Ahead of the Super Bowl, NBC's Cris Collinsworth assured me that he didn't hate the Eagles.
He just hates it when touchdown calls go their way.
After the officials confirmed that a spectacular catch by Eagles running back Corey Clement (and an even better throw by quarterback Nick Foles) was indeed a touchdown, Collinsworth apparently couldn't accept that the call went a Bird's way, returning to the replay repeatedly even after the officials confirmed the Eagles touchdown.
"I would have called that incomplete," Collinsworth said.
Collinsworth's surprise is understandable, considering the Patriots benefited from controversial replay decisions. Three times – in games against the Jets, Steelers and Bills – NFL Senior VP of Officiating Alberto Riveron controversially overturned three touchdowns against the Patriots. In all three cases, the Patriots ended up winning (in a fourth, Riveron confirmed a questionable Patriots touchdown by Brandin Cooks with 23 seconds left to defeat the Texans).
In Collinsworth's defense, the NFL's catch rule is ridiculous. As The Ringer's Rodger Sherman pointed out in the off-season, the section in the league's rulebook that defines a catch has grown to be 649 words long, features three lettered subsections, six numbered items and two notes.
The only problem is most sports reporters or columnists watching the replay disagreed with Collinsworth's take, and thought it was an easy touchdown.
It's telling that just about the only pundit to agree with Collinsworth was Eagles-troll and FS1 host Skip Bayless.