For Pete's Sake

Even Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes weighed in on index-card first down in Raiders game

Oakland Raiders react on 4th-down index card ruling in loss to Cowboys

The Oakland Raiders fell to the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in a game where the referee made a ruling on 4th down by using a folded index card in the fourth quarter.
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The Oakland Raiders fell to the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in a game where the referee made a ruling on 4th down by using a folded index card in the fourth quarter.

Was that the weirdest Sunday in NFL history?

To recap: we had the butt-check touchdown in Carolina, the overturned catch in the Steelers-Patriots game, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is selling the team amid an investigation into alleged workplace misconduct, Diddy* and Steph Curry want to be the new owners and possibly sign Colin Kaepernick, and the Raiders lost to Dallas on a fumble through the end zone.

*Unfortunately, Diddy called them the North Carolina Panthers

Nutty.

That doesn’t even include the weirdest sight of all: an official using an index card to confirm a first down during the Cowboys game on Sunday night.

The smirk from referee Gene Steratore really just made things better.

After the game, Steratore told a pool reporter that the index card was a “reaffirmation.”

“The ball was touching the pole. I put the card in there and as soon as it touched, it was nothing more than a reaffirmation,” Steratore said, per Pro Football Talk. “The decision was made based on my visual from the top looking down and the ball touching the front of the pole.”

It certainly gave fans more to discuss. That includes Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who tweeted: “That is as close as you get right there.”

After the card came out, Mahomes joked: “Wonder if the folded piece of paper is the rule?”

The index card got its own Twitter handle, and Mahomes wasn’t the only NFL player to wonder about its use.

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch questioned the technology or lack of it:

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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