PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 74-year-old legendary Eagles play-by-play radio announcer Merrill Reese is in his 40th season of broadcasting games. He called Sunday’s Eagles-Lions game, “One of the worst officiated games I’ve seen in a long time.”
The Eagles lost their first game of the season falling 24-23 to the Lions on Sunday. They were penalized 14 times for 111 yards, while Detroit was penalized just twice for 18 yards by Pete Morelli’s officiating crew.
Listen: Merrill Reese on the 94WIP Morning Show
“It’s ridiculous,” Reese told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show of the officials on Monday. “It’s absolutely ridiculous. You can talk about the defense being flat on its his heels at the beginning of the game, early in the first half, but you know what two of the biggest plays — the way that game, the tone was set, was with [Lions running back] Theo Riddick going around the edge. Connor Barwin was absolutely held. And then Vinny Curry was practically tackled going in the other direction. Those were tone setters.”
In addition to the lopsided penalty numbers, the officials seemed to be confused multiple times throughout the game.
“You talk about the things they did wrong, the officials did wrong, they had no control of that game,” Reese said. “There were flustered. They had Connor Barwin illegally down field on an offensive play, it tooks hours it seemed like to unravel. They had Darren Sproles — Darren Sproles isn’t big enough to throw a chop block!”
Eagles guard Brandon Brooks was flagged for a hold late in the game, which looked clean. The call even got national attention.
“His hands were inside the frame, but because the Lion defender threw up his arms the official threw up the flag,” Reese said. “And we just threw up!”