WASHINGTON — No one was more frustrated by Josh Norman being called for five penalties in Sunday’s 27-27 tie with the Bengals than Norman himself, but one Redskins fan did take it upon himself to lodge a formal complaint with the league office.
Dennis in Centreville, a lifelong Redskins fan of more than 40 years, had had enough after witnessing Norman get called for pass interference once, and hands-to-the-face four times in London.
Dennis called into The Sports Junkies Monday morning to let them know of the decisive action he’d taken.
“First of all, in reference to this topic you guys are on right now, just to let you know, I just got off the phone with the league also up in New York and registered my complaints,” Dennis said on 106.7 The Fan.
“Yes, I do feel that some of the referee calls over the course of a long period of time does affect the play of the team, because when you get beat up, and when you’re expecting stuff to happen, in my opinion it affects the way you play,” he said. “Whether it’s football or it’s a regular job. I think that affects it. And I think what it stems from guys, I think it stems from the old issue of the Redskins name. I really do. I think it has a lot to do with it, anyways.”
Coincidentally enough, Dennis was actually the second Redskins fan to call The Junkies this morning and theorize about the Redskins’ name swaying referees to penalize the team more harshly.
“So you’re a conspiracy theorist?” Junkies co-host John-Paul Flaim said.
“No, I’m not a conspiracy theorist!” Dennis said. “I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’ve worked at the Pentagon for 24 years, okay?”
“Can we back up for a second? Because I didn’t know — are you just a regular fan?” Flaim asked. “Can you just call the NFL office and file a complaint?”
“Yeah,” Dennis said. “I’ve been a Redskins fan for over 40 years. I live in Centreville, Virginia.”
“So how did you file a complaint?” Flaim prodded further. “What did you do, leave a message? How does that work?”
“I talked to two people,” Dennis said. “They have an officiating line and then they have a comment recording [line], so I left a comment and then I actually left my phone number with the officiating person who’s in charge of officiating, and he just called me back a few minutes ago, and I gave it to him hard. I said, ‘People in D.C. are sick and tired of this treatment from the officials.’ Okay?”
“I understand we make a lot of mistakes, but we get leaned on, and I think it all comes down to the name,” he continued. “And you know what I said to him at the end? I said, ‘You people up in New York, get used to the name ‘REDSKINS,’ because the name is never, ever, ever gonna change.’ Okay? It’s never gonna change.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not buying the grand conspiracy. Are you, Lurch?” Flaim turned to his co-host. “I mean, we’ve actually had several callers today believe that the Redskins are being screwed because of their name. …What about that fumble in the Cleveland game, where the Redskins just got hooked with a magic fumble?”
“I think it’s absolutely preposterous,” Lurch said. “I really do.”
“Can we talk about the fact that that guy called a league office to complain about officiating?” their producer, Matt Valdez, chimed in.
“That’s why I had to back it up, because when he said ‘I filed a complaint,’ I’m like, are you part of the organization? Like, are you part of the team? He’s just a regular fan calling the league office,” Flaim said.
“[Lurch], I don’t think there’s anyone in the world that likes sports as much as you,” Valdez said. “Would you ever call any league office to complain about officiating?”
“Of course not,” Lurch said.
“That’s because you’re not a loser,” Valdez said.
After some digging around on the Internet (Google), I located the phone number fans, who are so inclined, can use to lodge their own complaints with the league office in New York. That number: 1-212-450-2000
The phone operator, who was quite helpful, informed me there is no direct line for complaint-filing. She did, however, connect me to the proper extension without hesitation.
While being transferred, I was greeted by this lovely hold message: “Player safety and the integrity of the game continue to be our primary focus for the benefit of the players, and you, our fans.”