The rules of football can sometimes be pretty ambiguous and often times there is more than a little subjective judgment involved in properly applying them. But sometimes things are pretty clear cut and when the referees don’t make proper calls in these unambiguous instances, all you can do is shake your head and say wow, how did they not get that one right?
During Sunday’s game, I thought we saw an example of a pretty clear-cut violation by Tony Romo that was nonetheless allowed to go unpunished. The Cowboys had come up just short on an attempt to gain a first down, and after the referee properly spotted the ball inches from the first down line, Romo could be seen on TV nudging the ball forward with his foot in an apparent attempt to fool the officials into believing the first down had been gained.
Luckily for the Vikings the referees were not duped. The official moved the ball back to its proper spot and the Cowboys were forced to punt.
So Romo’s subterfuge failed. My question is simple: why wasn’t Tony Romo flagged for what was a clear unsportsmanlike conduct infraction? Isn’t a play like that indeed the very essence of “unsportsmanlike?”
The officials just stood there laughing like Romo had pulled the funniest prank ever. But how funny would it have been had the referees not been paying attention and given the Cowboys an unearned first down? The very integrity of the sport of football would have been compromised.
I could understand the replacement officials standing around laughing like boneheads at such a move, but the real officials? These guys are supposed to know better. I’m sorry but I don’t find stuff like this funny. Romo should’ve been flagged at the very least and arguably even thrown out of the game.
Commissioner Roger Goodell needs to step in here and make sure that some justice is meted out. Romo should be fined if not suspended. The noble game of football must be scrubbed clean of such wanton hooliganism. For shame, Tony Romo. For shame, lenient officials.