Sour grapes - one month old

In this week's "Ask the Ref" column, Tom Higgins explains the "interference on a loose ball" rule:

On the said play, Toronto returner Chad Owens mishandled a punt, the loose ball bounced into the end zone, and the Bombers appeared to recover it for a huge touchdown.

However, Owens had been unable to attempt to recover his fumble because a member of the Winnipeg cover team tackled him well after the ball came loose. The Bombers were penalized for "interference on a loose ball", their touchdown was nullified, and Toronto was awarded possession of the ball.

The rule book clearly states: "A player shall not deliberately interfere with an opponent attempting to recover a loose ball following a blocked kick, a dribbled ball, a fumble or a wild snap from the centre, an offside pass, an onside kick and a kick that does not cross the line of scrimmage."

Typically, a ball carrier fumbles as he is tackled, the ball comes loose, and the tackler finishes his tackle. There is also the case of incidental contact as players from opposing teams scramble to recover a loose ball.

In these circumstances, it is tough for an official to conclude that deliberate interference took place. But on the play Saturday night, the Bomber player made no attempt whatsoever to recover the ball as he instead grabbed Owens and pulled him to the ground, preventing Owens from making a play on the ball.

There is no doubt that it was a huge call in the game, but it was such a clear case of "interference on a loose ball". I also have no doubt Andre Proulx's crew made the right call.

That's great. But as someone pointed out on this board at the time, when Chris Williams fumbled into the end zone in Winnipeg on August 27, he was clearly pushed down from behind by a Bomber player after he got up and attempted to recover the ball. As Higgins himself explains, that should have led to a Winnipeg penalty. I assume we would have retained possession on the one.

Might have made a difference in the outcome of the game - in which case we'd be locked in a 3-way tie for 1st instead of 4 points back.

See the play at the 4:45 mark of this video:

Why do sour grapes take so long to digest? (at least a month, apparently)

Agreed, the push on Williams probably should have been called. Would it have changed the game's outcome? Who knows. Maybe.

And on the play Higgins is talking about, I agree that it looks like the Winnipeg player deliberately tackled Owens to prevent him from getting to the loose ball. But why does Higgins not also mention the two Toronto players who deliberately pushed Winnipeg players to the ground, preventing them from getting to the ball? Why is that not also interference? And if they had called those as interference as well as the call they made, what would the outcome of the play have been?

Of course it would have changed the outcome of the game. We would have 100% scored a TD on that drive. Completely changed the momentum of the game. What a rip off. Expat, sour grapes can last a lifetime lol

I was one poster who pointed out that non-call in the Bomber-TiCat game.

I also sent an email into Tom Higgins “ask the ref” forum wondering why the Bombers were not called for loose ball interference (as WIlliams was clearly and deliberately pushed down well after he fumbled) but I guess he couldn’t or wouldn’t excuse it away so he ignored my inquiry.

I know he can’t respond to every question but the fact he did respond now to the Argo game shows it has become a penalty of interest, just not when improperly called, or not called (concerning the TiCats) :frowning:

You're probably right.

As for sour grapes lasting a lifetime, just think of the bad PI and non-PI calls in the 1989 Grey Cup. I'm still bitter about losing because of those two calls. Even the Saskatchewan fans I was with that day conceded that they got away with at least one of them, if not both. Grrrrrrrr.....

CFIO, I'm still bitter about when my dad took my brother to see the Karate kid and didn't take me so top that one lol.

:lol: You win.