Tuesday, September 30: Just Because You’re Paranoid…

Given that I spent a whole bunch of words yesterday reveling in the fact that a couple of sportswriters gave the Redskins credit for a non-fluke victory, I think it’s safe to say that I have a little bit of a complex when it comes to the credit the Redskins get. It’s not just me, of course; almost all Redskins fans are convinced that half the major media writers (Dr. Z, Peter King, Len Pasquarelli) hate their team, and even Santana Moss mentioned in his press conference yesterday that “That’s how it is. I don’t think Redskins ever get any credit for doin’ nothin’…. You know, whether you go to the playoffs one year or not, we always gonna be that team that you look down on.”

So it stood to reason that someone was going to find some way to question the Redskins win yesterday. Michael David Smith at NFL Fanhouse finds (via The Landry Hat) a way to do that: in a game that the Redskins won by two points, it would certainly raise some questions if a field goal that was called good actually went wide left.

The video on NFL.com completely fails to convince me either way, and pausing it at 2:17 (as The Landry Hat suggests) doesn’t really clarify matters. Here’s a screen capture at that spot.

Leaving aside the fact that it is impossible to judge precisely where the ball is in relation to the end line at a given time from this angle, here’s the same screen capture of the same moment with the ball circled and the upright extended to infinity (or to the border of the image, which complies better with the laws of physics and saves me some complicated math).

At the very least, this proves that you cannot accurately determine where the ball is in relation to the crossbar from this camera angle, and also that — at a point that looks to me like it’s about where the ball crosses the goalpost — it’s inside the upright.

Smith disagrees with me:

I believe that the ball went just wide left (to the right from the vantage point of watching the NFL.com highlights) and the official standing directly under the goal post screwed up.

It’s possible that I’m seeing it wrong on the replay and the official under the goal post saw it right, but I don’t think so: I’ve reviewed the play frame-by-frame in high-definition via the DirecTV short cut, and I think the camera angle actually gives people watching on TV a better view than the on-field official had. It’s a strange call to get wrong, but I think that official did.

I’m skeptical that any camera angle can be a better view of whether a ball cleared the upright than standing directly underneath the upright in question, but Smith seems pretty firm on the subject, and he’s not usually one given to histrionics.

Leaving aside the whole “even if the Redskins missed the field goal, there’s no guarantee that the rest of the game goes the way it did so you can’t say they’d lose” argument, because it is impossible to prove and therefore pointless, there’s another screen capture from the highlights that is ultimately more relevant to the actual outcome of the game than any of the above theorizing.


45 Responses

  1. But then there was also that “holding” pentaly on Rabach that nullified the first of two those touchdowns. That was much more obvious, in my mind, then watching clips on DirectTV and trying to over rule and official who was standing under the goal post.

  2. The key part of these video still is that it’s only the THIRD QUARTER. This Cowboys fan is as close as you can get to whining. They got their asses ripped the whole game, deal with it. Matt, did you ask Shizaam what he thought regarding it being potentially wide?

    I’m glad to see the Skins fans tearing this Cowboys fan a new one on his blog.

  3. Excellent photoshop work Matt. Someone get that guy some tissues.

  4. Incredible. Whatever happened to sportsmanship and the ability to admit that the better team won? It is *impossible* to tell depth from those pictures, and not only that, Wade could have challenged it had he thought it was no good; he didn’t, because it was good.

    Typical Cowgirls fans really, there’s no way they could have possibly lost a game fair and square. No chance. Zero. Zilch.


  5. Why are cowboy fans still making excuses as to why the Cowboys lost? They lost, get over it. All the missed calls, the refs doing this and not calling that, wont make up for the fact that your defense gave up 26 points and ours gave up 24. Stop complaining and whinning and accept defeat.

  6. My husband & I noticed that as well as we were watching the game. We thought it went out, but when the official said good – We were GLAD!!! I think Dallas fans are looking for any excuse they can come up with to nullify the fact that THEIR COWBOYS didn’t get them a WIN. The truth of the matter is, even IF the field goal wasn’t any good it doesn’t mean that the cowboys would have won (by 1 point) because that would change the entire way the rest of the game would have been played! Skins still had the momentum, I believe they still would have beat them!
    Go SKINS!!

