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Packers Still Can’t Believe It

November 12, 1996

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Upon further review, the Green Bay Packers still can’t believe it.

Cornerback Doug Evans, one of the NFL’s most coolheaded and easygoing players, was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected for touching an official on Sunday while disputing a questionable pass interference call.

On Monday, coach Mike Holmgren was still seething over the calls early in the second quarter of Green Bay’s 27-20 loss at Kansas City. And he said he’s going to talk to the NFL about it, too.

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 back judge Tim Millis on a long pass to wideout Tamarick Vanover. Replays indicated that contact between the two was minimal and what contact there was had been initiated by Vanover.

``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,″ he said.

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.

But referee Bob McElwee’s postgame comments that Evans ``shoved an official, pushed an official and that is an automatic ejection″ infuriated Holmgren.

``Now, the official he touched didn’t make the (unsportsmanlike conduct) call,″ Holmgren said. ``You can hear it on the TV, `No. 33 shoving the official.′ That’s not what happened. Doug did touch the official.″

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

While insisting it’s never all right for a player to touch an official, Holmgren insisted officials either need to display more prudence in making the call or the league needs to clarify the rule.

``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.″

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

``I guess it was a tap. It wasn’t a push. It wan’t a shove. It was so minor that (Millis) didn’t realize I’d been thrown out of the game by the other guy,″ Evans said.

``It wasn’t anything flagrant. It was just a reaction-type thing. There was no words said, no curse words or anything like that.″

But Evans said he’d learned his lesson.

``It’s not like they’re going to change the call,″ he said. ``Next time, I’ll just be arguing to myself, in my mind, going back to the huddle.″

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