LOS ANGELES: Referee Clete Blakeman’s decision to make a second coin toss to start overtime between the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) was in the interest of “basic fairness” the NFL said Sunday.
NFL spokesman Michael Signora said there was “nothing in the rulebook” that required Blakeman to toss the coin again when it failed to flip over the first time.
“But the referee used his judgment to determine that basic fairness dictated that the coin should flip for the toss to be valid,” Signora said. “That is why he re-tossed the coin.”
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had called tails before Blakeman tossed the coin. He had held it heads-up and it didn’t turn over, immediately prompting protests from the Packers.
Although he threw the coin again, Blakeman didn’t allow the team captains to call heads or tails again, something that irked Rodgers.
“He was showing heads, so I called tails, and it didn’t flip,” Rodgers said. “So we obviously thought that was not right.
“He picked the coin up and flipped it to tails, and then he flipped it without giving me a chance to make a recall there,” Rodgers added. “It was confusing.”
The Cardinals won the toss and had the first possession of overtime, marching 80 yards to a touchdown that sealed a 26-20 victory and a place in the National Football Conference title game.