After the San Francisco 49ers lost to the St. Louis Rams, referee Jerome Boger answered a few questions from Matt Maiocco, who was serving as the pool reporter for the game. Maiocco spoke with Boger about a few of the questionable calls from the game.
The 49ers played horribly, so complaining about officiating is in poor form. But it is not like these things are mutually exclusive. I think we can be plenty unhappy with the 49ers play, while also being pissed off about the officiating. Jerome Boger's crew struggled throughout the game on a variety of plays, and I have no problem with people complaining about the calls.
The Colin Kaepernick play we previously discussed was the biggest problem. However, the Michael Crabtree catch just before that was another issue. Kap threw to Crabtree and it appeared Crabtree might have scored on the play. The refs ruled him down at the 1, but then reviewed the play. They said the play stood, even though this picture would seem to indicate Crabtree had caught the ball as he was still in the end zone.
My guess would be that the ref saw the ball move a little bit as Crabtree hit the ground. When it moved like that the ref decided there was not complete control. Mike Pereira spoke about it during the review process, and his explanation made it sound like he thought Crabtree caught the ball, and maintained control after rolling over, in spite of the ball jiggling a bit. However, Pereira also said he did not think it was enough to actually overturn the call.
Here is a transcript of his comments to Maiocco (via Cam Inman). Consider this basically the official "complain about the officials" thread. Barring anything notable on some of the questionable calls in the coming days, this can serve as the complaint thread.
What was the ruling on the field (on the potential safety before halftime)?
"The ruling on the field was that the ball carrier brought the ball out onto the field of play, and there was contact by the defender that forced him back into the end-zone."
So he was on the field of play. He was forced back in. Did the replay show you anything conclusive?
Not really because there was no shot down the actual goal line. It was off the goal line. So maybe if we had a shot right down the goal line we could have looked at that aspect, but there was no shot available."
So basically the call was not confirmed, it just wasn't conclusive enough.
Now, can we ask about the [Head Coach Jeff] Fisher challenge call?
"Well, on the Fisher challenge where it wasn't allowed because he didn't understand that the rule on the field was forward progress. He thought we were ruling on down by contact and a clear recovery that could be challenged. But actually he couldn't hear the announcement that the ruling on the field was that forward progress had been stopped prior after the ball coming loose. That is not challengeable."
Is it common courtesy to clarify if there is a miscommunication or he couldn't hear?
"Yes it is. That's right, as to what he thinks he is challenging. Because he is on the competition committee, he knew as soon as I said that the ruling was forward progress. He said that is not what he understood. He thought it was down by contact."
On the last play of the game
"On the last play it went into a pile, and there was nothing we could see that could change the ruling on the field, on the last play at the goal line; if you are talking about the fumble."