The Indianapolis Colts’ game-winning touchdown on Sunday was saved by a penalty against Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones for saying something to Indianapolis quarterback Matt Ryan after a third sack. Two days later, no one says what Jones said.
After the match, referee Shawn Smith refused to reveal the allegedly abusive language to pool reporter Adam Teicher. Smith said the specific comment made by Jones would be added to the official match report.
According to the league, the official game report has been filed. However, neither the league office nor anyone else is saying anything about what Jones allegedly said.
If the league wants anyone to believe the appeal was justified, transparency is needed. The lack of transparency suggests either it really wasn’t bad enough to draw a flag – or it was so bad no one wants to repeat it.
“I know the discussions happen during games,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters on Monday. “The best advice I can give is not to talk.”
It’s easier said than done. As Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said Sunday night, all kinds of things are said on the football field. If every instance of “abusive language” drew a flag, the games would never end.
Several years ago, the league lobbied to remove racial slurs from the field. Former defensive back Richard Sherman has spoken out against the league’s crackdown on in-game speech when the league decided to control certain words.
Anyway, you have to know what Jones said. Either Smith overreacted and influenced the outcome of a match, or he correctly reacted to Jones while influencing the outcome of a match.