The worst part about it is that the game was so good. Boy was it good. One of the best Super Bowls of the last decade, easily. It was setting up for a classic finish. Another Helmet Catch, maybe, or a Malcolm Butler interception. The Chiefs would kick a field goal, the Eagles would have one last chance, and OH YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOKING.
I’m 90% sure that wasn’t a hold. Even if it was, just barely, a by-the-letter-and-not-the-spirit hold, you can’t call something that light in that situation. A first down wins the game. It’s a terrible look for the NFL. Roger Goodell has got to be so conflicted right now. His golden boy won another ship but the season was decided by Carl Cheffers. He’s probably popping champagne with one hand and throwing a brick through his television with the other.
Nobody thinks it was a hold. Eagles fans don’t. General NFL fans don’t. A lot of Chiefs fans don’t. The only person who does, bizarrely, is James Bradberry, the guy who did it.
#Eagles CB James Bradberry admits he did wrong on that controversial penalty. “It was a holding. I tugged on the jersey.”pic.twitter.com/hnQgYxuVPt
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) February 13, 2023
He’s wrong. The NFL probably snuck a guy into the locker room right before that interview with a check made out to the James Bradberry Doesn’t Get Blackballed From The League Foundation.
What makes it worse was how unnecessary it was. The Chiefs probably would’ve won anyway! Several analytics sites had their win percentage following a field goal with 1:54 on the clock at 75%. That is very good! But the hold turned latent glory into a foregone conclusion.
This will do nothing to quell the “rigged” hashtag that trends on Twitter after every NFL playoff game. I hate that. I want iconic moments. Even if they happen to teams like the Chiefs that I occasionally find myself wishing were relocated to Mercury. It’s good for the ever-continuing history of my favorite game.
Funnily enough, even though the game was headed towards potential overtime this abominable call might’ve made it more iconic than whatever was going to happen. Go figure. Enjoy it Chiefs fans. You won the one with The Hold.