  7. A day late and a dollar short. Deal with it Cowboys.

    Seems as though Whiney TO fits right in with the Whine Cowboy fans.

  8. And let’s remember, folks (READ: COWBOYS FANS), after the browns-ravens incident last year, a field goal is a reviewable, challenge-able play, but Wade never threw his red flag, so obviously no one involved thought it was worth a second look.

    And we dominated the ‘Boys in every aspect, so shut up and get over it.

  9. Does anyone even think if that if the fieldgoal was called no good that Dallas would of won by 1 point. How about the fact that when we were up by 3 and then 6 points in most of the 3rd quarter and all of the 4th the Cowboys could NOT sustain a drive to take the lead with a TD. Am I the only one that realizes that Dallas went right down the field in less than 2 minutes because we were up by 9 at the time. Would they have driven the length of the field at the end if we were up by only 6? I doubt it. They didnt do it the entire 3rd or 4th quarter when they were down by 3 and then 6.

    Also FYI, the FG and the end of the 1st half and the TD at the end of the game were gimmies by the Redskins defense. So take away those and you can take away the supposed missed FG by Suisam and then your final becomes 23-14.

    Wow, these Cowboys fans have me whining just like them about should of, could of, and would of.

    I dont know why they cant admit we came in, DOMINATED all fases of the game and beat them. It happens.

  10. Pitiful reallt, tsk, tsk, tsk, I almost feel sorry for them.


  11. Haha how stupid.

    You can’t argue that they stole that win from Dallas. Even if we didn’t get that FG we would’ve had 2 timeouts and 1:40 left.

    Not only that but on our last drive [not taking knees] we were simply trying to run out the clock rather than score.

  12. That yellow line that whoever put on the screenshot to continue the goal posts to the top of the screen is actually crooked. It is slightly angled to the left if you notice which would make the ball appear even further off than it really is. Hold a straight edge up to the actual goal post to continue the line and see for yourself.

  13. It went over the post, if it goes over the post its good, its really not that complicated. And everyone else is right, we ran the ball a hundred times on that last drive to run out the clock, if Campbell had been slinging it around the field like the rest of the game we could have driven down and scored a TD, we just shut it down.

  14. Dirty manipulation of the screen shot. I currently have a more fair screen view that shows this field goal was NO GOOD. This is an officials Redskins Blog. I don’t expect you to be fair.

    However, this is not whining. I gave full credit to the Redskins for playing a great game, and Jim Zorn for coaching an excellent game. They came into Dallas and upset the Cowboys in a pretty convincing manner. There were many what ifs in this game, including this field goal, Sam Hurd’s stone hands, etc etc.

    But to call this field goal good is just not right. It was to the left and outside. I proved it.

  15. thelandryhat –


    you proved nothing, as much as you want to think you did. the field goal was not to the left and not outside….how exactly was it manipulated?

    stop being a cowboys homer bitch and admit defeat. i dont see anybody else, no cowboys fans, no cowboys players, no cowboys coaches even talking about this. so drop it! you lost, and you’re team whines more than any other (Tank, T.O.). man, talk about some sore losers!

  16. The still shot is from an angle that the ball has already gone through the goalposts. That picture is not a good angle and does not show the depth. If you watch the video you can see that the ball had already gone through when it appears to be wide. No doubt it was close…but the official did not hesitate and it did not look like anyone on either team seemed to think it was wide…even Cowboy players didn’t oppose…so let’s move on.

  17. You didn’t “prove” anything moron. Could you clarify something for us? What credentials do you have that you can delcare that field goal no good from your computer chair and at the same time devalue the observation of an NFL OFFICIAL who was standing under the goalpost?

    And please don’t play the “what-if” games, because those scenarios favor the Redskins even further. The ‘Skins shut down your offense and picked apart your defense. If I were you, I’d spend more time complaining about the horrible playcalling of your offense. You lost. Get over it.

