Three years later, a longtime Big Ten referee Dan Capron admitted that he and his crew missed a key call that gave Alabama an advantage to win the 2018 CFB National Championship game.
“We had a miss. Alabama was on the ropes. They were deep in their own territory and they’re punting. The punt gets blocked. There’s a flag on the ground because the line judge had Georgia offside. Oh, boy. He (Tyler Simmons) actually had a running start and timed it (properly). He wasn’t offside.”
Capron admitted that wasn’t the only call missed.
“But that wasn’t my call. The blocking backs, a split-second before the snap, moved. That was a false start. That should have been my call. It still wouldn’t have been a blocked punt but instead a five-yard penalty against the offense. Capron went onto say, “You never want to make a mistake of any kind in such a high-profile atmosphere.”
During the 2018 National Championship game, the Dawgs were ahead 13-0 in the third quarter. Simmons blocked a punt deep in Alabama territory that could have had them well on their way to win the title. But Capron and his crew penalized Simmons for being offsides even though the TV replays showed that Simmons clearly was NOT offsides and he had timed the snap perfectly.
Alabama ended up punting again and instead of Georgia starting inside of Alabama’s 20-yard line, Georgia started on its own 36.
Many thought the entire game was rigged and that the referees were for Alabama. The video below shows how many controversial calls were made throughout the game:
More than Just a Meme
The personal foul on Simmons upset Georgia fans for weeks, for some even years. Tyler Simmons turned into a meme that was posted for a long time across all social media platforms. Simmons soon became well known as a meme because of a bad call made by an official instead of being known for the incredible athlete he really is.
At first, he thought it was funny and then he admitted it started to get old. He told the media he needed to move on from it because there was no going back and changing it.
“You just have to keep going,” Simmons told the media a few days after the title loss to Bama. “We can’t look back, really. It was a call that was made.”
However, it’s hard to move on from something that was clearly the wrong call and a call that most likely would have won the Bulldogs a national championship title since 1980.
It has to feel somewhat better now that the head official admitted he was wrong in making the call and Georgia fans can put it to rest, but only after an Alabama-Georgia 2018 CFB National Championship rematch of course.
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