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November 24, 2013

Clock miscue is latest Panthers-Patriots controversy

There’s a new controversy afoot concerning Monday night’s Panthers-Patriots game.

The clock operator for the game allowed 4 extra seconds to run off after Ted Ginn Jr. scored the game-winning touchdown with (officially) 59 seconds left in the game.

The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Below are stills from the ESPN broadcast. In the first, you can see Ginn crossing the goal line and on the ground at 1:03.


The clock continues to run after Ginn gets off the ground and celebrates in the end zone. It is stopped at :59.


The Panthers, like all NFL teams, have their own clock operator. But according to a New York Times article last year, all clock operators are NFL, not team, employees. And all clock operators are former officials, generally at the college level.

“There aren’t just fans sitting up there running the clock," Buffalo Bills play-clock operator Jim Huetter told the Times.

The game ended on a Tom Brady interception in the end zone with no time remaining. The Panthers won 24-20.

A Panthers spokesman referred all questions to the league since the clock operators are league employees. A league spokesman was not immediately available for a statement.

--Jonathan Jones and Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on November 24, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Permalink


Man what next . Panthers beat the Patriots and its controversial. What next Cam Newton gonna be academicly ineligible.

Posted by: mike | Nov 24, 2013 11:30:48 AM

4 seconds with Brady is a big difference. He has more time and could've found a better look.

Posted by: Mike | Nov 24, 2013 11:30:49 AM

This is ridiculous any way you want to look at this. The defender was in front of the ball. Contact was made when the defender stepped in front of the pass. Gronk had no chance at a catch or even to swat it away from the defender. It would have been a pick and the game would have ended regardless. Stop with all the speculation and controversies.

Posted by: Dylan Fanelli | Nov 24, 2013 11:30:50 AM

let it go ,the Panthers won,move on

Posted by: jody | Nov 24, 2013 11:31:15 AM

They all try to take away from win Carolina just one . quit wineing

Posted by: dtavernia | Nov 24, 2013 11:31:29 AM

No there's really not a new controversy. It's pathetic that Mike Persinger endorses this post in an attempt to get more web clicks.

Time to move on Observer, let it go.

Posted by: Frank | Nov 24, 2013 11:33:04 AM

Learn how to spell bitch

Posted by: deaire | Nov 24, 2013 11:34:39 AM

4 seconds changes everything Brady could have made another play to get even closer to the goal line. Oh and for all u morons that think it wasn't pass interference on gronkowski your stupid learn he rules.

Posted by: Ed | Nov 24, 2013 11:37:35 AM

What isn't a controversary anymore? Maybe I'm the only one that feels this way, but I literally haven't tuned in to Espn in close to 2 years, because it's basically gossip media like TMZ. I'm only 29yrs old & I can't believe how bad sports coverage is or how much it's made me hate the media & technology lately. It's sad

Posted by: NTK | Nov 24, 2013 11:38:52 AM

We got fucked over but a loss is a loss #patriotsnation

Posted by: taylor | Nov 24, 2013 11:39:55 AM

Mike so obviously you're ignoring the fact that gronk was held in the end zone too. You and the officials have no idea what gronk can and can't do - it's not yours not their decision. How do you know whether or not he could have or someone else for that matter could have broken free. Or with 4 more seconds what play or plays could have been called. Bad ref call and bad clock manager too. Cheap win by the panthers.

Posted by: Martha | Nov 24, 2013 11:40:40 AM

Let's not forget that terrible no-call on a leg whip during a Pats TD drive. Since we counting shouldas right now!!!

Posted by: Phil | Nov 24, 2013 11:45:10 AM

Actually, there was an interception... So it really cost the Panthers a kneel.

Posted by: Lee | Nov 24, 2013 11:45:16 AM

@martha ummmm, actually it is the refs decision.

Posted by: walt | Nov 24, 2013 11:45:32 AM

I saw this when it happened. Why did it take a WEEK for people to notice?! Its called bad sportsmanship. Anyone who is ok with this is just a pats hater. But if your team lost a game thia way youd all be bitching and whining.

Posted by: Leigh | Nov 24, 2013 11:46:11 AM

This was reported by barstoolsports the day after the game, old news. As for the interference.. all that matters is that gronk didn't have the opportunity to make a play on the ball because he was interfered with. End of discussion, it was pass interference.

Posted by: chris | Nov 24, 2013 11:48:15 AM

In a sport that cares about the details and every second counts, you CANT JUST RUN SECONDS OFF THE CLOCK. Its about the integrity of the game and its unacceptable. Thats a whole play the pats lost. And they did it at least TWICE! Im glad bill caught it the second time when it went from 6 to 4 seconds. You CANT do that shit. You wanna win? WIN FAIR.

Posted by: Leigh | Nov 24, 2013 11:48:20 AM

Everyone the game is over ffs...who cares...patriots fans you all whine everytime you lose...its part of the game deal with it...notice no superbowl since spygate ;)

Posted by: Ka0 | Nov 24, 2013 11:49:28 AM

Patriot fans keep whining. You'll lose again to Broncos and be lucky if you make playoffs. Your time is over. New Sheriff in town.

Posted by: Steve Smith | Nov 24, 2013 11:49:33 AM

There was a clear holding/takedown call when Brady threw the touchdown to Dobson over the saints... But it was a no call. Brady and the pats the majority of the time get the benefit of the doubt with refs so I have no hard feelings for the close call. Sorry boutcha

Posted by: Ryan | Nov 24, 2013 11:49:57 AM

No disrespect to the panthers but the refs blew the chance of them getting a fair win it's either pass interference or holding and they didn't call either so they need to do something about these refs

Posted by: Ok | Nov 24, 2013 11:51:27 AM

Can you remember a team bitching about a loss as much as the whining patriots? Tom Brady should've been fined for acting like a child and running after the refs. I know high school players with more class/respect for the game. Time to head back to yankeeland and let Gronk ram some uggs up his ass. Pats fans are retarded babies. Go panthers keep pounding

Posted by: Jchaynie | Nov 24, 2013 11:51:43 AM

All yall pats fans bitch and whine what about that leg whip that didn't get called for a flag that woulda stopped the pats scoring drive but the guy got fined so it shoes shoulda been called and the pass interfenece call was right gronk had no way he coulda caught that ball and was deemed un catchable and was intercepted before contact was made the pats always gonna find something to complain about

Posted by: will | Nov 24, 2013 11:55:41 AM

You can't call a whole game on the last 4 seconds of a game if you're that hurt over the outcome then let's go back and review the entire game and see how many calls were missed both ways and see what the outcome could've been . I bet the Panthers would have still won.

Posted by: c3 | Nov 24, 2013 11:56:11 AM

There's only controversy when baby Brady and the Patsys lose.

Posted by: Rick | Nov 24, 2013 11:58:12 AM

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