So, I am an level 3 amateur official, and was part of the replay booth crew for five years in Calgary when replay was in-stadium. I know first hand how difficult it can be to officiate a game and get it 100% correct. However, yes, that was a missed call. My hope is that the official, who is looking right at the defender pulling Mack’s left arm away, was going to throw the flag if the pass was incomplete… but he SHOULD throw the flag regardless. I have a screen-capture of that moment just before Mack’s catch and the ref is looking right at it with an unimpeded view, and yet… no call. When I look at the BS roughing call that occurred against Collaros and gifted Winnipeg a touchdown, where the ref could not see the point of impact of the defender’s arm, because the players were between the ref and that view, I can only shake my head. I’d actually like the CFL to do a better job of using (or not using) the command center. If they truly care about getting it right, the command center would have nullified that call. I guess my question is… what are the guidelines for stopping play to review a call? Sure, turnovers, touchdowns, and challenges, but they also haphazardly stop games to reverse offside calls and check on whether a pass was really completed or not. It has to be ALL or NONE, they’ve got to stop picking and choosing when they intervene. But in a Grey Cup game, with a penalty that truly isn’t a penalty (roughing), that gifts a team points, or when a penalty should have been called (Mack’s reception), then they should step in. That roughing penalty gifted Winnipeg 4 points that left them in the lead for much of the game. Consistency, that’s all I’m asking for.
Bartmon, thanks for that in depth breakdown. I too was going to mention that roughing call but commenting on 2 contentious plays might have looked like sour grapes. Twice this year without having to call on a challenge, the command center over ruled penalties like that. I believe one of those calls was on Oakman. Either the command center stay out of the game unless a challenge flag is thrown or they help the on-field refs make the right call on each and every play.
Note: I think it was the same ref on both calls.
I’ll tell ya Bobby, there is definitely an anti-Quebec bias in pro sports. When I first noticed it, I thought that I was just being a sourpuss but then one day I realised that it was real because while I always felt it with the Habs and the Als, I’ve been a Giants fan since 1987, I became a Giants fan because I was a kid and the Als had just folded. The Giants had that familiar royal blue with accents of white and Crimson just like the Alouettes that I knew.
So anyway, I realised about a decade ago while watching a Giants game that I had never once been truly frustrated with NFL officials like I had been with their CFL and NFL counterparts. I had never felt like the officials were against the Giants with stupid calls that only ever went one way like I did with the Als and Habs. I’ll never forget that 2-point conversion in the 97th Grey Cup that would’ve tied the game with Chris Cuthbert being astonished that no penalty marker was thrown. The Riders’ DB committed blatant pass interference on Jamel Richardson in the end zone that actually moved his shoulder pads but, no flag. I’ll never forget seeing PK Subban getting literally tackled by one of the Bruins in the 2011 playoffs with no call made, a situation so horrendous that even Don Cherry made a stink about it (and you know that takes some doing!).
Then I started to notice that English CFL promotions were very Riders/Argos-centric with the EE’s, Stamps, Bombers and Lions as background with the Als and Redblacks only being shown once or twice. The current CFL apparel commercial is a perfect example of this. If they truly want to sell the most merch, they should ideally have the same amount of time allotted for each team’s swag, but nope, they don’t.
Then of course, there are far more Toronto Maple Leafs in the Hockey Hall of Fame than Montreal Canadiens despite the Canadiens being older and FAR more successful as a franchise than the Leafs. The Habs are also the most penalized team in NHL history despite never having a reputation of being dirty. These are measurable facts, not vague anecdotes.
It’s not just TSN that does it either, I’ve been absolutely disgusted by CBC Sports for doing the exact same thing, only worse. Back in 2011, the Habs and Bruins went to OT in game seven in the first round. Between the end of the third period and the beginning of OT, all that the Hockey Night in Canada crew could talk about was what the Boston Bruins needed to do to win. So they were even willing to favour an American team over the Habs. Once in a blue moon, the TSN crew will question these horrible calls but for the most part, they try to sweep them under the rug by conspicuously not showing a replay when they showed a replay of every other play in that game.
In other words, you’re not imagining things, the bias is real and it has always been there. It sucks and I hate it but it’s defintely there. I say that as a born Montrealer who is bilingual but primarily an anglophone so nobody can accuse me of being anti-English.
The guidelines aren’t the issue here. It’s an unspoken reality that Quebec-based teams get nailed with undeserved calls more often and have fewer calls made against teams that they’re facing, whether they’re deserved or not.
If you want proof of this, just check out any YouTube video of the 97th Grey Cup and advance to time index 1:57:30 to see just how egregious the non-call was. It was literally the worst non-call in football that I have ever seen or heard about and of course, it was against the Alouettes.
I have never forgotten this because if the Als got the two point convert, the game would’ve been tied. Those officials did their best to hand the Grey Cup to the Riders on a silver platter, and that cannot be denied because there’s no way they could be that blind and there’s no way that they’re that stupid.
I’ve been a big New York Giants fan since 1987 and I have never felt like the NFL officials were against the Giants so it’s not just me being a butthurt Als fan.
Maybe, but CFL officials have a terrible history when it comes to games with the Alouettes in them. Go look at the 97th Grey Cup at time index 1:57:30 and you’ll see a non-call that can only be the officials trying to hand the Grey Cup to the Riders on a silver platter. All these years later and I can still picture it because the two-point convert would’ve tied the game.
Memorable moment: the RCAF CF-18 flypasts were timed to 6:15 and 6:36 according to the PSA. The first flypast was mid-song during the pre-game concert. The second flypast was halfway through the national anthem. Whether it was TSN’s commercial breaks timing or the organizers falling behind schedule, it was not a good look for the CFL.