Football’s Weekend of Insane Endings

Thank the NFL and NCAA for taking the drama away from your family’s dining table this Thanksgiving weekend.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Until very late into Thursday night it seemed that Mark Sanchez’s 2012 butt-fumble was destined to go another year as the worst or most hilarious Thanksgiving Day football play in recent memory, but then Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stepped in. That is, he literally stepped onto the field, arguably preventing Jacoby Jones from reaching the end zone on an incredible kickoff return. Tomlin was not penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and officials could have awarded Jones a touchdown for sideline interference, but in the end the Ravens had to settle for a field goal and did eventually win the game. Tomlin maintains his innocence in the whole ordeal, but maybe once he’s hit with the rumored six-figure fine, he’ll admit to weather his quickstep onto the field was intentional. After all, it only took $50,000 to bring the truth out of Nets coach Jason Kidd, who has since backtracked on his claims of accidental-soda-spilling-sweaty-palms

Alabama vs. AuburnJust two weeks after the immaculate deflection that gave them their win against Georgia, the Auburn Tigers did it again, and pretty much topped it, for one of the most incredible final plays of all time. With the Iron Bowl clock at 0:00, Chris Davis returned a missed field goal attempt more than 100 yards for a game-winning touchdown. The win also clinched a spot for Auburn in the SEC championship game. “I knew when I caught the ball I would have room to run,” Davis said. “I knew they would have big guys on the field to protect on the field goal. When I looked back I said, ‘I can’t believe this,'” – something both ‘Bama and Auburn fans are probably still saying to themselves, albeit with varying levels of excitement. 

New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins

On Sunday night, RGIII and the Redskins were playing with the most energy they’ve shown all season and, in the last minutes, had what looked like a very solid chance to tie the Giants’ lead and send the game into overtime. With about 1:40 left on the clock the officiating crew gave Washington a first down, despite the fact that it looked short. The chains moved. Washington resumed play, with Griffin throwing a deep pass that failed to connect. Then, referee Jeff Triplette signaled that the previous play had in fact been short, meaning that the incomplete pass actually constituted a third down, leaving the Redskins with enough time for a fourth-down attempt that ended in a fumble…leaving everyone (especially the above member of the chain gang) confused. And mad, considering that the call may have affected the play called. Today, the NFL is saying that Sunday night’s officiating crew should have stopped play and eliminated confusion about the down and distance. Well, at least the loss won’t have any impact on the Redskins’ chances of making the playoffs. Oh, wait

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