Super Bowl Ends with Argument over Grappling Rules
Sunday night’s Super Bowl Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles ended in controversy as players began to argue over the grappling rules. 113 million viewers watched as players opened up their rulebooks to debate whether Eagles cornerback James Bradberry had incurred a holding penalty against Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, ultimately leading to a Kansas City win.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was on the sideline, trying to get a referee to read the flowchart he had found online. “It very clearly says that after the touch attack that there’s an opposed grapple check. There’s no way he won that, he barely tugged his jersey!” Later, when we asked how he felt about Bradberry agreeing with the call, Hurts just shook his head. “James is always like that. He’s the kind of guy to remind the GM that he forgot to roll for bleed damage each turn. I can respect that in general, but come one man, not on the last game of the campaign!”
Many are saying that the issue is not of the call, but of expectations. Hurts says, “when the referee is running the game, you know there’s going to be some discrepancies between other GMs you’ve had, but you kind of expect them to be consistent throughout the game. When you’ve got guys getting to the opposed grapple check, and even dealing unarmed damage in some cases without a call, it starts to feel like the referees are playing favorites.” Despite the controversy, the referees decided to keep the game moving as Monday was a school day, and everyone had a long drive home.