This would be appropriate in black and white because what is deemed a catch offers more shades of grey than E.L. James.

Sunday, the Eagles narrowly escaped two instant replays. Both were called touchdowns and not called back. That was a surprise to most given that in the big moment, it always seems to go the Patriots' way.

But not in Minneapolis. Not in Super Bowl LII. 

With all of the whining about the Pats getting calls, the penalties were Philly six, New England one. Were the allowed-to-stand-but-oh-so close touchdown catches for Corey Clement and Zach Ertz a just dessert or pitfall the NFL avoided? A large disparity in penalties combined with taking away the Eagles' scores would have been a bad look for the league.

Sunday's game was the lowest rated in nine years, and a good number of fans are still annoyed with players kneeling during the national anthem regardless of their statement. None did at the Super Bowl.

This was more about credibility and now the what-ifs are about New England benching a defensive player and its overall team preparation.

Had the calls gone against the Eagles and the Pats come back to win, the league would be getting hammered and that credibility would be in question. You cannot have a differential that wide when two teams are step-for-step.

It happened in the AFC Championship when the penalties were 6-1 against the Jaguars. This year, the Pats were 12-6-1 against the penalty spread-- 12 times they had fewer flags thrown their way. Of course, much of that goes to coaching. If he’s not the best ever, Bill Belichick is right there.

Statistics are one thing but perception is another and after funky calls against the Bills and Steelers in Pats games earlier this season, the drum beats were getting louder. People were waiting for that late bailout flag. I don’t believe anyone was favoring New England. They put themselves in a position to win.

And then came Sunday with Belichick and his five Super Bowl rings and 43 years on the NFL sideline and that other guy-- Doug Pederson who 10 years ago was calling plays at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. So, Pederson went back to his roots as a riverboat gambler. His 4th and goal trick play resulting a touchdown is now legend. If they haven’t named a cheesesteak after him and the game MVP Nick Foles, it’s coming. Proud Mary meets Rocky. 

My rooting interest besides a good ball game was that the Monday morning quarterbacking would not have involved phantom flags. Did they ever flip the script? Instead, the light poles the Philly cops greased to keep the riff-raff down can stay that way until Thursday for their victory parade.

Social media is good for some things. It’s also an accelerant for second-guessing, and on Monday, there was plenty of it-- but the roaming charges were actually higher in Boston. 

Surprise, surprise. 

Dave's opinions are his own and don't necessarily reflect those of Denali Media or its employees. 

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