DENVER — Many a Denver fan fist-bumped as running back C.J. Anderson burst through the line for his second of three touchdown runs in the Broncos’ 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills Sunday. And so did two of the game’s referees.
The subtle gesture had many crying foul, including Bills safety Aaron Williams, who suggested it proved the officials were pleased with the Denver touchdown.
For starters, nine officials work NFL games, so the slanted total of officials versus Bills would have been 20 vs. 11 if the refs really were on Denver’s side. And that’s not the only thing Williams is wrong about, according to the NFL.
NFL spokesperson Michael Signora said the fist bump was nothing more than line judge John Hussey and umpire Carl Paganelli congratulating one another on the “good mechanics” associated with the call.
The touchdown call was indeed a difficult one because it was tough to see whether Anderson actually crossed the goal line, as he plowed into a sea of bodies at the line of scrimmage. As an umpire, Paganelli was charged with judging where Anderson ended up in the pile in an effort to assist the line judge Hussey, who was tasked with spotting the ball.
The two worked together to make the touchdown call — a call that was confirmed via replay a moment later.