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Giants lose to Steelers despite help from referees on questionable calls

The NFL replacement referees have not been around for over a month, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell that watching Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-New York Giants game.

The Steelers overcame at least two bad calls from the officials to beat the Giants 24-20.

In the second quarter, the Giants were down 7-0 and had a third-and-goal from the two. Eli Manning scrambled after not being able to find anything in the end zone, and then he fired for Victor Cruz. The ball was nearly intercepted by Steelers CB Ike Taylor, who stepped in front of Cruz. Safety Ryan Clark came across and crushed Cruz, laying him out with a shoulder-first hit. Clark was penalized for a personal foul after the officials say he hit Cruz in the head. Replays showed that he led with his shoulder.

FOX NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira disagreed with the call. “That is not a blow to the head and not a foul. Pass had not even hit the ground yet,” he wrote on Twitter.

Instead of having a fourth-and-goal from the two, the Giants were first-and-goal from the one and scored on the next play. That was a four-point difference.

The Giants benefited from another questionable call a few plays later.

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Referee’s mic left on in Dolphins-Colts game produces G-damnit moment

Referee Tony Corrente’s microphone was left on during the Miami Dolphins-Indianapolis Colts game on Sunday, leading to an embarrassing moment while he and his crew members were discussing a call.

With 5:22 left in the game, the Colts were flagged for having 12 men on the field. The referees were discussing where to spot the ball, and one official yelled, “What the f— are you guys doing?” while Corrente’s mic was live. The crowd heard it, but those on TV did not.

On TV, a big “god damnit” was let out over the airwaves. Thankfully we had Kevin Harlan to apologize for us hearing the ref swear. Forbid our virgin ears from listening to something like that!

Video via @cjzero

Illegal touching penalty costs Buccaneers against Saints

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost in their comeback bid against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday when the referees penalized them for illegal touching on the final play of the game.

The Bucs were down 35-28 and had a fourth-and-goal play from the nine with five seconds left. Quarterback Josh Freeman took a snap from shotgun, didn’t see anything, and rolled to his left to avoid pressure. He fired into the end zone for receiver Mike Williams, who caught what appeared to be a touchdown that would likely have led to a tie game

However, the back judge threw a penalty flag for illegal touching on Williams. Williams was pushed out of bounds, which made it illegal for him to touch the ball first — hence the illegal touching penalty. Analyst John Lynch incorrectly argued that Williams was eligible because he had reestablished himself inbounds.

Here is the official rule on eligible receivers, with the applicable rules boxed in red:

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Ukraine robbed of goal on missed call by refs, loses 1-0 to England (Picture)

Ukraine was robbed of a goal when the referees missed a ball crossing the goal line in the 62nd minute of the country’s Group D match against England at Euro 2012 on Tuesday.

Down 1-0, Marko Devic looped a ball that crossed the goal line before it was hooked out and saved by John Terry. The referees missed that it crossed the line and Ukraine missed out on a goal because of it.

On top of missing the goal, Ukraine was also offside to start the break, so the referees missed two calls in a short span.

Ukraine ended up losing 1-0 and finished third in Group D. England won the group and advanced along with France.

And yes, this is the latest in a long line of reasons why soccer needs replay or goal line technology.

Screen cap via Mock Session

Granada player chucks sports drink at face of referee after loss to Real Madrid (Video)

Things turned ugly following Real Madrid‘s 2-1 road victory over Granada in La Liga on Saturday. Granada kept itself in danger of relegation when a 90th-minute own goal essentially sealed the victory for Madrid. An incensed Granada side was denied a chance for a last-gasp equalizer on a corner kick at the end of the game, and a mob of players confronted the head referee when he blew the final whistle. Coaches, assistant referees and Madrid players tried their best to intervene and protect the ref. At one point a player (allegedly Dani Benitez) manages to nail the referee in the face with a filled sports-drink bottle. Eventually police in riot gear came on to the pitch to help quell the rebellion. It looked like an Occupy Oakland protest except there were referees doling out red cards.

H/T Dirty Tackle

Notre Dame called for lane violation, loses comeback bid vs. Xavier

Notre Dame lost to Xavier in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday 67-63, and they lost on a questionable call by the refs. Guard Eric Atkins was at the free throw line for a one-and-one with 2.8 seconds and his team down 65-63. He made the first free throw, but it was waved off because the referee called a lane violation. Yup, the same lane violation that cost UNC Asheville against Syracuse on Thursday.

Guard Jerian Grant went from the backcourt and crossed the three-point line before the ball hit the rim, triggering the call. Instead of Atkins shooting for the tie, Xavier took the ball out, got fouled, and made two free throws to win it 67-63.

Even though the call is by the book, it’s not something that’s called during the regular season therefore it’s not something that should be called in the final 3 seconds with a game on the line. If you really want to go by the book, then the referees should be calling travels, carrying, and offensive or defensive fouls every other play. Some things you have to let go to keep the flow of the game, and this certainly was one of them.

Below is another look at the lane violation in slow-motion:

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UNC Asheville screwed by refs in final minutes against Syracuse

Syracuse almost became the first No. 1 seed ever to lose to a No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but they avoided the upset thanks to some help from the referees.

Aside from a controversial goaltending call, the refs called a lane violation on UNC Asheville following Scoop Jardine’s miss on the first of a one-and-one. Because of the violation, Jardine got to attempt his free throw again and made both, turning a four-point game into a six-point lead 64-58 lead for Syracuse with a minute and a half left in the game. While the call was technically correct (a player not on a legal lane space cannot cross the free throw line until the ball hits the rim), it was a petty call that is hardly made.

Additionally, a ball went out of bounds off Syracuse in the final minute, but it was called off Asheville. Asheville was down by three points when the blown call occurred:

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