  18. I was a referee for high school sports. :) Does that qualify?

    It was no good. You guys get over it. Good game.

  19. You need to move the frame a few more milliseconds. That’s not the correct frame at the 2:17 mark. Click the frame three more times and BAM–not good.

  20. After 3 clicks it has already gone through…BAM-Good.

  21. Why don’t you write an article on the holding call on Casey Rabach? We can break down the film in miliseconds and all that nonsense. I mean that article would be just as useless and arbitrary as the one you already wrote. I don’t care how much “credit” you give the Skins for t the win, writing an article like that is taken at face value. WHINING.

  22. No, being a referee for high school sports does not qualify you to be an expert on field goal technicalities in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. College ref? Maybe. Ed Hochuli? Hell no.

    So yeah, the fact that the players/coaches all accepted it as good is more than enough to me to move forward with those 3 points, and the win overall.

    Next thing you know, Cowgirls fans will start declaring that the 12th man on the field was an optical illusion or a ghost or something of that nature. Face it, a loss is a loss. We got beat by the Giants and we moved on without talking about how unfair everything was. At least you’ve got a softball schedule next week so you can feel better about yourselves.

  23. You don’t whine when you win. You gloat.

    Its just as arbitrary for the original article to have been written whining about how it wasn’t good.

    But like I said, we aren’t whiners this week, we get to gloat for awhile.

  24. I was talking to the LandryHat fool, just to be clear. Matt is taking care of business, and I love it.

  25. The refs blew a call and cost the game? Really? I’ve never seen that in 40+ years watching the Redskins! Maybe he should call somebody. Besides us, I mean!

  26. But they didn’t blow the call…don’t even give them an inch…

  27. Hahaha, that idiot circled the “football” on a pic on his blog, and as it turns out what he circled was a ‘Skins jersey, and the football is clearly visible in another area.

  28. When you are looking straight on, you cant tell where the ball is in relation to the goal post, its a 2D image, just like on your HD TV in a 3(possibly more)D game. But if it was questionable, why didnt the cowboys throw the challenge flag. You should be more pissed at your ‘Boys for not paying enough attention to the game. I still think its hilarious that people watching at home on TV claim to have a better angle/view/perception than an official standing below the goal post.

  29. Too bad landryhat claims to be a high school official because that means some young players are getting less than they deserve. It’s obvious that he needs some more officiating training as well as culture training. The ball passed cleanly between the uprights extended, and that my friends is a score. BTW, passing over the posts as suggested by DrChris would NOT have been good — it must pass between the uprights. The official under the upright has a unique perspective to make the call — it would be hard to miss.

  30. the landryhat,
    if you were a high school ref then you would know that the high school goal posta are wider than the NFL and College ones, therefore you would not qualify you an “expert”

  31. the landryhat,
    if you were a high school ref then you would know that the high school goal posts are wider than the NFL and College ones, therefore you would not qualify as an “expert”

    disgregard my last post, long day at work.

  32. ‘Skins 26 – Cowboys 24. Enough Said! I don’t want to hear a peep from all the fair weather cowgirls fans until they beat the Skins again…
    After all the trash talk we skins fans had to put up with all week leading up to the game, their team laid an Egg in their own stadium. Thank you Redskins! Our Team shut ’em up good. GOOOOOOO SKINS!

  33. That yellow line is leaning inward a bit and the kick is still good. Align the line correctly and, clearly, the ref’s made the correct call.

    You’re reaching, landryhat… Get over it, buddy.

