Houston – Mike Pereira admits the number of memorable calls that have gone against the Detroit Lions is a bit unusual, but the NFL’s former vice president of officiating and current Fox analyst maintains there’s nothing nefarious about the way the Lions are officiated.
“You look at the number, like you say, the flag pickup, Calvin Johnson’s (complete the process), you look at that and you say, ‘Wow, how can that continue to happen to us,’” Pereira said. “I don’t know. It’s just pure coincidence, obviously. There’s no conspiracy.
“It’s tough to be a Lions fan, period. It’s really tough when the calls go against you that take away points.”
Pereira, who is active on social media during each week’s games, said Lions fans can get in line when it comes to believing the officials are out to get their team.
As for the overall state of officiating, which is constantly under fire, Pereira said there has been vast improvements over the years, but technology and social media have created unreasonable standards for crews.
“It’s better than it was 10 years ago, it’s much better than it was 20 years ago and it’s mountains of difference what it was 30 years ago,” he said. “The problem is it’s an impossible job to do in real time. They really do a great job, but here’s what technology has done and here’s what instant replay has done – I think it’s taken the level of expectation to perfection. It’s not possible.
“One mistake is no longer acceptable. Social media takes one mistake and blows it out over everything.”
Periera, a longtime official who has more than two decades of on-field experience at the pro and college levels, plus a dozen more years at the league office, joked he’s a much better ref now because he has the same benefits fans do on game days.
“I’m such a good official now because you know what? I look from above, through a television monitor that plays in slow motion,” he said. “Those guys see something in 1/26th of second and have to make their mind up in areas that are not reviewable. It’s really tough.”