1. When you write a daily column, sometimes you get stuff wrong and sometimes you get stuff right. I’m going to focus on the latter and recall something that I wrote in Traina Thoughts on Aug. 16, during the NFL preseason.
“It’s gonna be so fun to watch every NFL player, coach and fan lose their minds this season over the new rule that allows pass interference to be challenged. Because even with replay, the refs still can’t get it right.”
I have to admit, when I wrote that, I didn’t know coaches would be allowed to challenge pass interference, but the officials wouldn’t overturn the call on the field no matter what happened on the play. But that’s how this ridiculous rule change has played out this year and it’s been a complete disaster.
The latest example came Monday night, when Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie clearly draped himself all over Giants tight end Evan Engram before the pass got to Engram. Naturally, the refs on the field got it wrong and did not call pass interference. Giants coach Pat Shurmur, who for some reason hasn’t realized yet that 99% of the time, replay is not going to overturn PI calls, challenged the ruling on the field. And of course, the ruling on the field stood.
In this day and age when you can’t even get everyone to agree that today is Tuesday, you can’t find one person who likes this replay change. Fans hate it. Coaches hate it. Broadcasters hate it. Players, current and past, hate it.
Jon Gruden has made four pass interference challenges this season. He’s 0-for-4. However, the Raiders coach hasn’t learned his lesson and has said he’s going to keep challenging.
“We’re challenging things that we think are plays that are going to be overturned and we’re going to trust the process,” Gruden told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “So far, I’ve been given the Heisman. I’ve been stiff-armed. I’m 0-for-27, I think. But when I listen to people tell me they’re going to overturn a call because it’s the wrong call, I believe in the process. And I still believe in it.”
Come back to us, Jon.
The ironic thing is that the league implemented this rule because of something that happened in the NFC title game last season, but this is going to end up being just as much of an embarrassment this postseason when they don’t overturn a PI call. There’s no such thing as a “lock” in the NFL, but having a major controversy regarding pass interference in a playoff game is a guaranteed lock.
2. Meanwhile, this was called pass interference on the Giants.
I don’t tell you this to belabor the pass interference discussion. I tell you this because it led to one of the best reactions of the NFL season.
3. The end of the Cowboys-Giants game saw one of the worst or best gambling finishes of the season, depending on whether you had the over or under 48.5.
4. Macaulay Culkin jumped into the fray Monday to join everyone who was mocking Baker Mayfield’s postgame look after the Browns lost to the Broncos on Sunday by implying that the quarterback looks like a wet bandit, but then going for a low blow.
5. If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned Kevin Harlan’s phenomenal effort Monday night calling the cat on the field, it’s because my colleague Dan Gartland beat me to in today’s Hot Clicks. But there was no way I could pass on mentioning it. We don’t deserve Kevin Harlan. And let me repeat something I’ve said a million times here and on the SI Media Podcast: If Turner Sports removes Marv Albert as their lead NBA play-by-play man and replaces him with anyone other than Harlan, it will be a disgrace of epic proportions.
On a side note, if you never listened to Harlan’s 2018 appearance on the SI Media Podcast, you should give it a listen because he was outstanding.
6. The latest SI Media Podcast is a good one featuring two guests. First up is Andrew Siciliano of DirecTV’s RedZone Channel, who was nice enough to come on after I had said I wasn’t a fan of RedZone, which was extremely classy. Siciliano talked about understanding why some people might not be a fan of RedZone, he explained what his Sundays are like, revealed what his ideal 1 p.m. vs. 4 p.m. breakdown would be and more.
Following Siciliano, WWE’s Renee Young joined the podcast to discuss her new, weekly FS1 show, WWE Backstage. She also talked about why her run as a Monday Night Raw commentator was a “disaster,” what it’s like to be married to someone who works for WWE’s competition and much more.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.
7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 67th birthday to the legendary Bill Walton.