Sportress of Blogitude

Billboards in Detroit blast officials over ‘MNF’ calls

The prevailing opinion in NFL circles following the Detroit Lions’ controversial loss to the Green Bay Packers on “Monday Night Football” was that the team was egregiously jobbed by officials, especially on two critical calls during the fourth quarter of the agonizing 23-22 setback.

In reaction to the Lions being arguably robbed, some billboards have started popping up around Detroit that take a shot at the officials’ role in the team’s loss.

The billboards feature a referee sporting a cheesehead, the foam-based headwear of choice for huge Packers fans.

The gesture being made by the ref on the billboards is making reference of two illegal hands-to-the-face penalties called on Lions defensive lineman Trey Flowers. The NFL later admitted that one of the flags on Flowers should not have been thrown, but that has done little to lessen Lions fans’ ire.

It merits noting that billboards popping up around Detroit when the Lions fans feel wronged has been a recurring event in recent years.

In 2015, “Blind to the bat” billboards — which featured a ref wearing sunglasses with the implication he is visually impaired — were erected after a controversial ending in a Lions’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Also back in 2015, billboards featuring the message “$UH” were erected in reaction to Ndamukong Suh leaving the Lions to sign a huge contract with the Miami Dolphins.

Outfront Media spokesperson Courtney Richards told ESPN the latest billboards — seven in all that will be in place for the rest of the week — are the work of the same group of anonymous Lions fans who footed the bill for the billboard blitz in 2015.

Interestingly, it also is the very same group of disgruntled fans who sponsored the “Detroit Lyin’” billboards in the wake of controversial calls made in the team’s playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys in January, 2015.

As far as the “Blind to the bat” billboards, Lions cornerback Justin Coleman found them amusing.

“That real?” Coleman asked. “My goodness. That’s creative, though.”