by Matt SnyderFanHouse's resident referee will chime in weekly with thoughts on major topics relating to officiating. We call it The Zebra Report. Matt Snyder is a high school official with eight years experience. While this is like a third-year resident critiquing the work of a world-renowned surgeon, it's still better than someone who has never worn the stripes.
This is probably the most difficult judgment an official will ever make. When there is a pile and the guy with the football has not gone down, and he does not show any signs of doing so, the situation becomes tenuous immediately. In every instance like this, the downsides drastically outnumber the upsides.
If you blow the whistle too soon, you may have given one side an advantage. Say the ball-carrier is still moving forward, and would have either broken free from the crowd for a long gain, or fumbled before his forward progress was stopped.
Zebra Report: Trying to Find the Perfect Time for a Whistle originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Thu, 11 Dec 2008 11:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.