League decisions on fines from Vikings/Cowboys prove refs blew it
As I’ve said across the myriad of radio appearances I now do each week (in cities like Duluth, Detroit Lakes, Hibbing, St. Cloud, Redwood Falls, etc.), I typically attempt to avoid blaming the refs for the Minnesota Vikings’ perpetual woes. The last thing I’d want to ever convey to anyone is that I am the same type of “fan” as those in Green Bay or New England. However, sometimes the referees in the NFL do such an egregiously poor job that it is impossible to avoid giving them some percentage of blame for the outcome of a game.
That “sometimes” is the game between the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys. A game in which, don’t get me wrong, the Vikings definitely didn’t play well enough to win on defense, but none the less did receive then opposite of help from the boys in black/white.
The two best examples of what I (and nearly all of Vikings Twitter) am (and was) talking about come from both a call and no call from Sunday’s nightmare of a contest.
First up, the call. A 15-yard penalty for a “helmet-to-helmet” hit on Vikings superstar safety Harrison Smith.
While everyone and their mother knows that that was a bad call, as head coach Mike Zimmer attested after the game, we got further validation of that truth today when it was announced that Smith would not be fined for the hit (which is standard practice for actual helmet/helmet hits in a league trying to at least give the impression it cares about CTE, after long denying the existence of it, blocking any sort of healthcare or compensation for former players, and sending cars to drive by Will Smith’s house at night in that documentary “Concussion”).
That leaves the no call which was also, coincidentally, a helmet-to-helmet play.
It was this play that generated the first turnover of the game for the Vikings and if not for this illegal hit and strip, the outcome of the game could’ve had a different outcome. Although, again, the defense was porous all day so it’s not as if the Vikes played great and were solely robbed by the refs.
Despite the no call the league announced today that it was fining Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson for the helmet-to-helmet hit on Cousins, and also fining whomever started calling Dallas “America’s Team” in the first place (just because you label yourself something, doesn’t mean it’s true. Just ask me, Joe Johnson, America’s sexiest man).
The combo of the fine and no fine, then, proves that the refs on Sunday were as bad as people on Vikings Twitter/social media typed in all caps Sunday night.
I guess we can all take that information and… I was going to say feel better, but for me personally, it makes me feel worse. It’s not as if we can go back and change the outcome of those plays/potentially the game, and I’ve never been a very big moral victory person. Clearly. So, I somehow found a way to make Sunday’s loss more painful.
Or should I say, I found ANOTHER way to make Sunday’s loss more painful.