The NFL informed Vikings coach Brad Childress on Tuesday that he has been fined $35,000 for violating longstanding league policies that prohibit public criticism of officiating and the disclosure of confidential conversations with the head of the NFL officiating department.
Childress criticized the work of referee Scott Green and his crew following the Vikings' 28-24 loss to the Packers on Sunday night at Lambeau Field. Childress was most upset that tight end Visanthe Shiancoe's 17-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was overturned on review because Green felt Shiancoe used the ground to help him control the ball.
Childress then informed the media on Monday that he had been told by Carl Johnson,the league's director of officials, that a misatke was made when Shiancoe's touchdown was reversed on replay. Childress also said he was told a touchdown catch by Packers tight end Andrew Quarless in the second quarter would have been overturned had the Vikings challenged it.
Childress' strongest comments about the work of Green and his crew came during his postgame interview on Vikings flagship station KFAN. "That's the worst officiated game I've seen," Childress said. "That referee came over and apologized to me for not calling a hold on the scramble by [Packers quarterback Aaron] Rodgers. And I'll tell you what, that's his job. Protect the quarterback and look at the left tackle. Look at the left tackle hold his tail off."
Another call that drew Childress' ire was a fourth-quarter facemask call on Vikings right tackle Phil Loadholt. “The umpire standing on that side, they called a penalty, the guy hadn’t called a penalty all night long and then I don’t know if he got religion or what happened but Bruce [Stritesky] whatever his name didn’t make a call all night long,” Childress said. “Now we’re going to get a facemask. I mean c’mon now. C’mon.”
The league said in an e-mail that Childress was notified of the fine by NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson.
Under the NFL's rules, the league also could have ruled that because Childress disclosed information told to him in confidence by the league that he no longer was eligible to get explanations from Johnson on calls that might have been in error. However, Anderson did not decide to take that privilege from Childress.