Super Bowl 57 was a great game that ended with a field goal with 8 seconds left to give the Kansas City Chiefs the 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. That should be the end of the story, but unfortunately, due to a holding penalty against Philadelphia cornerback James Bradbury, the so called sports experts have chosen to focus on that as the main story line.

Why is this an issue- take a look at these head lines.

NY Post:  Refs failed to use common sense on penalty that swung Super Bowl 2023

Sports Illustrated:  Super Bowl LVII Takeaways: Penalty Overshadows Eagles’ Dominant 2022 Season

CNN:  ‘Sorry but I don’t like that call!’: The controversial penalty call which played a decisive role in Super Bowl LVII outcome

MSN:  Chiefs win Super Bowl LVII with aid of controversial penalty by James Bradberry

That is just a few. SportsCenter and ESPN Broadcasts have been non-stop talking about the play.

The reason this conversation needs to be put to bed, is because the open bashing of the football referees carries all the way down to the High School Level.  Yes, I understand that the Super Bowl is the biggest football game of the year and millions of dollars are riding on it.  Yet- even Bradbury said he held on the play.

"It was a holding, I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide."

Mark Stahl


The Super Bowl

On top of that, when you watch the replay, Bradbury actually committed 3 infractions.  He tugged the jersey, he hooked the arm and he grab the waste in an attempt to turn and slow down the wide receiver.  In other words, he did everything he was taught to do as a defensive back, he just got caught.

The nation is suffering a shortage of high school referees and one of the major reasons is due to the excessive abuse from fans.  Those  head lines will not change that, but more likely enable more of that type of reaction.

A better argument would be for consistency.  NFL referees are paid very well and are professionals in their own right.  If you are going to throw that flag in the 4th quarter, you better throw it in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarter as well.

American Football on the field with yard line and green grass

American Football on the field with yard line and green grass

Only 6 months left before the start of High School Football

If you have a story idea or something you want to learn more about, give Randy a call at 406-788-3003 or send me an email at

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