The first quarter of Eagles vs. 49ers in Philadelphia was a bit of a debacle.
Mixed with a number of questionable calls, the game to a screeching halt when officials unable to tell if a punt was interfered by a foreign object, specifically the wire holding the sky camera over the field.
Eagles punter Brett Kern had a punt of just 34 yards that went out of bounds at the Niners’ 40-yard line. Kicker Jake Elliott jumped off the sidelines to say it hit the wire, and officials took another look.
John Hussey and his crew, however, were unable to confirm if the punt hit the wire, and the call stayed as it was on the field.
We cannot confirm whether the ball hit the wire or not. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/NGlBICXgSV
— Sickos Committee (@SickosCommittee) January 29, 2023
The ball certainly has its path altered, and the wire wasn’t done with Kern yet.
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Having the SkyCam follow Brett Kern after the ball (maybe) hit the wire is evil 😂 pic.twitter.com/7TNUdSVvjk
— KNBR (@KNBR) January 29, 2023
The 49ers would end up punting on the following drive, so it could have been worse.
What happens if a punt hits the wire?
By rule, if a ball is interfered with by a foreign object above the field of play, whether it be a camera wire or a scoreboard, the play is blown dead and a replay of the down occurs.
In other words, if Kern did in fact hit the wire, he should have been able to punt again.
However, because the call on the field was that Kern didn’t hit it and there wasn’t indisputable evidence he did, the call stayed as it was called on the field.
Despite the Eagles’ protestations and frustrations, the lack of a camera on the wire made it impossible to tell.
In other words: Who watches the watchmen?