National Football League
Mike Pereira's Nov. 23 mailbag
National Football League

Mike Pereira's Nov. 23 mailbag

Published Nov. 23, 2010 12:00 a.m. ET

Hi everyone, here are a few more Mailbag questions this week and I’m happy to answer them. (Read the latest chat recap here).

Frank from Apopka, Fla., wrote:

"During replay – does the official hear the sound as well? I ask that to ask this ... Are coin tosses subject to replay? (Remember the Bettis call during Thanksgiving game a few years back?) I recently saw a brief dispute in an overtime game."

No audio, Frank. The basic reason for not listening to the audio is to be sure that the replay assistant or the referee is not influenced by what the announcers are saying. The announcers are not always right although our guys at FOX are getting pretty darn good.


There was a time in the old system where audio was used to listen for the sound of the whistle. That didn't work so the audio was eliminated totally. I am still not sure that audio would have fixed the toss involving Bettis. He double clutched his declaration. At least that won’t happen again, as that incident changed the toss mechanics on all level. Now you have to say heads or tails before the coin is tossed.

Dan P. from Mount Gilead, N.C., wrote:

"Why does Michael Vick wear a tinted face shield? I thought quarterbacks were not allowed to wear them."

Good question, Dan. Players can wear tinted eye shields if it is prescribed by their own ophthalmologist and approved by the NFL's ophthalmologist. It has to be for a medical reason. There are three types of eye shields and the difference is the amount of light that is blocked out.

One blocks out 40 percent (Vick wears this one), another blocks out 55 percent, and the most tinted shield blocks out 80 percent (LaDainian Tomlinson wears this one). The tinted plastic must be see-through so that medical personnel can see through the shield to the eyes if the player is injured.

Kenny from Estacada, Ore., wrote:

"When can video replay or a coach’s challenge lead to a flag being waved off? Last week during a game there was an illegal touching foul called on an onside kick and the coach challenged to see when it was touched. Earlier in the season I have also seen it with tipped passes."

It can happen in several situations, Kenny. If an official throws a flag for 12 men on the field, replay can review that, and if there are only 11, they will pick up the flag.

If the field judge throws a flag for an illegal touch of a kick or a pass, replay can review that, and if the player who touched the loose ball is eligible, the flag will be picked up.

A flag for pass interference can be picked up by use of replay, if replay determines the ball was touched by a defensive player before the foul occurred. Those are all reviewable plays in replay.

Perry G. from Wichita, Kan., wrote:

I just read your latest on calls for Week 11. I would just like to ask you if you even watched the Steelers-Raiders game. I was looking forward to hearing your opinion of the officiating in that game!!

You talk about bad calls and then not even bother to mention the worst case of bad officiating I have ever seen in 45 yrs of watching football. (Most of the readers are angry about an alleged “bias” against the Steelers.)

To be honest with you, Perry, I didn't watch much of it as it was a CBS game and it was over early for all intents and purposes. Officiating had nothing to do with that game.

It is your right to question the quality of officiating in that game, but forget about the bias issue. Steelers fans are the only people that think there is a bias against the Steelers. Every other fan thinks the NFL wants the Steelers and the Rooney family in the Super Bowl. Ask the fans in Seattle.

I will tell you this — Tony Corrente is one of the best referees in the NFL. He was also my best man when I got married. So I guess I am biased.


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