Why Many Fans Believe One 'Bad Call' Decided the Super Bowl

Critics say holding call on the Eagles shouldn't have been made in this case
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2023 12:08 AM CST
Why Many Fans Believe One 'Bad Call' Decided the Super Bowl
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback James Bradberry (24) reacts against the Kansas City Chiefs during the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)

The Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles were tied 35-35, and on a 3rd-and-8 at the Eagles' 15-yard line in the final two minutes of the Super Bowl, a fateful penalty call may have essentially decided the game in favor of the Chiefs. Sportscaster Greg Olsen immediately called out the refs for the holding call on the Eagles, chiding them for the decision in such a critical moment during the big game, Sports Illustrated reports, and many fans agreed. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes appeared to overthrow his receiver, but holding was called on Eagles CB James Bradberry, so the Chiefs got a first down, ran out the clock, and kicked the field goal that won them the game (in what many were calling anticlimactic fashion) with just seconds left on the clock.

Sites including Touchdown Wire and Yahoo Sports have rounded up some of the outraged social media reactions. Even LeBron James weighed in: "Sorry but I don’t like that call! Not for the Super Bowl man!" he tweeted, adding, "His hand on his back had no effect on his route! This game was too damn good for that call to dictate the outcome at the end. Damn! By the way I have no horse in the race. Just my professional opinion." Bradberry, however, seemed to accept the call, NFL.com reports: "It was a holding," he said after the game. "I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide." (More Super Bowl stories.)

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