It turns out my lack of enthusiasm going into this game was not a coincidence, accident, or a result of low serotonin levels from past MDMA abuse- that was a terrible football game.
The Raiders did fight until the final bell once again, which is an improvement over Dennis Allen's last offering, but they still looked like crap. Arizona's secondary predictably showed up after getting torched the past few weeks. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep briefly at some point during the second half. And for the second time this year, the neutral game summaries saw fit to mention some shitty refereeing that cost us big.
This is not the
season decade for Raiders fans to whine about the refs. But fuck me. The most diplomatic thing I can say on the subject is that the league really needs to do something about these late ass defensive holding and PI flags. Now, even we'll get those sometimes. But it's such a bad fucking look when a flag isn't thrown until somebody pleads for it. Especially defensive holding... PI can be bang-bang right when the ball gets there, late flags will happen. But holding can only occur before the ball is thrown. Therefore, one would have to think that a defensive holding flag would have long left a ref's hand by the time anybody has a chance to turn around and beg for one.
I remember football before WRs were able to beg for flags... it was great. The first time I remember seeing somebody successfully do it was Don Beebe in a Raiders/Bills playoff game back around high school. I am not going to google shit here, but it was at Buffalo, a historically cold, icy day (it's odd how many times the Raiders show up in the list of the Coldest Games Ever). I think the Bills won 7-6, and the decisive play was Beebe begging for and getting a huge PI call towards the end of the first half.
That shit ain't cool. Even taking into account the long history of the Raiders getting fucked, one of the things that appeals to me about the NFL is that, supposedly, they call the game straight. None of that bullshit "star treatment" the NBA has. None of the inconsistency and backwards hubris (Hochuli aside) of the MLB umps, who pretend like they could and would fight the professional athletes they're presiding over. Nope, rules are rules. But these late flags, not to mention iffy reviews, or lack thereof, coming straight from the league office, make me wonder if the league is heading for a more NBA-ish officiating model. And I haven't watched an NBA game in two years.
There was an interesting moment during the game when the refs were convening near a hot mic to discuss a Cardinals penalty, and the last thing we heard was one ref say to another, "I'll pick it up if..." Never caught what the "if" was about, but the flag was indeed picked up.
Whatever. We still suck.