Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard Suggests NFL Referees Crooked, Calls for Investigation

Posted on: October 17, 2019, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: October 17, 2019, 11:04h.

Former Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard says the NFL should investigate its referees after several bad calls have recently plagued the game and left fans outraged.

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A hands to the face call, when Lions player Trey Flowers had his hands only on his opponent’s shoulders, drew criticism from former Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard. (Image: Daniel Mears/Detroit News)

The expansion of legal sports betting was heavily opposed by the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell on concerns that it would jeopardize the integrity of the pro football game. Howard says the league might be smart to first look into the people in the black and white shirts.

The refs need to be investigated,” Howard, a college football analyst for ESPN, tweeted during Monday Night Football. “This is horrendous. Check bank accounts. #NoExcuses.”

Howard was responding to a pair of illegal use of hands calls against Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers. The substantial penalties allowed the Green Bay Packers to escape with a 23-22 win.

Howard was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXI, when he won the big game with the Packers, as Green Bay defeated the New England Patriots. Howard returned a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and had 244 all-purpose yards in the game.

NFL Integrity

The NFL vigorously fought New Jersey’s attempt to legalize sports betting all the way up to the Supreme Court. The league is under the impression that more regulated sports betting increases the chances of someone tossing a game or being paid by a rogue outside source seeking inside information.

Critics to the league’s position pondered what the NFL might do differently. New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) said it “begs the question of what they would now start doing to preserve the integrity of their games that they have not been doing for years?”

One thing is to hire a monitoring firm.

In August, the NFL announced a partnership with Sportradar. The company is now the official distributor of the league’s real-time data feed to sports betting operators in legal US and international markets. Sportradar will also keep tabs on betting patterns and movements in an effort to detect suspicious activity.

Refs Out of Hand

Football referees have a difficult job, but their 2019 performance has – at least to some – been exceptionally bad. The calls have become a dominant storyline through the first six weeks of the season.

The NFL admitted its refs fumbled one of the hands to the face calls in the Packers-Lions game.

There was one that was clear that we support,” said NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent. “And there was another that, when you look at it, when you review the play, it’s not something that you want to see called, in particular on the pass rush. The foul wasn’t there.”

The worst call came last month in Los Angeles, when officials blew dead a fumble recovery by New Orleans that would have led to a Saints touchdown. Instead, the Saints were simply awarded possession after replay review. New Orleans went on to lose the game.