#WhatAboutKaren? Bad CFL officiating costs woman a million dollars

Crappy CFL officiating just cost Karen Kuldys of Winnipeg a million dollars.

Kuldys is the contestant in Safeway’s Touchdown to Win contest – which pays $1 million if two kickoffs are returned for touchdowns in the same game – and looked have the money in her pocket after Bomber Ryan Lankford took the opening kickoff 105 yards for a score and Argonaut Martese Jackson followed that up with another one late in the second quarter. But just as Jackson crossed the goal line after 109 yards, out came a penalty flag.

The call was an illegal block on Llevi Noel, No. 84 in the GIF above, who is run into by Winnipeg’s Mike Miller (No. 24.) Miller promptly falls down and draws a flag. Jackson, meanwhile, is already well past Miller and on his way to the end zone.

Reaction on the broadcast was swift and critical.

“Oh, they called that,” said TSN play-by-play man Chris Cuthbert.

Colour man Glen Suitor went back and reviewed the play.

“Miller is just going to kind of fall forward and that’s where common sense comes in,” Sutior said. “That wasn’t a block attempt. It wasn’t a block in the back, it was a player falling in front of him.”

The TSN panel echoed those sentiments at halftime.

“Do not ruin the game of football by throwing that flag,” said Jock Climie.

Former Bomber Milt Stegall had a good line.

“Karen went out there and bought a Lamborghini. The money was spent.

“What about Karen?”

That phrase is now, as of 10:30 p.m. EST, trending on Twitter and CBC reporter Devin Heroux says he’s spoken with the almost-millionaire.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1418 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

57 Comments on #WhatAboutKaren? Bad CFL officiating costs woman a million dollars

  1. BleedzGreen // July 13, 2017 at 10:29 pm //

    Brutal, just brutal.

  2. Wow this one is unbelievable

    • The league could,at least,excuse Bo Levi for his tweet because there is a major problem with the referees that millions of fans take for granted.

  3. Hors E Power // July 13, 2017 at 10:36 pm //

    Safeway has an opportunity to make an incredible PR move right now

    • Well if they do, it won’t be $1M worth move but hopefully they do something. As I said before in other posts here, the players and coaches have to be accountable so the officials should be held accountable. Respect them by ALL means but that does not equate to being unaccountable. They cost teams wins before, possibly coaches and GM jobs before and now it appears they just cost a citizen ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Wouldn’t it be nice if WE started a fund so that this lady could sue the officials. Problem is that I would not want the league to fold but I am guessing she won”t give a rat’s a…

    • Clark Grant // July 13, 2017 at 11:44 pm //

      No, the CFL has a PR move to make. Safeway insures this million and pays premiums and the insurance company isn’t going to pay a dime

    • …making sure to thank the referees.

  4. Dan Bombers // July 13, 2017 at 10:36 pm //

    Ouch that hurts

  5. Way to go CFL. And then you wonder why people flock to the NFL. It’s no better but it doesn’t help when you give them an excuse. SO how are you going to justify this to the lady who lost $1M ? You going to quote some section from the rule book like rule 3976, sec. 419 sub sec 87 that even a monkey could have called right?

  6. Hors E Power // July 13, 2017 at 10:58 pm //

    I think the biggest issue with the officials is they don’t have to be accountable anymore. They just rely on reviews and challenges to do their job for them

    • The Toronto player did needlessly put his arm out to impede the Bomber player.Do not give the referees a reason to call back a touchdown-simplely keep your hands to yourself when your teammate does not need any help.

  7. Safeway and other “big money” prize giveawayer’s don’t usually give out the money out of their own pocket. They usually have an 3rd party insurance policy that does the payout should it ever happen and Safeway pays the “premium” to cover that policy. And there is no way the 3rd party is actually going to pay this out of goodness…

  8. Great PR move when Safeway pays her the money. It doesn’t come out of their pockets anyway, it’s insured every year. Next year’s insurance premium will go up to compensate. Congrats to Karen!

    • GoCats! // July 14, 2017 at 9:02 am //

      You are likely dreaming that it won’t come out of Safeway’s pockets if $$$ are paid in this particular instance.

      How is Safeway going to convince the insurer to ignore the penalty flag that lets the insurer keep their money?

      Best case sceneario that IMO is realistic is for Safeway to come up with some $$ but not the full amount from their own pockets.

  9. Brutal, even without the stakes that were on the line for the fan.

    There’s nothing stopping Safeway from giving her a consolation prize out of their own funds, no matter how the million dollar promo is financed.

    • If Safeway gives out a prize that’s the same violation that Bo Levi makes tweeting that the referees are poor and they would have to be dropped as a CFL sponsor.

      • GoCats! // July 14, 2017 at 9:06 am //

        I doubt it.

