Jason Whitlock: “I'm not a bitter Eagles fan, I'm a happy Chiefs fan. I lived and worked in Kansas City for 16 years. My mother moved to Kansas City in 1984. I moved there in 1994. The Chiefs are my favorite football team. I bet money on Kansas City winning Sunday’s Super Bowl, I'm thrilled with the outcome… But the holding penalty on James Bradberry that decided Sunday's game was totally bogus. I've watched the replay a dozen times, Chiefs wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster never broke stride. Bradberry's contact never impeded Smith-Schuster from getting into his route. It was the worst ending to a television series since The Sopranos. Let's call it what it is, ‘The Sopranos Bowl.’ Kansas City's 38-35 victory unseated ‘Made in America’, the finale of the iconic HBO mob series, as the worst ending in television history. With a little less than two minutes to play and the score tied at 35 all, a would-be Super Bowl classic cut to black, leaving more than 100 million fans pondering what could have been. Would Philly capo Jalen Hurts rally the Eagles from a three-point deficit and win the game or force overtime? Or would Kansas City underboss Patrick Mahomes and ‘button man’ Harrison Butker whack the Eagles? We'll never know because a referee flagged Philly quarterback James Bradberry for defensive holding on 3rd and 8 at the Philadelphia 15-yard line. The penalty gave the Chiefs a first down, allowed them to drain the clock, and set up a game-ending 27-yard field goal with eight seconds to play. The unnecessary and unjustified call ruined the Super Bowl. I don't care that Bradberry defended the ref. It was a horrible call, I've watched the replay a dozen times. Chiefs wide receiver Juju Smith Schuster never broke stride. Bradberry's contact never impeded Smith-Schuster from getting into his route. The refs stayed out of the game for 58 minutes. There were no mystery holding calls in the secondary or along the line of scrimmage. It was a clean game, it was a great game, until the bogus holding penalty on Bradberry. The Super Bowl was a bitter reminder of what's wrong with the NFL. Referees have too much influence over the outcomes. They have too many judgment calls to make. The officiating is uneven and inconsistent. Sometimes the games feel manipulated. Pass interference and roughing the passer calls determine outcomes more than the players. I don't believe the NFL is rigged nor do I believe former NFL running back Arian Foster's outrageous suggestion that the games follow a script. What was ‘scripted’ was the reaction to Sunday's game-deciding penalty. I believe the NFL persuaded Bradberry and the Eagles to not whine about the costly penalty. I believe the league persuaded its television partners to downplay the penalty on Sunday. I don't blame the NFL for this, it's smart business. The league’s showcase event botched the ending. Roger Goodell wants fans talking about the magnificent performances of Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, and Nick Bolton, Kansas City linebacker. It's better to discuss the coaching brilliance of Andy Reid than the fact NFL referees are in an impossible position. Remember the Saints-Rams pass interference no-call that sent Los Angeles to the 2019 Super Bowl? The refs were ripped and ridiculed for months. Saints coach Sean Payton whined for months. He wore a Roger Goodell clown t-shirt. A New Orleans fan filed a lawsuit against the NFL, later dropped it. The NFL is a television show, its goal is to create television stars, its biggest star Tom Brady just retired, Patrick Mahomes is the next man up. The NFL is determined to stop a bogus penalty from tainting Mahomes' second Super Bowl title.” (Full Video Above)
Watch Jason Whitlock of ‘Fearless’ explain why he thought the controversial holding call at the end of Super Bowl 57 made the 2023 NFL season have a worse series finale than ‘The Sopranos.’
Check out the video above as Whitlock details how the NFL tried to control the media narrative following the ‘bogus’ call in an attempt to protect Patrick Mahomes from having his second Super Bowl title ‘tainted’ by controversy.