CINCINNATI -- Officials and sportswriters were lectured by coach Sam Wyche yesterday.
After his Cincinnati Bengals suffered a 34-27 loss to the Washington Redskins, Wyche said, "We're going to get another phone call [from the league] on Tuesday with an apology [about the officials]."
He added, "Please tell me what rules we're playing by this week."
He said he was annoyed particularly that the Redskins weren't penalized when Fred Stokes failed to get off the field before the Bengals snapped the ball in the fourth quarter. The officials ruled the Bengals had substituted, and Wyche said they hadn't.
"They refuse to call them by the rules," Wyche said.
But he added: "I'm not complaining that cost us the game," and launched into an attack on the reporters for the way they reported his "winning isn't everything" line a week ago. He seemed convinced that reporters would make it sound as if Wyche were claiming the officials cost the Redskins the game.
Wyche apparently was unhappy that the paper highlighted his quote that there was golf and tennis to be played by the fans instead of concentrating on his point that the effort to win is more important than win
When the Bengals fell behind yesterday, several tennis balls flew from the stands.
Yesterday, he again addressed the fans, saying, "You can't take like it's a life-or-death situation."
However, people who know Wyche say he's as obsessed with winning as any other coach.
Quarterback Boomer Esiason said, "There is no one in our city who bleeds more when we lose than Sam Wyche."
* Wyche, who was on the field twice arguing with the officials, was irate after the Redskins twice hit Esiason late in a four-play, second-period sequence. Wyche went out to lecture defensive lineman Charles Mann after the second penalty.
Wyche said, "They were trying to get him [Esiason] out of the game."
Mann, referring to the fact the defenders are allowed a step if they hit the quarterback, said: "Whatever happened to the one-step rule? I'm 270 pounds. It's hard to stop."
Of Wyche's going on the field, Mann said, "He was out there trying to motivate his team, and, at that point, I think he did motivate them."
* The Redskins weren't any more impressed than Wyche was with the officiating.
Linebacker Matt Millen said, "It seems like they were kind of flag-happy out there today."
He seemed as puzzled as Wyche was about the fourth-quarter play on which the officials said the Bengals
substituted to offset a penalty and then had them run the whole play over again.
"What was that deal?" he said.
Coach Joe Gibbs said of the officiating, "It wasn't very smooth."
Gibbs also didn't agree with the 36-yard interference call on Martin Mayhew in the third period that got the Bengals back in the game.
"I thought he made a heck of a play," Gibbs said of Mayhew.
The officials called a total of 10 penalties.
* The Bengals twice knocked the ball out of Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien's hands. The officials ruled he moved his arm forward on the first one, nullifying a recovery for a touchdown, although the Bengals then got a punt and went in to score anyway. On the second one, they ruled Rypien fumbled, and the Bengals recovered to set up a field goal.
L Rypien said he wasn't sure whether they were fumbles or not.
"As a quarterback, you think both of them are fumbles, because you're starting to throw and you don't know whether your arm is starting forward or what," he said.
* Brian Mitchell tied Mike Nelms' 1981 Redskins record of returning two punts for a touchdown in a season. He also returned one that was called back last week by a penalty that the Redskins thought was a bad call.
Special-teams coach Wayne Sevier also was dazzled by his 29-yard kickoff return.
"That's about as fast as I've ever seen anybody run on a football field," Sevier said.