The Stack is back on this Wednesday morning and there is not a lot to get to today, because it seems as though the one thing dominating headlines is reaction to Carolina's win over New England Monday night and the controversial finish. We're here with reaction and more so let's get right to "the stack" for today, Wednesday, November 20:
NFL VP of officials backs refs call
It seems like all around the country, the only thing anyone was talking about was the controversial call to end the New England Patriots-Carolina Panthers game Monday night. Was it the right call? Retired officials, some head coaches think that the right call was made to pick up the flag. Almost everyone else it seems says no. The one person whose opinion matteres most is NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino and he said of the call in an interview on NFL Network yesterday that "I wouldn't say they were wrong." Not quite a ringing endorsement, but he's not knocking the refs either. It was a bang-bang play and the refs had to make a judgement call. They determined that what happened was simultanious (the interception and the restriction between Rob Gronkowski and Luke Kuechly) and to pick up the flag. There is surely outrage in New England over the decision to pick up the flag, but New England fans need to be quiet. You have the "Tuck Rule" game. You've received plenty of calls over the years because you have a quarterback like Tom Brady. Don't want to hear it.
Overshadowed in the decision to pick up the flagis the fact that Brady's throw was underthrown and even had there not been "pass interference", I don't think Gronkowski would have been able to come back to the ball. So it some ways, it should be a mute point. PFT has done a fantastic job covering all aspects of this. If you want to read more on this, here's a link. You hope a call like this doesn't hurt the Patriots down the road. We don't know if they would have won with a final play anyway. So it's not like this play would have given the Patriots the lead. It would have given them a chance to win the game. Last year's "Fail Mary" call between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks was significantly worse and more impactful. Plus, the call also overshadowed the tremendous performance by Cam Newton and the Panthers. They were the better team and deserved to win this game. Don't quite know if they are Super Bowl worthy contenders yet, but definitely a playoff team and an NFC South title contender. They get to play the Saints twice in the last four weeks of the season. They'll certainly have their say before it's all said and done. And the New England Patriots will still win the AFC East so no need to cry there. What a game and it is still being talked about today.
Mexico qualifies for World Cup
Thanks to the USA keeping Mexico alive for a World Cup berth (why exactly?), Mexico just had to beat New Zealand to get in 2014 World Cup. They beat New Zealand 5-1 in the first matchup with another matchup at 1 AM ET today in the Kiwi Land. They did just that with a 4-2 win meaning they are in the World Cup. How dangerous they will be remains to be seen. They seem like a fractured team, but something like this in terms of giving a team new life or a second chance could certainly help them.
Speaking of the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo propelled Portugal into the World Cup with his performance against Sweden. He scored all three goals including two in two minutes to get Portugal by Sweden 3-2. He is the best player in the world and what he did was truly special. World Cup is coming up. It's going to be awesome.
Coming up Thursday: TNF preview plus other top stories in sports