The Accused: The replacement officials working the Lions at Titans game.
The Accusation: Ball spotted incorrectly during overtime.
The Case: In a week overflowing with bad calls, I finally had to pick one and go with it. I chose this one simply because it might well make history.
During the overtime period of the Lions/Titans game, the Tennessee Titans had the ball at the Tennessee 44 yard line. Jake Locker attempted to complete a pass to Craig Stevens. The pass was ruled incomplete. That call was bad enough in itself. But it is not the focus here.
Detroit linebacker Steven Tullock was penalized for a personal foul for a blow to the head. Still, nothing surprising.
The officials enforced the fifteen yard penalty and placed the ball at the Detroit 29 yard line.
Why the Detroit 29 yard line?
Because, instead of counting off fifteen yards from the Tennessee 44, they counted off from the Detroit 44. The extra twelve yards was just a generous spot.
Perhaps I am being harsh... again. But is it too much to ask for you to pay attention to the little details. For instance, why don't you try to keep an eye on where the ball is supposed to be placed. That kind of information may come in handy.
Of course it is a little difficult when you have six different ball placements during the course of a single play.
"It's a catch and a penalty... No wait, it's not a catch. It's nothing... No, I thought there was a penalty back there somewhere..."
The replacement officials are put in an unenviable position. All blame ultimately rests with the league office. But some errors are just too glaring even for Division III officials.
The Official Word: The replacement officials either need clipboards or someone who actually watches the game to tell them where the ball was last. Every team gets a little advantage every now and then.
Twelve yards is just plain ridiculous.