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Packers Still Can’t Believe It

November 12, 1996

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Yes, the Green Bay Packers admit, cornerback Doug Evans did touch an official.

And they agree he never should have done it.

But, they insist, he didn’t shove, push, curse, or in any way disrespect him.

So, the Packers argue, the officials were heavy-handed in ejecting Evans.

And, by the way, they don’t much like the call that precipitated the contact, either.

Evans, one of the NFL’s most coolheaded and easygoing players, was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected for touching back judge Tim Millis on the shoulder while disputing a questionable pass interference call Sunday.

Coach Mike Holmgren was still seething on Monday over the calls early in the second quarter of Green Bay’s 27-20 loss at Kansas City. He was especially upset by referee Bob McElwee’s postgame comments that Evans ``shoved an official, pushed an official and that is an automatic ejection.″

``There was no shove, there was no bump, there was no push,″ Holmgren said. ``He did touch the official, though. Bottom line, they are not to touch the officials. They are not to talk to the officials.

``Doug touched the official. He got ejected, and it hurt us.″

Holmgren said he sees quarterbacks good-naturedly put an arm around an official to point out something or make a case for a call on the defense.

Happens all the time, he said.

So how is this any different?

Holmgren said officials either need to use more discretion or the NFL needs to clarify the rules.

``The simple fact is that if that’s what they’re going to do, then it’s got to be more defined,″ Holmgren said. ``He didn’t shove the official, he wasn’t being disrespectful.″

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Peter Hadhazy, director of game operations, will review the matter this week and decide what fine, if any, to levy against the fourth-year cornerback with a squeaky clean record.

Aiello said that although there’s no automatic penalty, ``normally, a player who is ejected for physical contact with an official is fined.″

And the usual fine for a first-time offender is $10,000, he said.

``Peter Hadhazy will get the officials’ report and look at videotape,″ Aiello said. ``And as for Mike Holmgren, his views will be welcomed.″

Evans was called for pass interference by Millis on a long pass to Chiefs wideout Tamarick Vanover. Replays indicated that contact between the two was minimal and what contact there was had been initiated by Vanover.

``If that’s pass interference,″ Evans said, ``someone might need to explain the rules back to me.″

``I will be the first coach to admit that pass interference is one of the toughest calls the officials have to make,″ Holmgren said. ``But that was really a bad call. He was wrong. I don’t know if it was offensive pass interference, but it was either no call or offensive pass interference.

``It wasn’t even close to being defensive pass interference. There just wasn’t a call there.″

Flabbergasted, Evans ``takes his right hand and puts it on the official’s right shoulder, and gets around in front of him that way,″ Holmgren added. ``There was no shove, there was no bump, there was no push. He did touch an official, though.″

And when Evans did that, line judge Bryon Boston promptly called unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected Evans.

``I’m really not the kind of guy to argue with a referee, anyway, over anything,″ Evans said. ``But I was so shocked.″

Evans said he shouldn’t have touched Millis, but insisted he meant no malice.

``That’s where I messed up,″ he said. ``I should have used restraint and just gone back to the huddle and avoided everything.″

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