Nearly every single sports person on the Internet, analyst or not, has been talking about Sunday’s controversial call during the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys Wild Card Playoff game.

To recap, Detroit was winning 20-17 and the Lions were driving down the field. And on a 3rd and 1 play, Matthew Stafford threw a pass to Brandon Pettigrew, which was broken up by Anthony Hitchens. A flag was thrown on the Dallas linebacker, for what was obviously pass interference.

However, after some deliberation, the referees picked up the flag and decided there was not enough evidence to deliver a penalty. The exact ruling is that face guarding, a penalty in college, is not one in the pros: and the refs did not see enough contact to warrant pass interference.

Unfortunately, most disagreed with the call; and though the Lions did a lot of things to lose that Wild Card game, this picked up flag was a momentum shifter — deflating one of only a few successful drives for the Lions in the second half. The following play the punter botched the kick, leaving Dallas in great field position for their game-winning drive.

Since then, the media has had a field day with the no-call: with even President Obama weighing in on their decision. But more importantly, the NFL head of officials Dean Blandino even admitted the crew sort of messed up: “the non-call on pass interference against Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew by Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens was debatable, but holding definitely should have been called on the play.”

But what about the Detroit Lions: what were their reactions? Jim Cadwell called the referee’s explanation for picking up the flag “not good enough.” And Pettigrew himself claimed, “I didn’t get an explanation. It was ridiculous… He ran through me.” Best of all, on Tuesday’s Inside the NFL, they showed a video of Matthew Stafford’s game time reaction: he was mic’d during the decision.

Needless to say, Stafford was a little upset, “Hey, Pete that is unbelievable… and you know it is,” he said. The refs then explained the decision, “What he said, “he did face guard, but there was no call when the ball arrived.”” To which Stafford later replied, “I understand that, but I never in the history seen one turned over. Congratulations man, first time in the history that’s happened.”

As long as the Cowboys are in the playoffs, people are going to be talking about this controversy: conspiracy theorists are having a field day with the idea the referees were just doing the NFL’s bidding, as they want Dallas to win. But all Detroit Lions fans have to be devastated, it is going to be at least one more year before they can break their 23 season playoff victory drought.

h/t: Bleacher Report

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