touchdown to make it 21-19 Auburn in the fourth quarter. The penalty pushed FSU back 15 yards on the extra point, so they decided to kick instead of trying for two. After making the extra point, FSU trailed 21-20. Luckily they went up by three thanks to a kickoff return for a touchdown by Levonte Whitfield following an Auburn field goal, otherwise the referee’s questionable call would have been considered more of a glaring controversy.

GIF via @SBNation

Referees miss pass interference by Lardarius Webb on Kris Durham

Kris Durham Lardarius Webb

The referees in the Detroit Lions-Baltimore Ravens game on Monday night missed a pass interference call that may have cost the Lions a touchdown.

Late in the third quarter, the Lions had the ball at the Baltimore 23 for a 3rd-and-9 situation. Matthew Stafford threw a go route to Kris Durham, who was covered one-on-one by Lardardius Webb. Webb grabbed a hold of Durham’s arm, making it nearly impossible for him to make the catch. The pass fell incomplete, and the Lions settled for a field goal to make it 12-10 Ravens.

Here’s a look at the play:

Stafford couldn’t believe there wasn’t a flag on the play and complained to the refs. Even Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden pointed out what a terrible missed call it was. Then there was this from FOX NFL rules guru Mike Pereira:

Had pass interference rightfully been called, the Lions would have had the ball 1st-and-goal at the Baltimore 1-yard line and a very good chance to take the lead.

Image via @Guyism; GIF via GIFD Sports

Patriots-Panthers game ends with referees picking up penalty flag (GIF)

The Carolina Panthers-New England Patriots game ended in controversy on Monday night after the referees decided to pick up a penalty flag thrown on the final play of the game and walk off without explaining why they weren’t calling a penalty.

The Patriots were down 24-20 and had a 2nd-and-3 from the Carolina 18 with three seconds left. Tom Brady was pressured, stepped up in the pocket, and threw to the end zone for Rob Gronkowski. The ball was underthrown based on where Gronk was, but what didn’t help was that Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was holding Gronk, preventing the tight end from making a play on the ball.

Rob Gronkowski Luke Kuechly

Robert Lester intercepted the pass.

Though the back judge threw a flag on the play, he picked it up after conferring with the other referees. Head referee Clete Blakeman said there was no foul on the play and that the game was over. He left most people wondering why they had picked up the flag.

My analysis is that Gronk probably would not have made the catch, but he could have at least made a play on the ball if he weren’t interfered with. Therefore it was a bad call to pick up the flag and rescind the penalty. And my goodness, at least explain to us why you’re picking up the flag!

Here’s another look at the play:

GIFs via BuzzFeedSports, Twitter/_MarcusD_

Jets appeared to do same thing as Patriots by pushing player into field goal formation (GIF)

Jets-field-goal-push

The New England Patriots lost to the New York Jets on Sunday thanks in part to a call that was made for the first time in NFL history. Jets kicker Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal attempt wide left in overtime that would have given Tom Brady and company great field position, but Patriots rookie Chris Jones was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing one of his teammates into a Jets offensive lineman.

[Video: Did the Patriots get hosed on this call against the Jets?]

The officials got the call right based on the new rule. It was just surprising that they decided to call it at such a crucial point in the game and essentially hand New York a victory. As you can see from the GIF above that Barstool Sports passed along, it appears the Jets did the same thing on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal earlier in the game.

Jets-field-goal-push

Again, the call cannot be disputed. NFL officials were recently shown examples of the play and told that they need to start calling it. The issue is they should have been looking for it the entire game, not just in overtime. The animation above seems to show that they were not.

Patriots lose on ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Chris Jones

The New England Patriots lost to the New York Jets 30-27 in overtime on Sunday after referees called an obscure and ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Pats rookie Chris Jones.

The call came on a 54-yard field goal Nick Folk missed wide to the left to keep the game tied at 27. Jones was flagged for stacking up behind his teammate and pushing one of his defensive lineman into a Jets lineman. As of a new rule created this year designed to protect players, that is an illegal play.

The 15-yard penalty allowed the Jets to retain possession and move closer for a field goal. They won the game on a 42-yard kick from Folk.

According to NFL rules guru Mike Pereira, that is the first time the penalty has been called this season.

Referees apparently had been shown examples of this rules violation and were told to start calling it. The Pats were the first victim.

“It’s my mistake. It’s all my fault,” Jones said after the loss.

Chris Jones penalty

Also see: Did Jets do same thing earlier in game?