Controversial officiating is a constant topic of conversation in the NFL. Each Sunday seemingly brings another episode where the referees affect the outcome of a pivotal match. It’s insane that these incidents still happen in an era with advanced technology that allows instant replays. But this is the world that we live in.
Fans and teams see obvious calls that were somehow the referees just miss. There are some horrendous officiating mistakes that have gone down in NFL history. At their worst, they have even cost teams championship games and made them unwatchable for fans. Check out the worst refereeing mistakes in NFL history in our list below via Stadium Talk.
25. Cole Kmet’s ‘Taunting Penalty’
This one went down in 2021. The Chicago Bears met the New Orleans Saints in the Super Wild Card round of the playoffs when the referees cited tight end Kmet for ‘taunting.’ As fans know, this is basically unsportsmanlike conduct and results in a 15-yard penalty. After Kmet caught a one-yard pass at the sideline, he spoke to one of the Saints’ players and the referee overreacted. But the problem was that this also affected the result.
The worst taunting call in NFL playoff history? pic.twitter.com/D3IKLRQXaE
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 10, 2021
First of all, Kmet didn’t say or do anything worthy of a 15-yard penalty. At the end of the day, this is a competitive game with soaring testosterone levels. Nobody likes it when the referees act like school teachers. Furthermore, it was decisive because the Saints went into halftime with a 7-3 lead. Overofficiating can be as bad as missing a call. Kmet and the Bears didn’t deserve that.