The New England Patriots were whistled for one measly 10-yard penalty in the AFC Championship. The visiting Jacksonville Jaguars were dinged six times for 98 yards. A quick whistle also cost them what would have been a game-clinching fumble return by Myles Jack in the fourth quarter.
NFL conspiracy theories are being further amplified in the wake of this, and two videos of Patriots players hobnobbing with Clete Blakeman’s crew during Sunday’s game are being pushed as further evidence.
The first is of an official smiling while breaking up some pushing and shoving following the Patriots’ first touchdown. He’s smiling! Smiling is celebrating, according to these internet sleuths. Here’s a needelessly long frame-by-frame submission.
The second, which is receiving far more play, is of Blakeman congratulating Tom Brady on the victory.
This is surely the smoking gun, proving Blakeman’s crew was on the take from kickoff, right?
Well, one would have a hard time squaring that theory with footage of Blakeman shaking Blake Bortles’ hand before the Jaguars’ first possession.
It appears the only things Blakeman is guilty of is a Jon Gruden-like worship of quarterbacks and good manners.
Reasonable people would be right in pointing out the disparity in calls and how that helped New England. I just don’t think these two videos really show what they’re supposed to be showing.