Martz fined $20,000 for critical comments of refs after 49ers' loss

Updated: November 20, 2008, 4:02 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who publicly blamed the officials for the chaotic ending to the Nov. 10 game against the Arizona Cardinals, has been fined $20,000 for those comments.

The league confirmed the fine to ESPN.com. The fine was first reported by CBSSports.com.

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Martz made his comments after the 49ers, unable to bulldoze the last 2½ yards into the end zone with time running out, lost to the Cardinals 29-24.

The 49ers had called for a running play, believing the ball was spotted at the 1, when in fact it was at the 2½-yard line.

At issue was Martz's contention that the 49ers never got a chance to change their play after they found out the spot had been moved back, following a review.

Martz said on Nov. 11: "It cost us the game. We go to the 1 -- or the half-yard line -- then spike the ball when, all of a sudden, officials tell us they're going to look at the replay. While they're looking at it, the ball stays at the 1. So we send in a play. Then, when they make their decision, they move the ball back to the 2 and tell us they're going to start the clock on the official's wind.

"We couldn't change the play. We had to go with what we called. If it would've been at the 1, we would've made it. But they moved it and didn't give us any time. So what are we going to do? If they would've moved it to the 10 we still would've had to run the play that was called. We got screwed because of the spot, first and foremost."

Mike Pereira, the league's vice president of officiating, said the 49ers were notified of the spot when referee Tony Corrente made an announcement over the PA system, but one member of the 49ers' organization who was on the sideline that evening said it was difficult, if not impossible, to decipher announcements in the last minutes of the game.

"Obviously, if we had had time we wouldn't have called that play for that situation," Martz said, according to CBSSports.com. "We would've called a double fade and passed it. I didn't expect anything like that. We had no recourse. We got screwed every way possible."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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