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Did ESPN stick their fingers into the on field play of an NFL football game.?

On Monday night, if you are not aware yet, the Tennessee Titans basically destroyed home team Jacksonville in a nationally televised game.  While the game played out as normal runaway games do, it ended with two timeouts by Jacksonville and a touchdown by Chris Johnson. No big deal right?  Apparently that is wrong.  According to Jeff Fisher in a post game interview, he was asked by the referees to use his timeouts in order for ESPN to cut to commercial.  Fisher denied the request and while Jax coach Jack Del Rio has not said he accepted the offer, two late timeouts when the game is so far out of reach doesn’t make sense.

“At the two-minute warning in every game in the fourth quarter, there are conversations that go by. There’s conversations that take place at the two-minute warning before the first half. But there’s conversations that take place, and it’s the official’s responsibility to give the head coach a status of commercials and TV timeouts,” Fisher said. “Yesterday, I was told that they were two short. And they looked at me and smiled, and I said, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.’ Mike Carey came across and said, ‘Here’s the deal. We’re two short.’ And I said, ‘Mike, I can’t help you. I’m trying to get a first down and I’m gonna kneel on it.’

I guess the question is this, is this something that the NFL should be investigating or is this nothing at all.  What would have happened if say, Tennessee uses a timeout so that the broadcasting network could gain another set of AD revenue and then the starting LT gets hurt on the next play?  It’s hypothetical for sure but it does bring up the question of why a network would be asking to stop the flow of the game.

Traditionally, the NFL refs control some aspects of time management.  There is a “network official” that stands on the sidelines and will hold up a colored flag when the network needs to cut to commercial.  The purpose of this is to make sure that play does not resume while the network is on break.  This is why my 6 year old son asked me why during a pre-season game both teams just stood on the field for no reason.

But in a live game where the clock is running?

Seems odd.  What are your thoughts on this?

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