The If These Walls Could Talk Award
Winner: Referee Jerome Boger (Giants-Cardinals)
NFL officials botch calls all the time, even with the aid of instant replay. It’s natural to be imperfect. But there is one play in particular that remains a divisive topic and it occurred in Week 4. Down 27-24 and driving late in the fourth quarter, Giants receiver Victor Cruz caught an Eli Manning pass, ran some, fell down, and released the ball on the turf before he was touched by an opposing Cardinal. Cruz was not touched, therefore, he wasn’t down by contact, which should have resulted in a fumble. That’s where things got hazy.
Referee Jerome Boger cited the rule of a dead ball (Rule 7, Section 2, Article 1 if you care), and determined that Cruz "declared himself down" by falling down and making “no effort to advance.” The Cardinals recovered the ball, but by the rule that’s really more or less not a rule if the ball carrier does not slide feet first (which Cruz did not) the play was blown dead and could not be challenged. Two questions: what the hell did the refs discuss in their dressing room after the game, and who owed whom dinner the following night? I’m still awaiting answers. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)
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