  34. landryhat

    as the late, great bill klem once said (he was a long time, well respected baseball ump) to a batter who was arguing that a pitch was really not in the strike zone:

    yes, son, yesterday that pitch was a ball, and tomorrow that pitch will also be a ball. but today, it was strike three, so take a seat..

    refs make judgment calls all the time. some are good and some arent. when you loose it seldom if ever is the result of one play or one call. it is the cumulative result of about 40-60 plays each on offense and defense. perhaps the FG was wide. i sure thought so watching on tv. but the reaction of every single player on the field suggested otherwise from looking at the reactions and body language. i just dont know. but if it was wide, then flame the dallas coaching staff for not complaining or asking for a review. and further, blame dallas for letting the skins completely outplay them for the game.. that is what cost dallas the game, not the refs…


  35. Good game, guys. Seriously. Now knock this crap off and just agree: I am right. The proof is in the pudding. The still used on this site is in error, and the Official Redskins Blog should be ASHAMED. I am moving on from this. You should to. A lot of football left, kids.

  36. So now you move on…

    What should the blog be ashamed up? For defending false claims? You sir, should be ashamed.

    Remember when the Redskins beat the Cowboys on Sunday? That was awesome!

  37. Us Dallas fans are ok with the loss but when you chicken **** redskin fans get on here and run your mouth is another thing. Yes you beat us by 2 ok we will play again and I promise you this it wont be the same. We will hand your ass to you

  38. you should have never brought it up dbag, the proof is in no one from the Cowboys complaining but a stupid fan who likes to whine about refs.

  39. The kick looked wide live on TV and I was surprised when the ref called it good. But it was called good. And that’s what matters. Great win. More work to do. The Cowboys are yesterday’s news.

  40. I think there is a pattern here… and I’m not just talking about here on this blog or by that guy at Fanhouse… I’m talking about all around me. (Most) Cowboys fans just can not accept the fact that they lost. LOST. Defined as: to suffer defeat or fail to win. It always has to be something. I’ve heard that the Skins got “lucky”… I’ve heard that the Cowboys “gave it” to us… and so on. GIVE ME A BREAK. Were we all watching the same game? None of the Cowboys fans fail to mention the holding calls… or how about the lack of penalty calls on Dallas several times? Can’t be fair about it now can we? Excuses, excuses. Accept it.


  41. The problem with the images here is that a photo is 2-dimensional, while our world is 3-dimensions. What a photo cannot provide is depth perception. The ball did hook outside the uprights, but not until after it had gone between them. The ref looked up, saw the ball go through, and it doesn’t matter what happens after that. Just as in baseball, where lots of line drive doubles wind up in the corner in foul territory, because all that matters is where the ball was when it passed the base. This is much ado about an optical illusion. And that’s the final word. On to week 5…

  42. Cowgirls always want their way.

  43. Kevin Harris – apparently you cowboys fans AREN’T ok with the loss to the Redskins, because you’re fellow douche bag cowboy fan is bitching about a field goal that was clearly in, being wide left. then he says he has evidence, blah blah blah, when in reality he has nothing.

    get over it. you all lost. it’s ok. life will go on. step back from the ledge.

  44. Landryhat cries! TO cries! There are so many cowgirls crying that we almost have a tropical storm in Dallas.

  45. If I were you I Landryhat I would be more worried about Cincy coming in next week cause they gave the Giants a run for their money. Apperantly you don’t get the 2D/3D concept. It all depends on where the camera was located. If the camera was more to the right the ball goes through. If the camera is sitting more to the left the ball is wide. The ref is the only one who has the best view…directly under the post to see if the ball is outside or inside.

    When I took my first look at the picture with the post extended my first thought was that post is crooked to the left. I’m glad someone else besides myself noticed how the picture was manipulated to prove his point. Both posts are leaning outward. Follow it with a straight edge and you will see ball is in. You can’t change the angle of the bar to suit your arguement. I mean you can but you will get laughed at.

    As stated before….If the players thought it was no good why wouldn’t the Dallas players be jumping around the field screaming…yelling at the coach to throw the flag instead of trotting of the field dejected while the Skins players are celebrating. If the goal was no good we would not have been running the ball or downing the ball in the few remaining minutes. But that does not guarentee us a win either. If I were you I would have been argueing more about the Skins CB playing your WR so close. You might have gotten a maybe out of me. but a loss is a loss. You also should be mad at you coach for not playing one of your RB’s. See you next time…I hope you bring more to the table other then T.O. whinning about not getting the ball for more then 1/3 of the game.

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