What did Chris Jones say?
Even today, the day after the disastrous last drive penalty that directly cost the Chiefs the game against the Colts, the refs aren't saying anything other than, "it was abusive language".
I don't know about anyone else, but we heard an F-bomb being dropped on the sideline before the camera cut away. It was an entirely different setting...just a shot of the sideline and nobody arguing. So I'm wondering...if they can accidentally catch swearing with guys who are just talking with each other, why is the NFL throwing flags for "abusive language"? Especially in a sport where so much of the game is centered around guys abusing each other physically?
Jones didn't do anything outside of what is tacitly condoned on every play of every game. Heck, he did less. He didn't point or wag his finger. He didn't push or bump Ryan with his body. And he most certainly didn't "lose his cool"...not any more than Ryan had the second before the flag was thrown...which is to say, not at all. Nothing like, for instance, what Tyreek does on pretty much every play. Or Tyrann, for that matter.
If the NFL wants to limit what they say is harsh or abusive language, they need to establish a guideline for it, a way for players to know when they are or aren't approaching the line the NFL says shouldn't be crossed. But even THEN, it'd be a stupid rule, ripe for inconsistency or abuse, because the fans, players, and coaches wont see or hear the rule being broken, so penalties will look arbitrary and capricious.
Like they did this game. The ref threw the flag and threw the game, and even HE won't say what boundary was crossed. Chris Jones claims not to remember what he said...which isn't surprising, given the physicality and emotion required to play the game. The NFL wants to have all the violence and brutality, but they want players to turn it on and off, one play to the next. Surprisingly, players actually do just that on most every play. Even when tempers get hot, the refs wade in, warn people off, and THEN throw flags if the aggression continues. Or if the type of aggression is notably beyond the pale...like, let's say, dragging around the quarterback by his facemask, right?
Throwing a flag when players are, basically, standing next to each other, without the refs even trying to warn or separate them is basically indefensible...worse, when it directly results in the penalized team losing.
It's a bad look, NFL.
And from an upset fan who's tired of seeing pivotal, but phantom penalties costing our Chiefs games, I might suggest the folks at the NFL start looking into the gambling habits of some of its refs. Sure, the flag thrower isn't really betting on games or whatever. It's an arbitrary and capricious allegation for me to imply. Then again, without visibility into how or why the ref threw the flag (or ignored the obvious facemask on Mahomes), we ought to be able to make up whatever unsubstantiated infraction of the rules WE think happened, right? Turnabout...fair play...and all that.