That "Taunting" Call Was Inexcusable, and Then the Official "Hip Checks" Cassius Marsh?!

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That “Taunting” Call Was Inexcusable, and Then the Official “Hip Checks” Cassius Marsh?!

Chicago Bears

There were so many BS flags dropped on the Chicago Bears last night that, when fill-in linebacker Cassius Marsh registered a critical fourth quarter sack on third down, I was already expecting a flag. But I certainly wasn’t expecting everything that actually happened.

The sack would’ve prevented the Steelers from kicking a field goal, and if the rest of the game had proceeded as it did, it would’ve left the Bears with a four point lead when the Steelers started their final drive (which ended in a game-winning field goal). There are some butterfly wings in between, but it’s not a stretch to say that what happened may have cost the Bears the game.

After the play, official Tony Corrente flagged Marsh for “taunting” the Steelers’ bench, which consisted of Marsh standing 40 yards away, looking in the direction of the bench, and not moving for a couple seconds. Apparently that’s all it takes. It was an absurd call:

You cannot throw that flag. I don’t care what the explanation is:

You’re gonna let that moment decide a game? When a guy is causing no trouble at all, and is clearly coming off the field after two seconds of standing there? Inexcusable. Just because something is a point of emphasis for the league doesn’t mean you lose all of your common sense in the moment.

And to make matters worse and weirder, there was the bump. A lot of folks were confused in the moment about whether Marsh was getting flagged for bumping the official, but that was secondary to the whole taunting thing. And it turns out, when you re-watch and listen to Marsh, it’s pretty clear it was the official who initiated that contact anyway:

He’s quite right. Maybe Corrente just had a momentary instinct to preemptively protect his body, and that caused him to jut out into Marsh for some reason. But if a player had done that, he’d be tossed and fined and maybe suspended. It doesn’t matter with respect to the taunting call that may have cost the Bears the game, but it sure makes the whole situation that much more maddening.

At least Justin Fields gave us something to keep dreaming on.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.