A 30-7 win makes a whole bunch of complaints go away, but I have a couple of things to note about the Vikings-Titans game yesterday.
The CBS coverage of the game was awful. Poor camera work, poor commentary, and absolutely horrible replays, or lack thereof. I lost count of how many times they gave us a glimpse of a definitive replay angle and then repeatedly showed us angles that were inconclusive. Maybe, maybe they would get back to the definitive angle again. Maybe not. That was if they showed us a replay at all. I also lost count of how many times I wanted to see a replay of an important play or penalty and instead got a bunch of witless banter and banal views of the crowd or sidelines. The Vikes are usually on Fox, so I'm wondering if that was just one of their "B" crews or if CBS NFL coverage is always that bad.
Speaking of "B" crews, I was not exactly impressed with referee Jeff Triplette and his crew yesterday either, particularly back judge Steven Freeman. A moment where Freeman displayed unprofessional conduct ended with Vikings safety Harrison Smith being ejected for "excessive contact" against Freeman in the second quarter and that could have had a game-changing impact. The NFL has a crappy video clip of CBS' crappy coverage that sort of shows what happened.
After one play where the Vikings picked off Tennessee QB Matt Hasselbeck, some Vikings and Titans players were jawing with each other on the field. Smith came to teammate Chris Cook's aid after he was shoved a little and the jawing continued. Enter Freeman who decided to keep the words from escalating by pushing Smith away from his opponents. I don't have a problem with some intervention, but it looks like Freeman shoved Smith about 5 yards down field and that was totally unnecessary. The players were separated after just a couple of yards and Freeman had no valid reason for continuing to shove Smith. Well, I guess Smith pushed off from Freeman at that point and that was that.
Not that I justify pushing an official. You put your hand on an official and you are immediately at their mercy. Smith should have turned his back and walked away, no doubt. On the other hand, it's not clear from that crappy video that Smith's offense warranted ejection by Triplette. Perhaps it did, but it's interesting that the NFL decided today to not only pass on suspending Smith, they aren't even going to fine him.
Hmmm...sounds to me like everybody just wants this one to go away. Smith has properly groveled and I'll bet Steven Freeman has been counselled behind the scenes to not get so aggressive with the players.
All's well that ends well, I guess.