FREENEY FINED FOR POSTGAME COMMENTS
January 10, 2009,
In an expected move, the NFL fined Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney for his comments about the officiating in the team's 23-17 overtime loss to the Chargers last Saturday night. The bill for what a NFL spokesman termed "inappropriate comments on officiating" comes to $20,000.
As one of the NFL's best pass rushers of his generation, the Colts' Dwight Freeney believes that he is held by opposing pass blockers "every single damn play." Let that serve as a backdrop to the utter disgust the Pro Bowl defensive end displayed as we walked to Indy's team bus outside Qualcomm on Saturday night over the trio of penalties called against the Colts' defense that helped facilitate San Diego's winning touchdown drive in overtime. The rundown: Second-and-4 from the San Diego 43 - Sproles is stopped for no gain, but Eric Foster is called for defensive holding. Third-and-8 from the Indy 40 - Rivers throws incomplete to Chris Chambers, but cornerback Tim Jennings, who helped break up the pass, is called for defensive holding. Next play, first-and-10 at the Colts' 35 - Sproles is stopped for no gain, but Session, who made the tackle, is whistled for a 15-yard facemask penalty. In my opinion it could be argued that any of the three penalties was justified, and a case could be made that each was unwarranted. But to have all three of them called in that context was regrettable, and the fact that the Chargers were only penalized three times all game (and only once on offense, for an ineligible man downfield) makes it even worse.
In Freeney's opinion, the flurry of calls that helped end his season was flat-out unconscionable. "Those were the worst [expletive] calls I've seen in a long time," he said. "To have a game of that magnitude taken out of your hands, it's just disgusting. It's not like they made one [expletive] bad call - it's three calls, in overtime. On one the ball's 50 feet over [Chambers'] head. And they have the nerve to call defensive holding? When they can't even call one friggin' offensive holding the whole game? What's going on? They need to start investigating some other [expletive]."