Let's break down some of Phill Simms' questionable commentary from Denver's 24-17 win over the Chiefs, in chronological order.
2nd quarter - 2:43 - Incomplete pass to Emmanuel Sanders
The most egregious comment from CBS color commentator Phil Simms Sunday came near the end of the first half.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders just missed a diving catch, but upon replay, Jim Nantz and Simms noted that the ruling wasn't as simple as they first thought. Perhaps it was a catch and then a fumble by Sanders.
At this point, Simms gets really excited.
Simms: "It is outside of two minutes. Andy Reid should challenge this. He's thinking. You better hurry."
Nantz: "Why not?" [As Reid throws the challenge flag]
Simms: "There you go.... I'm not sitting here rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs, but I know Andy Reid has somebody up top watching this. And when you get a play that can be this instrumental. Does he catch it? Arms are underneath. Hands are under the ball. That's a catch. Time has elapsed.... I think it's a fumble.... Hand, look at the cupping of the left hand. Very good."
I understand Simms wasn't rooting for the Chiefs here; he was rooting for the turnover. It's exciting for his football game and good for his football show, and he should get excited about it. But despite Simms' pre-elation, the play was upheld as an incomplete pass. To me, it looked like the ball hit the ground between Sanders' hands. At the very least, there wasn't enough evidence to overturn. Former NFL ref Mike Carey said as much, and so did the refs.
Simms got too excited about a moment in his football game to objectively judge his football game.
Broncos fan-rage heat index: Warming up.
3rd 14:21 - Malik Jackson "embellishing" an obvious hold against him
Honestly, this comment bothered me more than the "I'm not rooting for the Chiefs" comment. Jackson is blatantly held, but Simms makes it sounds like he's flopping like an NBA player.
"Defensive linemen - they know the drill. When they get blocked they throw their hands up in the air and start falling. Malik Jackson, I'm not saying he wasn't being held, but he embellished and got that call."
This comment infuriated me. Pretty sure I threw some F-bombs at the T.V. at this point.
It was only nastier because, without pausing to breathe, Simms went right back into Chiefs-praise mode.
"That was a good job by Alex Smith getting outside the pocket, looking down the field."
Broncos fan-rage heat index: Where there's smoke....
3rd 6:12 - Chris Harris' bogus illegal contact call
Illegal contact penalties are judgment calls. I'm not going to blame the refs here. I'm not going to complain about the flag (mostly because the Chiefs got zero points out of this drive anyway). That's not my point.
My point is, a color commentator should give an unbiased assessment of the situation using his football knowledge. Simms either doesn't have that or chose not to use it. Because this should not be a penalty against Harris. He never grabs the receiver; the receiver grabs him. And Harris did nothing wrong on this play. Objective analysts agree:
Normally don't have an issue w/ illegal contact calls, but Chris Harris has a right to his position & read route correctly. Flag no bueno.— Tom Gower (@ThomasGower) September 14, 2014
But Simms doesn't even try to see it that way.
"He's gonna go inside, perfect technique. He grabs him and holds (Ed: again, no he doesn't, not at all). And that is a penalty. He was in good position. If he would have never stuck his hands out, they were not gonna call a penalty on Harris."
As a Broncos fan, at this point, you are truly wondering if Simms is watching the game at all, or just commenting in favor of the Chiefs during every questionable call.
Broncos fan-rage heat index: ...there's fire.
3rd 3:22 - Howard shoves Chris Clark twice before Clark shoves Howard once
Generally, when one NFL player shoves another NFL player a bunch of times before the other player responds, the first player gets the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. We saw it with Muhammed Wilkerson in the Packers-Jets game. Wilkerson shoves everybody, a handful of guys shove him back, but Wilkerson is the only one penalized (and ultimately ejected).
Here's Chiefs defensive end Jaye Howard shoving Chris Clark once, then shoving Chris Clark again, before Clark shoves back. Both players were called for personal fouls, offsetting penalties. That's fine, whatever. Not a huge deal.
But maybe an objective analyst points out that, hey, that sucks for the Broncos. The Chiefs struck first.
Simms: "The good thing is they got it right. They got it right. Both of them slapped the other one in the head."
Broncos fan-rage heat index: Personal-foul-inducing.
4th 5:10 - Defensive pass interference against Marcus Cooper
Here we'll see Marcus Cooper and Demaryius Thomas hand-fighting during D.T.'s route. Cooper is called for defensive pass interference, which, in my opinion, was the correct call. Thomas was looking for the football, while Cooper's head never turned to look. You have to play the football, and Cooper didn't.
But according to Simms, both players were at fault, and the refs might as well have flipped a coin.
Simms: "There's the hand-fighting. And who do you call it on? The left hand of Thomas, or the right hand of Cooper?"
Another questionable call. Another implication by Simms that the Broncos were equally at fault, that didn't need to be said at all.
Broncos fan-rage heat index: Let's create a petition to ban Phil Simms from Broncos games.
It isn't one or two comments from Simms that drives Broncos fans nuts. It's the snowball effect. It's the constant having-to-deal-with a commentator who is always against you, every single questionable call. It is not enjoyable.
To be fair, I want to point out that Simms isn't deliberately biased. I don't believe he hates the Broncos. Here's proof.
Simms: "It's a beautiful throw. That's as good as it gets. The throw. The catch. The execution."
See? He's not incapable of praising the Broncos.
He's just quicker to praise their opponent.
And during any questionable call, Simms is always, always on the other team's side.