George R.R. Martin: Detroit Lions fans should be ‘screaming for referee blood’
Given his propensity for violently colorful prose in his groundbreaking “A Song of Ice & Fire” series, it shouldn’t be surprising that George R.R. Martin’s commentary on the controversial decision by referee Pete Morelli to pick up a flag thrown for pass interference during the Dallas Cowboys’ 24-20 wild card win over the Detroit Lions Sunday calls for “referee blood.”
Martin, whose books spawned the smash HBO series, “Game of Thrones,” took to his blog to savage the call by officials to not hold up a pass interference call on Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens as he defended Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew on a third-and-1 play during the fourth quarter.
Martin, agreeing with appears to be the general sentiment of most folks regarding the play, writes on “Not A Blog”:
If I was a Detroit Lions fan, I’d be screaming for referee blood about that.
Picking up that flag on a FLAGRANT pass interference by Dallas in the fourth quarter was the worse call… or non-call… the NFL has seen since… well… since the non-call on the botched field goal attempt in the Giants/ 49ers playoff game ages ago.
Shocking. Really shocking.
The Lions could still have won the game. They did lots to blow it afterward, from penalties of their own (none as flagrant, none picked up) to blown coverages to a shanked punt and a fumble. But still… Detroit could well have locked up the victory on that drive, the play was textbook pass interference, the penalty needed to stand. The defender mugged the tight end.
One for the books.
Morelli, meanwhile, reportedly offered up the following explanation after the game.
“The back judge threw his flag for defensive pass interference,” Morelli said in a pool report, via ESPN.com. “We got other information from another official from a different angle that thought the contact was minimal and didn’t warrant pass interference. He thought it was face guarding.”
While Martin didn’t have a horse in this wild card race, the novelist is a huge football fan, occasionally posting musings about the NFL on his blog, especially professing his ire over the dysfunction surrounding his favorite team, the New York Jets.
And given the amount of hand-wringing, outrage and accusations of conspiracies, the Cowboys-Lions tilt — and the ensuing controversy — arguably could held its own during a tournament held in King’s Landing, right along with the jousting and melees.
(video courtesy of Business Insider, photo via Deadspin)