Was Picking Flag Up Easier In An Empty Stadium?


The entire NFL universe has seen the failed two-point conversion by the Giants against the Buccaneers on Monday night. The play by Antoine Winfield Jr. was a great hustle play. The Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was late on the pass. With a successful conversion the Giants tie the game with .28 seconds left and probably send the tilt into overtime.


The play was so bang-bang, the laundry on the field seemed plausible. The extended conference by the game officials gave Buccaneers fans hope. The team might just escape from New York with a hard fought victory and remain in first place in the NFC South. The games referee, Brad Rogers would finally announce there was no foul on the play. Justice was served. But was it?

If A Tree Falls In The Forest But Nobody Is There To Hear It…

Was it easier to make the right call in an empty Met Life stadium? Coming into 2020 there was speculation of what the lack of fans in the stands might have on how games are called. Back in July SI.com had a story on how empty stadiums could impact the way referees behave during games. The story, seen here raises good questions. The question is could this situation have made the no call in last nights game easier for the officiating crew?

Which Exits Will The Referees Be Using

Nobody is inferring that harm would come to game officials after making a good no-call like last night. What begs to be questioned is what would the situation have looked like with 80,000 screaming, passionate fans in the stadium. Would picking that flag up have been as easy? Just the thought of the reaction that would have rained down upon the crew after the call. It would not have been pretty. It was the right call just the same.

These officiating crews are every bit the equal in professionalism to the players they officiate. The fact that they work hard to get these bang-bang calls correct should not be questioned. What can be questioned is if doing the right thing was any easier with an empty stadium surrounding them? Buccaneers fans got the correct answer they were looking for last night. The Giants fans. They haven’t gotten many correct answers the entire season.