Dean Blandino has been the NFL's VP
of Officiating since Feb. 2013
TMZ video that appears to show the league's head of officiating, Dean Blandino,
Flash forward to yesterday's play off game between the Lions and Cowboys.
You rarely see an officiating crew pick up a flag as late as the Cowboys-Lions crew did on the most controversial play of wild-card weekend. On third down, Matthew Stafford threw to Brandon Pettigrew, who was covered by linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Hitchens never turned around, face-guarding Pettigrew, and that combined with some contact drew a flag for pass interference.
|TMZ video showing Blandino getting off the Cowboy Team|
Party Bus with Jones in August 2014
But the Lions went from thinking they had a crucial first down to facing a fourth-and-1. That's because the officials reversed the call, saying Hitchens made a clean play. There was no pass interference. The Lions unsuccessfully tried to draw the Cowboys offsides afterward, took a delay of game penalty, shanked a punt, and the Cowboys marched down for a go-ahead 8-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Terrance Williams with 2:32 remaining.
The non-call changed the entire game. The Cowboys (who, conspiracy theorists will note, are an enormous television draw for the NFL) held on to win 24-20. Most NFL fans hate the Cowboys, and did they ever hate that the pass interference wasn't called.