Monday Night Football was must-see TV in Week 9 for all the wrong reasons.
Fans are buzzing Tuesday about a penalty called in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 29-27 win over the Chicago Bears at Heinz Field.
ESPN reports Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh was flagged by official Tony Corrente in the fourth quarter of the game. It came after Marsh sacked Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a seven-yard loss on third-and-8. After taking down the QB, Marsh celebrated (as he’s known to do) with a spinning jump kick. Then came the call from Corrente, who said he whistled Marsh for taunting.
However, Marsh believes he was penalized not for his sack dance, but instead for incidental contact with Corrente after the play. And here’s the kicker: Corrente appeared to initiate the contact.
Referee Tony Corrente to pool reporter @AdamHoge on why he threw a late taunting flag on Chicago’s Cassius Marsh: “I saw the player, after he made a big play, run toward the bench area of the Pittsburgh Steelers and posture in such a way that I felt he was taunting them.”
But in video replay, which you can see here, Corrente clearly threw the flag after contact was made with Marsh. And Corrente was the one who initiated the contact.
Cassius Marsh on Tony Corrente hitting him: "On my way to the sideline, I got hip checked by the ref, it's pretty clear. If I were to do that to a ref or even touch the ref, we would be kicked out of the game, possibly suspended."pic.twitter.com/trnrde1ANG— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 9, 2021
“On my way to the sideline, I got hip-checked by the ref. It’s pretty clear,” Marsh said after the game, per ESPN. “If I was to do that to a ref or even touch a ref, we get kicked out of the game and possibly suspended and fined. I just think that that was incredibly inappropriate.”
With Monday’s loss, the Bears fell to 3-6 while the Steelers improved to 5-3.
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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.