When Paul Richardson had his incredible catch against the Detroit Lions on Saturday, there was certainly no controversy about it. Just a lot of shock and awe on a “how’d he do that?” contested catch for a touchdown to give the Seahawks a 7-0 lead in their NFC Wild Card game against the Lions. But then NBC went back to the play minutes later to show that Richardson had his right inside the facemask of the Detroit defender and that it should have caused offsetting penalties (the Lions were called for pass interference) and no touchdown.
As they returned from halftime, NBC reported that Lions head coach Jim Caldwell in fact said that he was told by the refs that they got it wrong. And now a controversy has been created, just the way that networks seem to like it. We will talk about a narrative game a lot more than a game without one.
Were the shoe on the other foot, like if Golden Tate had caught a touchdown while committing a facemask penalty, I’m not sure I would have been mad that it wasn’t called so much as I would’ve felt happy if it was. Richardson didn’t use the facemask to his advantage to make the catch, one of the most difficult grabs most of us have ever seen.