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James Bradberry grabbed JuJu Smith-Schuster’s jersey, which is a penalty

If James Bradberry didn’t want to be called for holding in the final moments of Super Bowl LVII, he shouldn’t have grabbed the jersey of receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The NFL wanted the Chiefs to win for some reason that had to do with something unmentioned, and that was why Eagles cornerback James grab, I mean, Bradberry was called for defensive holding in the final moments of Super Bowl LVII.

At least that was the conspiracy theorists’ theory for why the officials called Bradberry for grabbing the jersey of Chiefs receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, a penalty that all but put an end to the competitive phase of Super Bowl LVII.

In fairness, there are a lot of football fans out there who aren’t, well, “silly” enough to think the call against Bradberry was some sort of evil plan to ensure a Kansas City win that would benefit the NFL for reasons that, again, are unmentioned by the conspiracy theorists (maybe the league needs more clicks?) who still think it was a bad penalty.

Why do you think that?

A dejected Bradberry, talking to reporters after the game, even said that he grabbed Smith-Schuster during the play. You don’t believe me? You think I’m making that up as a means to justify writing this article? OK, fine, here’s proof of Bradberry saying this, courtesy of

“I pulled on his jersey. They called it. I was hoping they would let it ride.”

You don’t believe You think CBS is in on the fix with the NFL?

Seek help.

But, you, the more sane person, who still insists that Bradberry should not have been called for a penalty that he actually committed, again, why do you think that?

Because of when it occurred?

The official should have just swallowed his whistle at that moment?

What if Kansas City would have lost the Super Bowl because holding was NOT called on that play?

That would have been okay? Why? Because you wanted the Eagles to win? Why? Because they’re from Pennsylvania? Yeah, the obnoxious part.

Anyway, you can’t have things both ways. I say that because some of the same people who mocked me for even suggesting that Bengals linebacker Joseph Ossai be given a little leeway after hitting Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes out of bounds late in the AFC title game suddenly wanted the officials to swallow their whistles in the final moments of the Super Bowl.

“A penalty is a penalty!” you insisted two weeks earlier. “It doesn’t matter when it occurs during a game.”

Fine, but why your sudden change in attitude? Is it because you were fine with the letter of the law as long as it hurt the Bengals?

I suppose that’s why most of us aren’t officials.

“Yeah, well, the late hit on Mahomes was more egregious!”

You’re right. And when it comes to the real world, assault is more egregious than running a red light, yet they’re both against the law.

There was one sure way for Bradberry to not be called for defensive holding at the end of Super Bowl LVII: He could have not grabbed Smith-Schuster’s jersey with his right hand (watch the whole play and not the conspiracy theorist’s version that shows Bradberry NOT grabbing the jersey with his left hand).

These defensive backs hold on every passing play, which increases the odds that they’re going to be called for it sooner or later.

Should it have mattered that it happened later?


I sometimes run red lights. Occasionally I get pulled over for this, but should the officer look the other way and tear up the ticket just because I was on my way to an important job interview?

I was hoping he would let me ride, but he didn’t.