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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Apologies Shmapologies

In light of the Pac 10 officiating crew apologizing last week for their poor calls in the Oklahoma-Oregon game, Sunday Morning Quarterback posted a bit of a roundtable question, asking bloggers what call in our team's past would we like to have an apology for. There would be no change in the outcome, just the apology.

I'm not big on apologies. Once the heinous act by an official is done, it's done in my eyes. Sure, an apology might lend some credence when you're claiming your team was ripped off by a bad call, but the record books (and the polls) don't reflect this.

If I had to choose one from a Michigan standpoint, it'd be for the no call on the trip of Desmond Howard against Sparty in 1990. The Wolverines, despite an early-season loss to Notre Dame, came into the game ranked #1 and were an offensive juggernaut. A mad comeback against George Perles' Spartans was in the cards until the no call on pass interference on an attempted two-point conversion that would have given Michigan the lead with under a minute to go. I'm still waiting for the flag to be thrown. The polls didn't reflect the injustice. The following week Michigan was #10

But I think all college football fans deserve an apology for the worst act by an officiating crew of all time: Colorado's fifth down in 1990. This wasn't a judgment call of a play in action subject to different interpretations. This wasn't a case of a refereee not being in position to see everything that a different camera angle caught. This was something the referees clearly screwed up, should have fixed, and certainly should have apologized for. Of course, some of the blame can be placed on Missouri coach Bob Stull who should have run on the field with his pants around his ankles if he had to to get the attention of the refs. The polls SHOULD have reflected this gaffe - this really should have been considered a loss in the eyes of the voters. But it wasn't - Colorado fell just two spots after the loss. And because of that failure of the refs and the polls CU has the most tainted national title ever.


IC said...

I think you nailed it Benny. The fifth down was the worst call ever (perhaps in any sport) and the Desmond trip was the one that came to my mind as the most egregiously bad call to ever go against Michigan.

Of course,Charles White's phantom touchdown in the '79 Rose Bowl was also bad, though it didn't happen at such a decisive point in the game as the Sparty trip of Desmond.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused about this....

Yes, it is obvious that an Oregon player touched the ball before it had traveled 10 yards. Yes, Oregon should have been flagged for "illegal touching" on the play.

But wait....

As a replay linked on this site showed ...OKLAHOMA - NOT OREGON - RECOVERED THE BALL!!!!

I understand that referees can miss calls like illegal touching during the heat of the action. I can understand that replay officials are hesitant to overturn a call on the field for lack of "indisputable evidence" or any one of dozens of reasons.

But I cannot understand why no one is focusing on the main issue....


So, unless the video clip linked on this site was somehow doctored (and maybe it was - I didn't see the game) - there really is no need to argue about the non-call on Oregon. (By the way, can replay be used to call a penalty? I don't think so. And the PAC-10 officials probably should tell everyone so - even if they compounded the error by thinking that they could.)

Did Oklahoma get screwed? Yup. But they got screwed because the replay official didn't check to see who recovered the ball, not because the replay official didn't call a penalty. Just show 'em the clip.

Is this a distinction without a difference? I don't think so. While the result is the same - Okla got screwed - it's important to know why, because the next time OUR team (or your team) gets screwed, we'll at least understand the rules.

Lloyd Carr said...

I'd like to have an apology from the Big 12 crew that worked the 1997 Nebraska/Missouri game. That "miracle catch" by Matt Davison (kicked by team mate Shevin Wiggins) was not legal catch and Nebraska should have lost that game.

Anonymous said...

What about the clock running out against MSU in 2001?

tom foolery said...

worst call ever?

(i guess its a different league but same sport)

but ill never forget the steelers coin flip incident and jerome bettis going nuts over it.

the reason i bring this up is because its a call that is 1.not exactly related to refereeing the sport of football, 2. a lay person could do it, 3. not subject to review or instant replay, 4. and never been a problem before. (who has screwed up a toin coss?)

to make matters worse, there usually isnt film on coin tossing to go to the tape and find that truth.

aladouche said...

holy fucking shit, the refs missed the callin the oregon/ou game? this is news to me, when did this happen?

Honestly who gives a fuck about it....its over, don't we talk about something else that also sucks....maybe like Brady Quinn or charlie weiss?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a husker fan nor a k state fan, I just remember the 1998 game where eric crouch has his head nearly decapitated by a k state linbacker. The link to this pic is as follows, and although it looks like it must be a photoshopped pic, I can assure you that it is not.


richard cranium said...

The IOWA Bowl game onside kick last year. They were coming back and recovered the onside kick, then the refs turn around and kick them in the nuts.

Scott Boswell said...

Anon 4:54,

Why I am not saying that you are wrong, I want to point out that the ou player coming out of the fray with the ball happened more than a full second AFTER the whistle had blown. No conclusive video evidence disproves that the Oregon player had possesion and fumbled when he hit the ground.

As we all know, once the whistle blows, the play is dead. ou can point to this on a missed fumble that would have tied the game for UAB the 1st week of the season.

It's unfortunate that this happened. But, it isn't a tragedy. If it was the NC game...that's a different story. Neither of these teams will be in a position to sniff the Fiesta Bowl, so life moves on.

Doug said...

As primarily a Cal fan, the one that riles me was actually TWO back-to-back calls against Cal at Arizona in 1990 (?), when QB Pat Barnes' knee never came within 6 inches of hitting the ground before going into the endzone for what would have been a late 13-6 lead. Yet he was called down. On the next play, Barnes threw an interception that was run back all the way for a 13-6 Arizona lead....except that on the way the interceptor had stepped on the sideline TWICE! Cal also got screwed some years ago when Oregon State got an extra minute to complete a game-winning drive (yes, the Cal coaches should have noticed the clock warn't moving).