There has been a lot of complaining found on social media about the NFL officiating in Super Bowl LVI, specifically from the Cincinnati Bengals side of the street. Some have gone so far as to suggest that the game was rigged. Oh really? Perhaps it seems that way when the opinions are so selective in the plays that they seem to cite. The LA Rams won the game, fair and square.
It goes both ways, you know. And in this game, it was clearly going the Bengals way earlier in the game. The Bengals opened up the second half with a first down and ten to go from their own 25-yard line. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow found wide receiver Tee Higgins streaking down the left sideline for a 75 touchdown pass.
Only it wasn’t a touchdown pass. Before the ball got there, Higgins grabbed the facemask of LA Rams defensive back Jalen Ramsey, threw him to the ground, then turned and caught the pass. It was an egregious infraction and had it been properly penalized and enforced, would have pushed the Bengals back to a first down and 22 yards to go from the Bengals 13-yard line
But the Bengals got the touchdown, one that should never have counted. But by the end of the game, Bengals fans flooded social media to voice their displeasure with the game’s outcome.
The Rams ended up on the short end on a number of non-calls throughout the game. Not just on their receivers, but throughout their secondary. Yes, in the end, the officials tightened up calling the game. How could they not? Defensive backs cannot grab jerseys, lock and not release receivers who are trying to make a play on the football.
Every player on the field knows the rules. But if the Bengals needed the referees to turn a blind eye to win the game, that is not a rigged game. In fact, by all appearances, it was the Bengals team that truly benefitted from a wink-wink-no-foul.
Let’s be a bit more mature about it than whining after the fact. The Cincinnati Bengals put up a very competitive effort and simply came up short. That’s all. Let’s not turn the light on each and every possible foul that should or should not have been called in the game. I’m afraid that exercise would only shed more light to illuminate how often the Rams did not get the proper calls in the game.