Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Throwing a Flag on Referee Bashing

I think I’ve had enough of the players and talking-heads and media bashing officials in every sport. Yes, these guys make mistakes. Yes, these guys miss calls. Yes, they make bad calls. Yes, they make good calls. But let’s stop the whining, crying and continually hanging these guys out to dry. With the exception of Tim Donaghy, who was a gambling degenerate and obviously attempting to fix games, I believe these guys make calls based on what they see. And let’s not forget that all of the broadcasters and couch potatoes are watching super-slow-motion replays in high definition 65” televisions with 5 different angles and camera views. It’s much easier to get the call right when you have a 360 degree view and can slow down and rewind it and play it over and over. The ref has to make the call at full speed with a screaming crowd and big fast athletes making things happen faster than it has ever happened before and they have a split second to decide what they saw.

There have been an incredible number of bad calls in all sports recently. The umpire completely flubbed a fair/foul call in the Yankees-Twins series. His only job is to watch foul balls down the line (they have an extra 2 umps in the playoffs) and he screwed up an obvious call. The 1st base umpire blew a call on Chase Utley in the 9th inning of the Phillies-Rockies game. There have been 3-4 questionable calls in the NFL on catches where the receiver goes to the ground after catching the ball (Louis Murphy in week 2, Mike Sims-Walker 2 weeks ago, etc.). And if you go back to last year, Ed Hauchuli’s call in the Denver-SD game was inexplicable. And let’s not even talk about the NBA, where the refs are horrendous, and calls are based more on the score and the players involved than what actions actually take place.

But the bottom-line is this: The calls stink, but they’re going to happen and it reminds me of what our youth coaches used to say all the time “The game is not decided by one play.” If a guy doesn’t drop a pass, strikeout, or miss a field goal earlier in the game, it wouldn’t be close at the end of the game. So blaming the referees is a futile and useless exercise. So shut up and make plays earlier in the game and it won’t come down to one fair/foul call or a pass-interference call in the fourth quarter.


The baseball playoff schedule stinks. I understand that the television networks are paying huge cash for the broadcast rights, so they have all the power to schedule the games. But to have a 3 day lull without games completely takes away the momentum for the fans. The Yanks and Angels both closed out their first round series on Sunday and now don’t play until Friday night. The Phillies-Dodgers series starts Thursday, so only a couple day break, but it just seems that in today’s ADD world, 2 days will cause people to forget. Kind of like Sienna Miller - she hasn't done a movie in a while, so people forget how talented she is.


What a bizarre situation with Stephen Jackson of the Warriors. I’m not sure what I’m more amazed by, the fact that he has demanded a trade and listed the teams that he’s demanding to be traded to, or the fact that he racked up 5 fouls and a technical foul in 9 minutes of an exhibition game. He then yelled at Don Nelson and left the bench. Seems like a Ron Burgundy moment – “What? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole... wheel of cheese? How'd you do that? Heck, I'm not even mad; that's amazing.


Oh, and Brett Favre thinks this is the most talented team he’s ever been on? Isn’t that the same line he used before the 2007 season? And this team which still has 11 games to play is better than the 1996 team that won the Super Bowl? Or the 1997 team that lost a Super Bowl because Coach Walrus Holmgren stopped preparing for the game because he was planning his move to Seattle? What’s the matter Brett? Were you suffering from an attention hangover because you only played the lowly Rams this week and Adrian Peterson got the headlines? While he continues to be effective on the field, he continues to be a media-whore and a d-bag off the field.

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