Coach Brad Childress fined for ref talk

MINNEAPOLIS -- After a narrow loss to the bitter division rival Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress seethed at what he called "the worst officiated game I've seen."

On Tuesday, he paid for it.

The NFL fined Childress $35,000 for criticizing officials and disclosing confidential conversations with the officiating department.

Childress sharply criticized the officiating crew after a 28-24 loss to the Packers on Sunday night. He was particularly upset with a replay reversal of a touchdown catch by Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. He was also upset by a facemask call against right tackle Phil Loadholt and no call on a hold on Jared Allen that allowed Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to scramble for a first down.

The biggest play was Shiancoe's touchdown catch. He made a diving grab in the end zone and appeared to secure it as he rolled onto his back. Officials ruled it a touchdown but upon review overturned the call. The Vikings wound up settling for a field goal.

Childress first rebuked the officials on the postgame radio show on KFAN. He continued his criticism in his postgame news conference, saying "50 drunks in a bar" would have made the correct call on Shiancoe's catch.

On Monday, Childress told the media that he spoke to Carl Johnson, the league's vice president of officiating, about the missed call.

"I was told this morning that that was a touchdown by Carl Johnson," Childress said. "He was disappointed to see that reversed."

That, apparently, is another no-no in the NFL.

An NFL spokesman said he was fined "for violating long-standing league policies that prohibit public criticism of officiating and the disclosure of confidential conversations with the head of the NFL officiating department."