The NFL players and the NFL referees are technically colleagues. They work together every week to try to put the best, most entertaining product on the field.
It might not seem like a big deal for colleagues to share a hello and good luck and a fist bump when at work. But when it is NFL Referees and the Oakland Raiders players before a big Monday Night game it might irk Houston Texans fans to see the gesture. And it would turn their stomach even more after the way the Raiders 27-20 win turned against the Texans multiple times.
Caught during the pregame walk to the field on ESPN a few of the referees were seen fist-bumping Sabastian Janikowski and Derek Carr before the game.
The Texans were victim to what seemed to be a slew of bad calls from the refs on Monday Night. The Raiders were considered the home team for the contest and got home field advantage on many of the calls. First was the DeAndre Hopkins getting called out of bounds after a gain of 24-yards on what would have been a touchdown for the Wide Receiver. Senior VP of Officiating for the NFL weighed in on the call.
That was a tough call for the Texans and while Hopkins might have been in bounds, the referees didn’t mess up the call, even though some believe they should have let the play go and allowed replay to take over.
The plays that seem to have most fans upset at the referees came late in the 4th quarter of a 20-20 game when Lamar Miller seemed to get a first down on 3rd & 2. The spot put the ball about two inches short of the line to gain. Replays showed Miller was past the first down marker, the Texans didn’t challenge the play and went for it on fourth down. Akeem Hunt got the carry, seemed to gain enough for the first down, but again the refs marked the ball short of the first down even after review the Texans were not awarded the needed yardage.
The Raiders turned the next drive into the go-ahead score.
Many Texans fans believed this spotting of the footballs, along with the lack of penalties on the most penalized team in the NFL shows signs of the referees playing favorites. The above video of the fist bumps and pleasantries aren’t going to make those claims go away anytime soon.
Pleasantries between players and referees is something that goes on all the time and while Texans fans might see the fist bumps and be irate and point to it as conspiracy, it was likely just what it seems, colleagues wishing each other good luck to do their best on the field that night.