Regner: Pass interference call one only Lions fans will understand

Usually, Lions fans will begrudgingly admit that the better team won after their team drops a game, but that wasn't the case on Sunday.

When it’s all said and done, the results will be predictable when it comes to Sunday’s fourth quarter pass interference call — the one that suddenly wasn’t a call against the Dallas Cowboys at the expense of the Detroit Lions.

Those that cover the NFL for a living will rally around the SHIELD, much like they did when they insisted Jim Harbaugh’s hiring at Michigan was never going to occur.

Others will be more ‘realistic,’ claiming that one call does not decide a football game, that Detroit had squandered their opportunities with ill-timed penalties, poor execution at crucial times, and at least one questionable coaching decision.

Some will acknowledge that reversing a call at that point in a playoff game is an utter joke, but it’s time to move on because a Packers-Cowboys matchup at Lambeau has a lot of sizzle.

And then you have the long suffering fan base of the Detroit Lions — a band of people that have stuck with this team through everything, despite being disappointed at the end of virtually every season.

What happened to the Lions in Dallas Sunday was completely wrong. The NFL officials showed a lack of poise and guts and appeared to be intimidated by their surroundings. But basically they were just incompetent.

Usually, Lions fans will begrudgingly admit that the better team won after their team drops a game, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday. 

By reversing the call without explanation, the NFL’s credibility remains under the microscope as it has for most of this season.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell — once the King of the Sports Universe — now resembles the emperor with no clothes because what he sees and what is real are entirely different.

But this isn’t about the NFL. It is still a billion dollar empire, so expecting big-time changes is a pipe dream.

This is about being a Lions fan and the unknown. We don’t know what would have happened if the officials did not reverse that pass interference call.

With a fresh set of downs deep in Cowboys territory — at least in field goal range — almost midway through the fourth quarter, it seemed to have set the Lions up for an opportunity to increase their lead to six or ten points. But we just don’t know, and that’s what hurts the most.

I’m not trying to sound negative, but I have to be realistic. The Lions are America’s ultimate one-and-done playoff team. And most of the time they find a way to shoot themselves in the foot.

However, at the precise moment when maybe, just maybe, something good was actually going to go the Lions’ way Sunday, something happened during a playoff game that never happened before, which completely switched Detroit’s fortunes.

As wrong as that call was and despite the impact it had on the psyche of the game’s participants, if you’re a Lions fan, it wasn’t all that unexpected.