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The Vincent Jackson non-fumble the referees never reversed

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When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave up 21 points in one quarter, the game appeared to be nearly over. But it wasn't, and there was one point where it seemed like the Bucs would just come up and beat the Chicago Bears immediately. That was when Vincent Jackson got down to the eight-yard line -- before the ball popped out of his hands.

That was ruled a fumble, but it wasn't. It was automatically reviewed because it was a turnover -- and somehow, on replay, after two minutes, the dedicated replay referees in New York decided that this was totally a fumble.

Vjax no fumble

Aaaaand that basically killed the Bucs' chances. Not completely, but it was their best opportunity and it was destroyed by a terrible call by the refs.

It's especially galling, because the replay officials supposedly determined that it was very close -- and they don't overturn very close calls. Except when it comes to endzone interceptions which lose the Bucs games -- then they overturn close calls, no problem! Not that the Bucs deserved to win this game even with this call, but calls like this just leave a bitter taste in one's mouth.

I do kind of hate complaining about the referees, because over the course of a season those calls tend to even out. And those who complain about the refs in one game tend to forget about the horrible referees when they make a mistake in their favor -- which invariably happens.

Still, these calls are frustrating as hell. What's the point of instant replay if the refs are too conservative to make the correct call in close situations?