Michael Barkann, an Eagles analyst on NBC Sports Philadelphia, was apoplectic about the controversial holding call on James Bradberry.
Bradberry was flagged for holding on the Chiefs’ JuJu Smith-Schuster on a play with just under two minutes remaining in Super Bowl 2023. The penalty was a polarizing one, as Fox Sports color commentator Greg Olsen opined that the officials should’ve let them play.
“And then they get to a third-and-8 on the 15-yard line, and an incomplete pass! And Carl Cheffers’ team with a bulls–t call. I mean utter and complete bulls–t,” Barkann said. “It’s unbelievable. It’s inexcusable. You don’t make a call then and there! You don’t let the game be decided by the officiating.
“And yes it’s true. The officials go both ways. And you’ve got to rise above it. I understand. This is the freaking Super Bowl! And that should never happen.”
The holding penalty resulted in the Chiefs getting a new set of downs. They were able to run the clock down to within 10 seconds, allowing Harrison Butker to kick a 27-yard field goal to put the Chiefs up 38-35, for what would be the final score of the game.
Cheffers defended the call.
“It was a clear case of a jersey grab that caused restriction,” he told pool reporter Lindsay Jones.
After the game, Bradberry admitted that he tugged at Smith-Schuster.
“It was a holding,” Bradberry told reporters. “I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide.”