On Sunday's during the NFL season, former NFL VP of Officiating and current officiating advisor/consultant to the Pac-12, Mike Pereira provides FOX Sports with in-game analysis of various calls. If there is a questionable call or if there is a challenged play, Pereira will provide his thoughts on the play. In theory it is actually an excellent idea. We all have our own ideas about what is correct or incorrect on a given call, but having former VP of Officiating can help clear things up.
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has been fairly vocal in protesting a variety of calls this season. Some are legitimate gripes, and some might be a bit more questionable. Mike Pereira decided to use his latest column at foxsports.com to take Coach Harbaugh to task for his protesting:
We're halfway through the NFL season and I'm not sure which is more surprising, the fact that San Francisco is 7-1 or that the 49ers' new coach, Jim Harbaugh, got more face time Sunday on FOX than Kim Kardashian gets in her reality show.
The cameras found him on seemingly every penalty - and San Francisco was penalized nine times. I really can't blame the director, because quite frankly, Harbaugh was good drama. Except, of course, for those who were officiating the game.
After watching this game, here's some advice for young Mr. Harbaugh: We're only halfway through the season - take some deep breaths and enjoy the ride.
Doug Farrar over at Yahoo! Sports' Shutdown had a nice little takedown of Pereira's somewhat condescending attitude about all this. At times, it strikes me as a sort of subtle "shut up and quit complaining" type of tone.
Pereira addressed two plays in his analysis: 1) the fair catch by Vernon Davis during the Redskins onside kick and 2) the movement by three players that was called a false start. The first play was a rare one so I suppose I get why he wanted to discuss it. The second play I still disagree with, but I suppose arguments could be made for both sides.
I don't think there is any problem with Coach Harbaugh complaining about the call. At the same time, one has to wonder how officials will take that moving forward. Farrar asked a similar question in his article:
I tend to wonder if this was a veiled warning to Harbaugh - was Pereira telling the coach to back off the criticisms if he ever wanted to get the calls going his way?
I would hope it would not, but it is not particularly simple understanding the psychology behind all this. After all, they may say it doesn't impact them down the road, but none of us is in the head of an official.
Coach Harbaugh was asked about the call and said that he had discussed it with the league but "[a]ll conversations with the league and the clubs are privileged and confidential, but satisfactorily explained. I have an understanding of what to tell our players and we'll move on from there."