NFL referees have found a new way to make themselves the butt of football fans' jokes. During Sunday night's game between the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders, the refs used a notecard to determine a first down.
The referees put a piece of paper between the ball and the first down marker. Thankfully for the Cowboys, the referees ruled it a first down. However, that doesn't make too much sense because if the paper could fit inbetween the ball and the marker, wouldn't that mean the ball is short? This was a question plenty of Raiders fans were trying to figure out.
Meanwhile ... help me out: if the index card fit between the chain and the ball, wouldn't that mean it wasn't a first down?— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) December 18, 2017
I still don't see how that was a first down. The paper fits in between the ball and the stick. #raiders focus now turns to Christian Wilkins.— Complementary Football (@holistic_pickle) December 18, 2017
The ball is short of the marker. First down Cowboys.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 18, 2017
Everyone else watching was just dumbfounded. Here's a league that's worth billions of dollars and has the most high-tech cameras in the world filming games... and a head referee is using a piece of paper to figure out if a team got the yards they needed.
Index cards are now the standard for measuring a first down?? #snf— john telich (@JohnTelich8) December 18, 2017
In the span of one week the NFL signed a $500 million contract with Verizon to stream every single football game on millions of mobile devices AND measured a first down with a piece of paper. pic.twitter.com/pwSB9sLifC— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) December 18, 2017
Billions of dollars in the NFL and we're using a piece of paper folded in half to measure a first down.— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) December 18, 2017
How is this a first down?
ENHANCE. pic.twitter.com/ynAy7LBE6C— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 18, 2017
Of course, like all great things, the index card needed its own Twitter page.
Finally my life has meaning https://t.co/4ceDBABwe8— SNF Index Card (@SNFPieceofPaper) December 18, 2017
The game ended with the Raiders losing, 20-17, ending their playoff hopes. The Cowboys are now 8-6.