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Merrill on fumble recovery call: 'That is a disgrace'

Andrew Porter
December 10, 2018 - 8:58 am

On the opening play of the Eagles-Cowboys on Sunday, Malcolm Jenkins forced a fumble. The refs ruled down by contact on the field, but the replay showed the ball was clearly loose and only Eagles were in the recovery pile. Eagles LB Kamu Grugier-Hill came up with the ball. 

You can watch the play here.

However, here was the referee's explanation: 

"After reviewing the play, there was a fumble on the play, however we do not have a clear recovery by the receiving team. Therefore the ruling on the field stands as called, first down."

Related: Eagles' Wild Card chances after loss to Dallas Cowboys​

Merrill Reese, the Eagles radio play-by-play announcer on SportsRadio 94WIP, chimed in, basically interrupting the official. 

"WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?" Reese exclaimed. "That is unbelievable. That is a disgrace! This is a disgrace! That is a disgrace! 'We do not have a clear recovery.' That is a disgrace!"

"I've never heard such a thing in all of my days," said radio color commentator and former Eagles WR Mike Quick. 

Reese joined Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show about 15 hours later on Monday morning. 

"I still think it's a disgrace," Reese said. "When do you ever see, unless in the open field, a clear-cut fumble recovery? Usually there's a whole pile and they unstack them, and very often the person who comes up with the football didn't even recover the football, he wedged it away from somebody else. All you had here was a pile of green. All you had to do was look at the color. There wasn't a white shirt anywhere near the ball."

The Cowboys went on to beat the Eagles 29-23 in overtime, in a thrilling game. But the officiating was atrocious all game long. 

Jenkins, who forced the fumble to open the game, talked about the call afterwards. 

Malcolm Jenkins on the “non” fumble recovery: “Whoever is watching that in NY should lay off the bottle.” --

A post shared by 94WIP (@sportsradio94wip) on

Enough said.