Who is Bill Vinovich?
Well he’s only the guy who failed to call a crucial pass interference against the New Orleans Saints that made them lose the NFC Championship against the Los Angeles Rams. He’s also the guy who called offensive pass interference on a (sick) George Kittle catch in Super Bowl LIV. He’s also the dude who had the crew who didn’t flag the Kansas City Chiefs for holding Nick Bosa in the aforementioned Super Bowl. This, of course, led to a weekly gag of “Nick Bosa was held” posts (or tweets, or whatever the hell they call X nowadays).
So yes, that Bill Vinovich.
Get even more mad. When the Chiefs returned a year later, it was raining penalty flags for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A few were offensive holding. Offensive holding is less blatant than when Vinovich was running things.
We’ll joke about bias in officiating, but in reality, that’s nonsense. There are always bad calls and incompetence, however. If the 49ers find themselves depending on the refs, they probably should look to how they got in that position in the first place, but egregious acts like the ones that crop up on Vinovich’s resume do not inspire confidence.
If the 49ers are looking to the referees to win as a reason for a loss, something clearly went wrong elsewhere. Refs are never the reason to blame a loss, but the two are not mutually exclusive. Vinovich’s lack of consistency in Super Bowl LIV was embarrassing, and just as embarrassing was the NFL’s response to it, but that wasn’t why the 49ers lost that game.
The 49ers lost that game because they stopped running the ball. The 49ers lost that game because Jimmy Garoppolo missed Emmanuel Sanders deep. The 49ers lost that game when the defense took a play off and Patrick Mahomes hit Tyreek Hill.
The 49ers have a chance to exact some much-needed revenge on the Chiefs. The Chiefs are playing for the chance to be the new dynasty after the New England Patriots. The 49ers are trying to return to the glory days and can ruin the Chiefs’ party at the same time.
Vinovich and his crew can still get in the way, but at the end of the day, that’s not a reason to lose a football game. Bad execution, playcalling, and missed opportunities are. All three are why the 49ers lost last time, and hopefully, all three are a reason the Chiefs don’t get their back-to-back title.
It could be worse; the NFL could dust Jerome Boger off.