Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Referees Don't Win and Lose Games

What happened last month (September '06) at the Oregon-Oklahoma football game and the after effects have proven what a lot of people have thought for a long time. Yup, the University of Oklahoma, its President, its coach, and its players are all a bunch of crybaby sore losers! As if no other team has ever been slighted and the result of a game changed by a call made by an official. In last month’s game, Oregon attempted an onside kick being down by a score in the fourth quarter and recovered it. In a replay, there was video evidence that an Oregon player touched the football before traveling the minimum 10 yards from the initial spot where players on the kicking team are eligible to touch the football. However; officials did not overturn the call and Oregon retained possession of the football. Oregon needed a touchdown to win the football game, and had appeared to be stopped by Oklahoma’s defense when a flag was thrown for pass interference. By NCAA football rules, if a ball is tipped at any point from the quarterback to the receiver, no pass interference can be called. In replays, it appeared that the ball was tipped, but the officials stuck with the call on the field and Oregon retained possession of the ball. A few plays after that, Oregon scored a touchdown and ended up winning the game. Oklahoma is petitioning that the game’s result be thrown out of the record books. And you wonder why I am calling them crybaby sore losers? As mentioned above, there have been countless other games that have had the results “changed” from a call an official made. What makes Oklahoma so special? Did they actually think that they could contend for a National Title this year? Okay, we all know that who goes to what bowl at the end of the year is all about politics and that the people that decide who they want to go to their bowl will not count one of Oklahoma’s losses, so what’s the problem Oklahoma? Just be good Boomer Sooners and realize that the world is not going to end because of last week’s game. As I recall, a few years ago Oklahoma was on the other side of this same situation, only in basketball. With only seconds left in a game against Texas Tech, Oklahoma inbounded the ball and went down the court to tie the game with a last second shot. The only problem was that the shot was after the clock expired AND the clock operator “forgot” to start the clock when it was inbounded. Let’s throw that game out too! Let’s go back further to 1997 and the NBA Finals, Jazz vs. Michael Jordan, I mean, the Bulls. It was game 6 in Utah. The game came down to Michael Jordan pushing off on Bryon Russell (an offensive foul not called by the official) and making a shot that won the game. However, there were two key calls that the officials missed that would have given the Jazz 6 points, leaving Jordan no opportunity to make a game winning shot. The first instance was in the first half when Ron Harper of the Bulls made a three-point shot AFTER the shot clock expired and the officials counted it. The second instance was in the second half when Howard Eisley of the Jazz made a three-point shot BEFORE the shot clock and the officials did not count it. So you see, this is nothing new. Oklahoma is just the first to make such a stink over it. And yes, those officials in the Bulls/Jazz game were suspended by the league, and even a couple were fired. There is however one huge, glaring problem that I cannot escape in all of these before-mentioned instances. That problem is that the officials may have influenced the game, but in the end, Oklahoma allowed Oregon to make that touchdown. Oklahoma could have scored points earlier so they wouldn’t have even been in the situation they were. The same goes for Texas Tech. I'm still convinced the deal with Michael Jordan and the Jazz was a conspiracy........but, I guess the same could go for the Jazz as well, as sad as it may sound to all of you Karl Malone and John Stockton fans. Officials will always be variables in games and it is up to the teams to either beat the officials (not in a literal sense, although sometimes we wish they would), or let the officials beat them.

1 comment:

Maria de Torres said...

It just goes to show that sports, at any level, bring out the "poor sad pathetic me" in everyone. As for beating the officials, I think it should be done in a literal sense. It would make for something more exciting to talk about around the office water cooler.