This week’s Sports Illustrated cover is … interesting?
Considering the hullabaloo over officiating in the Denver Broncos’ 30-24 upset of the New England Patriots — a storyline we’ve covered to death here on Shutdown Corner — the fine folks at SI picked a picture that could be interpreted as a Broncos player holding Patriots defensive tackle Dominique Easley.
You wonder if the magazine’s editors selected this photo from a pile of possible pics that could have landed on the front page, simply because it juxtaposed the game’s main storyline — that Broncos backup quarterback Brock Osweiler improved to 1-0 against Tom Brady — against the sidebar story of officiating.
Maybe this was just the best photo of Osweiler the photographer had on his memory card, because it’s a damn good shot, for sure. Or maybe, as several astute NFL redditors pointed out, Easley was in the midst of a rip move that put Denver’s offensive lineman in a compromising position, and it wasn’t a penalty.
Personally, it’s much more fun to imagine the possibility that the photographer had hundreds of pictures to choose from for a Sports Illustrated cover shot, but couldn’t find a single one without an uncalled penalty in the background, so they were forced to go with this one. Because conspiracy theories are fun.
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