Bust out the protractors and rulers, refs. All your old-school stationery supplies are fair game for measurements in the NFL.
Referee Gene Steratore’s decision to use a folded index card for a first-down measurement that went in favor of Dallas against the Raiders will start a new trend. Football is a game of inches. Making the right call is crucial so refs need all the help they can get.
Give them calculators, erasers and No. 2 pencils, too. Perhaps the league’s competition committee will change the rules to allow referees to carry these supplies onto the field.
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After all, it worked so well for Steratore, who saw it one way while cameras suggested he was wrong.
Here are more overreactions following Week 15:
OVERREACTION: Spoiling a pity parade will spark the Browns (0-14) to finally win a game.
REALISTIC REACTION: Why not? Nothing else worked.
OVERREACTION: Colin Kaepernick will return to the NFL after he teams up with P. Diddy to buy the Panthers.
REALISTIC REACTION: He’d have to trade Cam Newton.
OVERREACTION: The Steelers (10-3) can’t win without Antonio Brown.
REALISTIC REACTION: They almost beat the Patriots (10-3) with their star receiver missing most of the game.
OVERREACTION: Nate Sudfeld could toss four TD passes throwing in Philadelphia’s offense.
REALISTIC REACTION: Carson Wentz and Nick Foles doing it in consecutive weeks doesn’t mean whoever lines up under center for the Eagles (12-2) will have similar success. And, they don’t want to find out.
OVERREACTION: Aaron Rodgers lost his magic touch.
REALISTIC REACTION: He was coming back from surgery on a broken collarbone. He’s not Superman.
OVERREACTION: Playoff football will fill the seats in Los Angeles.
REALISTIC REACTION: Too many seats to fill in the Coliseum.
OVERREACTION: Earl Thomas and Bobby Wagner will settle their differences in locker-room scrap.
REALISTIC REACTION: It’s already forgotten.
OVERREACTION: The Vikings are the scariest team in the NFC playoffs.
REALISTIC REACTION: Case Keenum is still their quarterback.
OVERREACTION: The Bills will end their 17-year playoff drought.
REALISTIC REACTION: They’re not winning in New England and beating the Dolphins twice in three weeks will be a tough task. They could end up 8-8.
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