Early in the San Francisco-Carolina pairing, Anquan Boldin and Captain Munnerlyn were jawing after a play. Munnerlyn head-butted the 49ers receiver, and the unnecessary roughness flag helped position San Francisco for a field goal. The penalty was low-football-IQ by Carolina. Later, after a different play, Boldin head-butted the Cats' Mike Mitchell -- no flag. Why this was a foul when done by the home team and fine when done by the visitor is anyone's guess. Your columnist is with Troy Aikman who, calling the contest, said he is really tired of Boldin's strut-around act. Me too. Boldin is a good player, but needs to stop acting like a 14-year-old.
Postgame, Panthers complained about the third-and-goal pass interference call just before intermission, which turned a likely San Francisco field goal into first-and-goal from the 1, followed by a touchdown. This play was pass interference all the way -- defender Drayton Florence body-slammed the receiver as the pass approached.
Look Closely in 'American Hustle' for Adams' 'Junebug' Co-star Alessandro Nivola: TMQ has liked actress Amy Adams since seeing her in "Junebug" a decade ago. There's no shame in the 39-year-old mother carrying off extensive cleavage scenes in "American Hustle" and at the Golden Globes. But Hollywood was in a tizzy last winter when Seth MacFarlane did his "We saw your boobs" parody at the Oscars. Then at Hollywood's next big event, prominent actresses on the red carpet back up exactly the point MacFarlane was making.
Last Week's Adventures in Officiating Item: TMQ wrote, "Zebras allowed a lot of contact between defensive backs receivers" in the wild-card round ... officials tend to allow more pass interference and holding in the playoffs." This regular season, there were 12 called penalties per game; in the wild-card round, there were eight (accepted penalties, the number in most box scores, usually is lower). I also said that LaMichael James should have been called for batting the ball out of his own end zone on a kickoff, that the result should not have been a safety but Green Bay given the option of re-kicking, from its own 45, which might have made an onside attractive.
Last Friday, Dean Blandino, the league's director of officials, sent the sports media a video in which he declared, "The philosophy in the postseason, the direction is no different from the regular season when we talk with our officials. We want them to call the game the same way." Blandino said James should have been called for batting, giving Green Bay the option of a re-kick. But Blandino did not mention any other no-calls from the wild-card round, instead going into great detail on two minor calls that didn't matter. The video was accompanied by a disclaimer stating, "For informational purposes only." What other purpose could it have?