I like the Pereria mocking. You are trying to defend the refereeing and you say "It was also cold" ?!?
"Pereira's defense of his former zebra brethren is simply par for the course after such games. As quick as people are to criticize referees for controversial calls, after any game that's been marred by bad calls, invariably there are fans and commentators who rush to say that's not really what decided the game. They shrug off the results of bad officiating decisions even for the most game-changing of plays. Both teams benefit from bad calls, they say. Referees don't decide games. Repeat after me: Referees don't decide games.
Such statements are statements of religious faith. They're based only on what people want to believe to avoid confronting uncomfortable realities.
But let's also not pretend Baltimore won this game because they made all the plays and Denver didn't. The Broncos converted just as many third downs (7) as did the Ravens and were 3 for 3 in the red zone, all on Manning touchdown passes. And despite a series of game-altering calls that went against them, the Broncos had overcome them to lead by a touchdown heading into the final minute of the game. Meanwhile, the Ravens were not without their own mistakes--including having to burn a precious timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty in the waning moments of regulation, which nearly doomed them -- or, at times, unimaginative play calling. And any team that gives up a 90-yard punt return and a 104-yard kickoff return for touchdowns in the same game must've blown a coverage or two somewhere.
Ultimately, underneath all the clichés and apologies, it is hard to argue the Baltimore Ravens would not have lost the game long before overtime without several game-changing assists from the officiating crew. I'm assuming Vinovich and his crew are highly rated official if they were selected by the league to do this playoff game. His coming back to field duty after missing a number years on medical leave is a nice story. Nevertheless, these officials tilted the playing field for this game, and Pereira's apologies cannot erase or diminish that. Nor should it stop the NFL from re-visiting how they put together officiating crews for postseason contests.
Especially if those game will be played outdoors in winter and might have two quarterbacks who like to pass"