        BLM depends on the CFL where the CFL depends on their sponsors. Maybe if the CFL was turning away sponsors could they have the luxury of dropping Safeway but I doubt that is the case.

  10. The officiating in this game was horrible. The guy who made that call ruining a great runback for a TD by the Argo player should be fired. There was also a pass interference call in the end zone against the Argos that had to be overturned by the command centre, and an earlier pass interference call on the Argos that replay showed was good a defensive play, with the defensive back reaching in front of the receiver to punch the ball away. A brutal forearm hit to the head of Ricky Ray was missed near the end of the game when the Argos still had a shot at tying the game. This game the Argos got screwed. But I’ve seen it happen to every other team at one time or another. Can’t the CFL get it into the heads of these dolts officiating the games that they should only call clear cut violations and not borderline stuff. How many punt and kickoff returns and great plays have been called back on mickey mouse penalties? If the new commish, Randy Ambrosie, doesn’t own up to this problem he’s going to drive long time fans away. Let the players play. The stars of this game (for Winnipeg anyway) were the referees. As for the Winnipeg woman who lost the million, The CFL should address this injustice or it will lose credibility. This crap has gone on too long and more fans will disappear and league will die unless something is done to make this a more professional operation.

    • Cost Hamilton a Grey Cup win and made Austin an irate man, as well as loyal cat fan Philski(not permanent).

    • Well said! I agree with everything that you just said, hopefully the new commissioner fixes this quickly.

  11. Why should Sobeys/Safeway give her anything else. A $25,000 home theatre ain’t nothing to sneeze at.

    Officials, players & coaches all make mistakes – that’s a fact. Also a fact, it’s easy to criticize when you’re watching a super slow motion replay while the players & officials are reacting to real time plays.

    • GoCats! // July 14, 2017 at 9:11 am //

      Safeway … if they do something will likely do it for PR. I doubt they have the buckets of cash to give the full $$$.

      As for “super slow mo replays” – it wasn’t needed in this case. Lots of other controversial plays but this one was clear cut.

  12. ,,Patience // July 14, 2017 at 12:25 am //

    What about Karen? What about Ricky Ray? What about Jackson? What about Payden? The striped guys sure screwed a lot of people tonight. Not to mention the fans of the game who watched that gong show tonight. The biggest loss is to Karen but this game is a huge loss to the whole league.

    • Yeah they’re were a lot of victims of the refs last night. The Argonauts got jobbed!

  13. Since we’re laying blame, how about the Winnipeg player that dove to get the call?

    Then the story goes on to say the daughter would rather go on welfare…wha??

  14. Brutal. Officials have to be better. A bunch of calls vs Argos. Return TD worst but couple of head shots missed. Last one by Johnson especially bad & obvious. Fining him after the fact doesn’t make it right. Officials shouldn’t have this much input on game result. Time to admit they haven’t been good this year.

  15. Randy Ambrosie has to do something as the new Commissioner. These endless reviews, plays being wiped out, stupid PI calls. The CFL has become a joke. There has to be big changes.

  16. pantsonfire // July 14, 2017 at 1:49 am //

    It’s unbelievable that the command centre reviews these things & so often gets it wrong. How do you explain that the TD didn’t count? The Bomber CLEARLY falls down & the Argo player behind falls over him? I don’t blame the official but the command centre is there to overturn this. We have had this problem the 1st few weeks & the last time the Director of Officiating defended the guy in the command centre. If it’s the same guy(s) still there, why is (are) they there? Put them somewhere else. Better yet, why is Glen Johnson still VP of Officiating? He’s the lead guy on this mess. Fix it or move aside for someone who can. Real black eye for the league.

    • GoCats! // July 14, 2017 at 9:17 am //

      The answer is easy … despite similar issues as well as multiple times where Glen Johnson apologized for wrong on field then command centre calls last year – the same replay official is still working the command centre.

      What was the saying about repeating the same actions, hoping for different results? *grin*

  17. Perhaps it is time to replace command center with an artificial intelligence service.If it errors we would be asking,”open the command door please football one.”*reference to movie 2001 space odyssey.

  18. Is anyone really surprised? We all love the CFL but the officiating has been terrible for decades. They don’t even get the video review right half the time.

    This blown call and the missed head contact on Ray also cost the Argonauts the game.


  19. I missed this game … so I apologize for asking … was the player reviewed? If so who was in the “command centre”?

  20. Aren’t scoring plays reviewed so can’t the command center go back review the play determine there was no illegal block and allow the touchdown?

  21. At game speed the ref saw a penalty. They are fallible … and usually right. Play was reviewed, as the result was a score. Thems the breaks.

