Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was not going to go as far as tight end Travis Kelce, who suggested that Sunday's referees were not qualified to work at Foot Locker. However, he too disagrees with the holding call handed to Eric Fisher in the waning moments of Sunday's divisional game against the Steelers, which cost Kansas City a crucial two-point conversion and ultimately a chance to keep the game alive.
"I know Fish is going to have a lot of eyes on him for that call," Reid said Monday, via The Kansas City Star. "I'm not sure I completely agree with what took place. But the call was made and we live with that.
"There are certain things you agree with and don't agree with during games. It really doesn't matter now that we're sitting here. I don't want to be fined, but I was leaning the other way. I think Fish did what he needed to do on that particular block to get that done.
"The problem is when people slip, you make it look worse than it is."
Reid's comments feel like something a head coach has to do in a moment like this regardless of how he truly feels. But a coach of his caliber also knows that moving on is the most important part of a questionable call situation. It's easy sitting here to say *You never hear Bill Belichick's players complaining about a call! * But, over the course of 16 years, he's built a team largely impervious to the uncontrollable factors in a football game. That is a tremendous asset.
To that point, Reid added: "But listen, we had plenty of opportunities before that. I don't want to use that as an excuse by any means."
What Reid really doesn't want his players lingering on is the fact that they're probably right about the call. There was a great passage in Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won by L. Jon Wertheim and Tobias Jacob Moskowitz that talks about how referees largely tend to take themselves out of game-defining situations, with one example being the famous Eli Manning-David Tyree helmet catch (Manning could have been considered "in the grasp" of a defender and whistled down). It's a practice called "Whistle Swallowing," and it's especially prevalent when officials have the chance to ignore a call instead of making one that alters the outcome of a game.