I’m going to start this with two things: The first, Bill Vinovich called an awful game that was one-sided and a reflection of NFL officiating as a whole. It was not biased, there was no fix, but it was inconsistent and embarrassing.
The second: it’s not why the San Francisco 49ers lost that game.
But the two are not mutually exclusive, and the officiating was still terrible. We have plenty of time to talk about the 49ers’ meltdown, but I think we can argue which was worse, Jerome Boger or Bill Vinovich, and that can go on forever. The 49ers defensive line and wide receivers were held to oblivion, Jimmy Garoppolo got a late hit that they apparently didn’t care about (along with an offsides on that very same play), the Chiefs O-line got head starts up the whammy and then there was a crucial first-half George Kittle catch that came back for offensive pass interference.
Towards the end of the half, Garoppolo threw a (sick) ball to Kittle that would have set up a probable field goal and maybe a touchdown. Should the 49ers get that, they could have navigated a 17-point lead and won this thing. Instead, it came back because George Kittle pushed off the receiver. The play is in the tweet offered if you want to see it again, but here’s NFL officiating’s explanation:
Do you remember the last time the NFL threw a flag in this situation? Neither do I.
See, no one is here arguing that there was a push-off, people are arguing the timing and the consistency of said call. This is why no one respects the referees, and this is also why when it was announced Vinovich would be the referee of Super Bowl LIV, everyone cringed. 49ers or Chiefs, we knew crap like this was coming.
This is the same guy who blew a pass interference call that should have won the Saints the NFC Championship last year. So as a gift for him having a year of getting it together, he gets to ref the following year’s Super Bowl? Give me a break; this is what you get with that kind of thinking.
None of this would really bother me if it weren’t for the fact this same call never hit the field all season. Kyle was running Niners Nation Twitter, and he made the same argument.
George Kittle did push off, but throwing a flag in that situation, in that game, when you haven’t all year is where everyone is coming at you, NFL. That call is embarrassing, and so is Bill Vinovich. Hold someone accountable for once, quit blanketing yourself in your tweets and explanations and come out and say you screwed up—and most importantly, downgrade Vinovich’s crew. If you won’t say Vinovich sucks at his job, allow me.
But again, he might suck at his job, but that is not the reason the 49ers lost that game, far from it.