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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

I remember that playoff contest as if it was yesterday.  That day we were facing a dynasty of what is now known as the San Francisco 49ers in the first round.  Gene Markbright was the referee that day, and for (3) three series in a row, he dropped that flag ... but not just any flag.  Each time the call was intentional grounding, 10 yards and loss of down.  By the time that 3rd series was concluded, the Vikings for all practical purposes was through for the day.  Two downs to make 20 yards or more, ouch!  That year, we had the #1 defense.  Gene knew exactly what fork to stick into us that day.  Now every time Intentional Grounding is called, I fondly think of Markbright's day of retirement.

2007 Game #3 in Kansas City -  Huard doesn't even attempt to get outside the tackle box and stands in the pocket and is just about to be sacked on two different occasions during that game, and twice he threw it out of bounds.  The last time, there wasn't even anyone near that throw.   The announcers didn't even address it.  If someone is in the pocket, and throws the ball away, it just a common courtesy to show the intended receiver, no matter how lame it might appear to be.    

In that very same game, Kelly Holcomb stumbles and then tries to escape by getting outside of the pocket by drifting left and he throws it away.  Wait, wait, wait ... flag ... intentional grounding.  10 yards and loss of down.  Ouch.

2007 Game #4 vs. Green Bay - Farve stands deep in the pocket and throws the ball deep to the right side of the end zone.  There is absolutely no one there.  There no one even close to where that ball was thrown.  There's no flag.  Everyone stands around awaiting the call, but brilliant Farve immediately runs toward his receiver and starts screaming at him, probably saying, you should've been there.  The problem is diffused masterfully by the master that is Farve and the officials let it go.  What the hell is that!  

I've watched allot of football over the years, and one thing is crucially obvious.  Intentional Grounding is just about always called on the away team and is in my opinion the most one-sided call in all of pro football.  Well you might now ask, how about Farve playing in the Metrodome.  I guess the officials were confused considering all the Packer fans in attendance on that day.  

Let's critically evaluate the call.  Any official that calls grounding on a home team, especially at a crucial time in a game just may not be able leave the facility under his own power.  Does anyone remember the illegal "Immaculate Reception" catch.  John Madden certainly does.  If those officials called an illegal catch on Pittsburgh, they just might have been lynched that day.  I can't say that I've never seen Intentional Grounding called on a home team, but its never been at a crucial moment, and it is so rarely called on the home team that the numbers should prove this to be a one-sided call.    

I've had my fill of it.     

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: 10.16.07

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