During Sunday night's game against the Packers at Lambeau Field, Minnesota Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe made a diving catch in the end zone. The officials on the field ruled it a touchdown, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy challenged the call.
Reviewing the play on the NBC broadcast, Cris Collinsworth noted that in any diving catch, the ball is going to touch the ground, and "because he never lost control of the football, I'd be very surprised if this one gets overturned."
But that's exactly what happened. After reviewing footage of the play, referee Scott Gordon said Shiancoe had "used the ground" to make the catch. The Vikings settled for a field goal and ended up losing by four points. Vikings coach Brad Childress was furious, saying a better call could have been made by "50 drunks in a bar."
Fortunately, the NFL's rules are in writing, and they support that it was a catch. Childress said Monday he was told by a league official that Gordon's interpretation was in error. So the correct call was initially made in the heat of the moment only to be overruled after sober analysis of a high-definition, slow-motion replay.
In a cruel twist, ESPN reported Tuesday that Childress will be fined for his postgame comments and for revealing the contents of his discussion with the league office. And people say the appeal of football is that it's so easy to understand.