For his WIP colleagues, Keith Jones didn’t get angry enough over a blown call during the Flyers’ game Monday night.
During the second period of the Flyers’ 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, referee Kyle Rehman’s premature whistle cost the Flyers an important goal. According to my colleague Sam Carchidi, fans at the Wells Fargo Center “serenaded the officials with derisive chants.” Columnist Mike Sielski said on WIP that the call was “every bit as bad as the call at the end of that Saints-Rams game,” where the referees completely missed a pass-interference penalty that likely cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl.
“The referee blew his whistle because he lost sight of the puck. It is part of the human factor of the game and from the referee’s position it appeared the puck was covered,” the NHL said in a statement following the game. “The on-ice call was in accordance with Rule 31.2 and is not reviewable.”
But during NBC Sports Philadelphia’s broadcast of the game, Jones, who was calling the game alongside play-by-play announcer Jim Jackson, didn’t show much anger over the referee’s mistake.
“Whoops,” Jones said following the blown call. “Just a mistake. Human error right there.”
On the WIP Morning Show Tuesday, host Angelo Cataldi and the rest of the crew ribbed their colleague over his remarkable calmness over the blown call in what Flyers right winger Jakub Voracek called “the biggest game of the year.”
Al Morganti wondered if Jones forgot he wasn’t calling a national game on NBC, while Rhea Hughes sent him an angry text message she paraphrased as, “Bleep human error.”
Cataldi said the Pittsburgh television crew was much more upset over the blown call than Jones appeared to be, even though it benefited the Penguins. Cataldi played Jones’ call of the play, then followed it up with the call from the Penguins’ AT&T SportsNet crew of Steve Mears and Bob Errey.
“How could you blow the whistle!?” Errey said. “Oh, may. That is a blunder and a half, and the Penguins will take it … What’s the rush to blow your whistle? Oh, boy.”
Jones defended himself, noting that he would have gone “bananas” if it was his goal taken away by the referees. But he also said mistakes do happen, and gave Rehman credit for immediately admitting he blew the call.
“It happens a lot. It’s such a fast-paced game, and the fact that the whistle went clearly before the puck went into the net… I guess I’m just trained from years of seeing it that it doesn’t make me overreact,” Jones said.
Listen to the full segment here. And give credit to WIP and Cataldi for opening their show talking about the Flyers, a rare occurrence on Philadelphia sports talk radio (which 97.5 The Fanatic’s Mike Missanelli talked about last week).
Thanks to the Sixers’ continued success and the growing interest in the Phillies, NBC Sports Philadelphia finished the year as the third-most-watched regional sports network in the country, according to numbers provided by the network.
Only the Yes! Network in New York City and NESN in Boston drew higher ratings in 2018 than NBC Sports Philadelphia, which averaged nearly 41,000 household impressions during primetime in 2018, according to Nielsen.
Not only did the Sixers draw their highest postseason ratings on the network since 2012, ratings this season are up about 16 percent compared to last season, peaking with Jimmy Butler’s debut against the Orlando Magic on Nov. 12. Household ratings for the Phillies were also up 26 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.
Live coverage of spring training games will debut on NBC Sports Philadelphia on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 1 p.m., when the Phillies take on the Pirates. Tom McCarthy, John Kruk, Ben Davis, and Gregg Murphy will call the spring training games, with Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt joining the broadcast during select contests.
• Why did Bob Costas come forward to set the record straight over his removal from last year’s Super Bowl broadcast due to his comments on concussions? ESPN investigative reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada revealed some details on Outside the Lines Monday to fill-in host (and Philadelphia native) Ryan Smith.