To: National Football League; Commissioner Roger Goodell
We the fans of the New England Patriots demand that the National Football League and Commissioner Roger Goodell review the last 1:40 minutes of the Super Bowl held February 3rd 2008. At 1:22 in the fourth quarter, after Jacobs attained a first down the clock was stopped. The following are the rules regarding clock management in a game.
1. The stadium game clock is official. In case it stops or is operating incorrectly, the Line Judge takes over the official timing on the field.
2. Each period is 15 minutes. The intermission between the periods is two minutes. Halftime is 12 minutes, unless otherwise specified.
3. On charged team time outs, the Field Judge starts watch and blows whistle after 1 minute 50 seconds, unless television does not utilize the time for commercial. In this case the length of the time out is reduced to 40 seconds.
4. The Referee will allow necessary time to attend to an injured player, or repair a legal player’s equipment.
5. Each team is allowed three time outs each half.
6. Time between plays will be 40 seconds from the end of a given play until the snap of the ball for the next play, or a 25-second interval after certain administrative stoppages and game delays.
7. Clock will start running when ball is snapped following all changes of team possession.
8. With the exception of the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half, the game clock will be restarted following a kickoff return, a player going out of bounds on a play from scrimmage, or after declined penalties when appropriate on the referee’s signal.
9. Consecutive team time outs can be taken by opposing teams but the length of the second time out will be reduced to 40 seconds.
10. When, in the judgment of the Referee, the level of crowd noise prevents the offense from hearing its signals, he can institute a series of procedures which can result in a loss of team time outs or a five-yard penalty against the defensive team.
Nowhere in the above rules does it state that in the conditions of what was happening on the clock should be stopped. Also in addition to this six seconds were added to the game clock. Had this illegal clock stoppage not occurred there would have been 40 seconds less time on the clock, 46 seconds less if you consider the six seconds added on after the play. This means that after that play, if the clock was running the way it is supposed to by the rulebook, there would only be 42 seconds left on the clock. Furthermore if this was not enough on the subsequent play time was not taken off during the play followed by a random flashing of numbers on the clock.
The following drive took the Giants a total of 52 seconds on the game clock from the point that six seconds were added to the clock. However if the time was managed the way it was supposed to be there would have been no time left on the clock after Eli Manning was tackled at :50 seconds on the game clock. This irrefutable proof demands that Super Bowl XLII be reviewed from the point of the first illegal stoppage.
We the fans of the NFL demand that Commissioner investigate this matter as it is in his ability and it is his responsibility. The following is what the commissioner may do in this matter.
The Commissioner has sole authority to investigate and to take appropriate disciplinary or corrective measures if any club action, nonparticipant interference, or emergency occurs in an NFL game which he deems so unfair or outside the accepted tactics encountered in professional football that such action has a major effect on the result of a game.
No Club Protests
The authority and measures provided for in this section (UNFAIR ACTS) do not constitute a protest machinery for NFL clubs to dispute the result of a game. The Commissioner will conduct an investigation under this section only to review an act or occurrence that he deems so unfair that the result of the game in question may be inequitable to one of the participating teams. The Commissioner will not apply his authority under this section when a club registers a complaint concerning judgmental errors or routine errors of omission by game officials. Games involving such complaints will continue to stand as completed.
Penalties for Unfair Acts
The Commissioner’s powers under this section (UNFAIR ACTS) include the imposition of monetary fines and draft choice forfeitures, suspension of persons involved, and, if appropriate, the reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred. In the event of rescheduling a game, the Commissioner will be guided by the procedures specified above ("Procedures for Starting and Resuming Games" under EMERGENCIES). In all cases, the Commissioner will conduct a full investigation, including the opportunity for hearings, use of game videotape, and any other procedures he deems appropriate.
Please do the right thing and investigate this game.