The fact that the NFL wouldn’t defend veteran referee Walt Anderson’s bungling performance says a lot about the mistakes he made during the Monday Bills-Seahawks game. The NFL never admits fault. And the online betting odds of the NFL defending Anderson were quite high.
Dean Blandino, who always backs his officials, rejected Anderson’s account of the Monday game and admitted that he made mistakes. He actually tweeted during the game that Anderson’s team had missed an unnecessary roughness penalty, one that should have been obvious to someone like Anderson.
If you didn’t hear, the Seahawks defeated the Bills on Monday in a game that many believed grew messy because of an absent penalty. Richard Sherman’s actions on a 53-yard field goal attempt with 3 seconds left in the first half, should have caused officials to blow the play dead. But they did not.
The collision between Sherman and Bills Kicker Dan Carpenter should have elicited a penalty, but even that was absent. After that, things only spiraled; Dan was forced to leave the game for one play. The Bills suffered a delay of game penalty, and before long, the Bills could do little more than watch as the game slipped out of their hands.
Because of Anderson’s mistakes, the Bills lost six points overall during that whole mess; a more competent referee who was officiating the game properly would have given the Bills ample opportunities to take a victory.
Anderson adamantly defended his decisions after the game and refuted any fouls others thought he should have recognized and called. Anderson’s failures during the Seahawks/Bills game have naturally elicited discussions about his role during the DeflateGate scandal.
Anderson was officiating the Deflategate match last January; not only did he fail to take the necessary PSI measurements, this along with losing all the footballs, but he ignored the Colts concerns about football funny business.
It shouldn’t have taken so long for Anderson to realize that the footballs were missing, but, according to investigator Ted Wells, Anderson spent quite a while fuming about the missing footballs.
Everyone that investigated that matter considered Anderson’s recollection of events to be unassailable. For all intent and purpose, he was unimpeachable. Ted Wells was filled with admiration for Anderson.
He noted Anderson’s renown in the NFL as a referee; he thought that Anderson was a highly responsible individual that approached his duties with respect and integrity. He also noted that Anderson was very familiar with the playing rules and was always diligent in his activities on the field.
According to Ted, Anderson was one of the very few referees that would personally test the inflation levels of game balls before any match began; he didn’t delegate.
Simply put, Ted Wells was certain that Anderson’s recollection was impeccable, this despite his account of events causing complications regarding the use of the logo/non-logo gauge, a complication that would eventually cost the Patriots.
The NFL stood tall during the DeflateGate issue, condemning the Patriots because they implicitly trusted Anderson’s integrity.
So it comes as a shock that the same NFL was unwilling to defend him this time. Clearly, the NFL’s confidence in its referees has reached an all-time low.