  22. If you look at the play, the Winnipeg player actually moves into the Argo player so the call was rather dubious to begin with. He was also behind the play so even if you call it the block wouldn’t have affected the outcome. Seems like they missed the point.
    In my opinion the CFL also needs to get rid of the coaches challenge when there hasn’t been a penalty called. It’s ridiculous that you can challenge a non call, what’s the point of having refs? May as well send every play up to the video booth. The games would be 6 hours long, but I’m sure that the average fan wouldn’t mind.

  23. God awful officiating yet again and it’s only week 4. Ambrosie needs to fire Glen Johnson, Jeff Halpern and Jake Ireland and finally hold the refs accountable for their incompetence.

  24. Sad to say, but maybe this is a brutal lesson for the flag-happy officials and the CFL — Lighten-up on the calls!!!

  25. Scottsask // July 14, 2017 at 10:14 am //

    That was gross, over to you Mr. Ambrosie. He was also at the game in person last night, was he not?

  26. Hamilton Season Ticket Owner // July 14, 2017 at 10:29 am //

    You know a call is bad when people are even feeling sorry for the Argos.

  27. It’s the Canadian FLAG League(CFL). What do you expect?

    • catlover // July 14, 2017 at 2:20 pm //

      Agree 100% .. The CFL referees are a joke and must get paid for each flag they throw

  28. KARMA, Karen Kuldys does not deserve it, she is playing the people to think she was robbed into winning the million…. the CFL should not give this publicity and focus on the referee’s.

    • I agree. I felt a little sorry for Karen until I heard her speak. The officials no doubt are aware of this contest. Are they supposed to officiate based on a contest?

  29. Safeway should not do anything cuz once you do it once you will have to every time bad calls happen it’s part of sports goals get called back or allowed in
    Hockey perfect games ruined in
    Baseball it’s part of sports

  30. I feel as bad for the ref here as for Karen, considering it’s actually not even a touchdown. Jackson threw the ball away at the one yard line

    Imagine the uproar if that flag was never thrown once they overturned the call and gave Toronto 1st and goal from the 1 though

  31. effing cfl. like wtf???????

  32. If the C.F..L. Paid Karen the million dollars the league would be in finanical hardship

  33. If no one went to Safeway/ Sobey’s for a week, and/ or to a bomber game. I’m sure the revenue these Corporations would lose would outweigh the million they cheated Karen out of. Looks like the ref was told to make that call cause they didn’t want pay. Dirty

  34. Concern for our Country // July 14, 2017 at 6:06 pm //

    It’s sad Canadians expect more out of the office of the Canadian Football league than we do out of our Prime Minister’s office
    When referees make bad calls there is outrage and boycotting of games.
    When Trudeau and the liberals harbor and compensate a terrorist and he has people swarm to him for selfies.

    • How true(deau). How true(deau). How true(deau). We have one of the worst prime minister’s Canada has ever had to run a country. Get rid of the thief that pays off a criminal so the rightful victims of crime don’t receive a penny. Couldn’t have said it better.

      • Hors E Power // July 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm //

        Thank You Greenrider89

        • Hey, my absolute pleasure. Nothing turns me off more than this yoyo who stated WWI soldiers fought like lions. Makes me wonder when the kids go to the zoo if he doesn’t look at the lions and tell his children, they fought like soldiers.

          • Hamilton Season Ticket Holder // July 14, 2017 at 10:50 pm //

            Hey Greenrider… Let’s at least bring this back to something to do with CFL football.

            Like… How many Riders does it thank to won a game? Don’t know… But 13 can lose one.
            Or why do the Riders have the best facilities in the league? Because have so many more players than the other teams.
            Or how many Riders does it takes to finish 9th? Not sure; had so many players on their roster we all lost count.
            Or, how could the CFL raised a million for Karen? Give her the money from the fines Sask gets for roster violations.

          • (LOL) that really bothers you, Mr. Ticketholder, from Hamilton. Oh, c’mon now, hope I didn’t ruffle your feathers too badly on our wonderful prime minister? Actually, I love talking football. Too bad Hamilton wasn’t competitive with the rest of the league. But thanks for the funny Rider jokes. They were just about as funny as our prime minister. By the way, I have to admit, Hamilton was always a second favourite team since I was a youngster. Good luck tomorrow against B.C.

  35. I believe the call was questionable but not a bad one. Could have gone either way. The Argo player should not have reached out with his hand. This compensation to Karen is a slap in the face to the official who made the call. Gamblers lose large amounts of money every week during the NFL season due to bad calls. Why is this one different? Karen did not have to take any financial risk to qualify. She in fact was lucky to have her name drawn then to win the 25k entertainment package plus the extras the CFL and sponsors are providing. Karen may be disappointed but nothing to complain about.

  36. By giving her all these extras , aren’t they admitting they made a mistake

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