Monday, November 17, 2008

Sponsor Orphans In India

I mentioned this below, but I'm going to make this a separate post because I think it warrants it.

If as a country, we can wager 100 million dollars on one (ONE!) football game, then can we each take a few pennies to help support orphans? Please click on the link to the right. All (ALL!) procedes go directly to the Orphans as none of your money is used for administrative costs (for advertising, payroll, etc). I know the organization very well as my cousin runs it all. It is supported as a ministry in his church therefore allowing all (again... ALL!) of your money to go directly to the orphan ministry in India. Many of these precious children are orphans because their parents were killed in the Tsunami 5 years ago.

Please America... if we have 100 million dollars to risk on the outcome of a football game (and I'm not judging any of you), please consider making a donation. It's all tax deductable. I'll make it easy on you... click here to read more about the ministry or here to make an online donation.

Thanks... now back to regularly scheduled complaining about horrible calls.

Editors Note: Please note that approximately 4.5% of your gift goes to pay fees associated with online giving. Global Partners does not receive any of these fees, only the companies that provide this service.

Just like Paypal gets a percentage of your Ebay money also. Kind of expected. Just wanted to throw that out there.

NFL Week 11 Awful Officiating Recap

My favorite comment that I've read so far today over at PFT:

Reason #1 not to gamble on sports — the officials don’t know the rules.

Reason #2 is the previous post — the athletes don’t know the rules.

Commenter "Favre2012" is of course referring to the Steelers and Eagles games today one was full of horrible officiating, and the other... well... had a quarterback who simply doesn't know the rules of the game. Side note - this is the 2nd time in 3 weeks where both Steelers and Eagles games were affected by bad calls.

Starting with the Steelers game - the first sign of awful officiating was the clear bias in favor of the Chargers. The pentalties for the game were 2-5 for the Chargers and 13-115 for the Steelers. Then on the final play of the game, the illegal foward pass that wasn't illegal but was called illegal happened preventing the Steelers from scoring a touchdown that would have made the final score 17-11 or 18-11 depending on whether or not they made them kick the extra point. An hour after the game referee Scott Green admitted the wrong call was made:

“The rule was misinterpreted,” Green said. “We should have let the play go through in the end, yes. It was misinterpreted that instead of killing the play we should have let the play go through.”

In case you're interested in watching the video... here is a quick recap of the final 5 seconds:

On to the Eagles game... Donovan Mcnabb - a 10 year veteran, a 31 year old Quarterback, didn't know a game could end in a tie. I agree this is a dumb rule, but seriously, how does he not know this?? He goes on to ask the even dumber question: "What if this happens in the Super Bowl or Playoffs?" Does he really want us to answer that question without making him feel like the biggest retard in all of sports?

The biggest bad call in the Eagles game was the roughing the passer (leading with the helmet) call on Shelden Brown with less than a minute left in OT that setup the field goal attempt for the Bengals. It was a bad call - ticky tack - and bad for the game. Thankfully for the sake of officials affecting the outcome of the game, the kick was wide right. Now someone give Donovan a rule book to take home!

Lastly, PFT also reported about an incident in the Vikings / Bucs game involving some late hits by the Vikings:
Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards delivered an absolutely brutal late hit to Buccaneers quarterback Jeff Garcia, drilling him long after Garcia had thrown the ball. Edwards was flagged for roughing the passer and will definitely be fined, and it’s possible that the NFL will rule the hit blatant enough to merit a suspension.
They later go on to say that Mike Carey had to even issues warnings (ala the mlb) to both benches:
FOX’s Chris Myers reports from the sidelines of the Vikings-Bucs game that referee Mike Carey has told both teams to cool it with the hits after the whistle.
Update: TBL makes a good point: If the Steelers-Chargers Finish Had Happened in the NBA, It’d Be a Massive Controversy
Yes... and most likely an investigation from Congress. Stern has to be fuming that Goodell can get away with this unscathed in the public eye.

One final note... 100 million dollars wagered LEGALLY on THIS game!!! You have got to be kidding me! 64 million dollars swung from one side to the other when the call was overturned! Laughable! Folks - please, take a small portion of your gambling money and click on the link in the top right corner to help support orphans in India - they could use it. They are suffering! Please, use your money wisely!

To conclude... we go back to the commenter "Favre2012":
Reason #1 not to gamble on sports — the officials don’t know the rules.

Image via Fanhouse

Friday, November 14, 2008

Awful Officiating Recap

There were two calls during Sunday's Vikings/Packers game that were missed:

1) Adrian Peterson not getting a pentalty for removing his helmet in the endzone after scoring the game winning touchdown.

2) Aaron Rodgers called for intentional grounding in the endzone resulting in a safety.

Starting with Peterson, the NFL admitted Wednesday that a pentalty should have been called so that led Imig over at TBL to take a look at just how lucky the Vikings have been this season:
• In their 3 point win over the Saints in Week 5 (MNF), the officials failed to flag the Vikings for a facemask on what proved to be a Reggie Bush lost fumble. They also deemed Adrian Peterson down by contact on a fumble in which he wasn’t actually down. The gaffes led to at least a three point swing, which means, at worse, the Saints and Vikings should have been playing for overtime.
• In their two point win over the Lions in Week 6, the Officials handed 42 yards to the Vikings when Leigh Bodden was flagged for pass interference. Ryan Longwell kicked a game-winning 26 yard field goal soon after. Not to mention Dan Orlovsky ran out of bounds in the end zone. That two pointer could be considered the difference, though that’s not luck on the Vikings so much as shear stupidity on the Lions.
• In their one point win over the Packers, Adrian Peterson avoids a 15 yard penalty. Mason Crosby’s 52 yard field goal try sails wide right - and would have been good from 37. I’ll concede that Mike McCarthy’s playcalling inside two minutes was atrocious, but I won’t concede that the Vikings aren’t lucky.

On to the Rodgers safety, PFT made this observation during last night's Jets/Pats game:
Facing a stiff rush from the Patriots during Thursday night’s game, Favre essentially turned his body and whipped the ball to no one. He wasn’t outside the pocket, and the ball didn’t make it near or beyond the line of scrimmage.

But there was no flag.

The official explanation was that the ball was tipped. Replays suggested otherwise.

Even the officials are mesmerized by the great Farve. He's invicible!

Speaking of last night's game, if you watched the end, you will surely remember a bad holding call on Mike Vrabel on a key 3rd down for the Jets. There was no hold, and Collinsworth actually made this comment... "If that's holding, then I was assulted during my career". As for the call, even though it was bad at the time, it didn't affect the outcome of the game. If the Jets kick a field goal there, there is no way the Patriots go for it on 4th and 1 from the 16 with 8 seconds to go. They would have simply kicked the field goal and instead of being tied at 31 heading into overtime, the game would have been tied at 27. Regardless, a bad call has to be pointed out and not excused.

One note from the NBA last night. Via basketbawful:

Joey Crawford: Joey strikes again! The ref with the infamously itchy whistle-finger hit Kenyon Martin with a flagrant 2 foul, which means an automatic ejection this season. Good call? Bad call? Ridiculous call? I'll let you be the judge.

Martin was understandably indignant after the game. "It's basketball, man -- it's a contact sport. It's not bowling or table tennis." No, it's certainly not. Fans can actually stay awake through most NBA games (assuming the Spurs aren't involved). What made the call even more ridiculous is that Dahntay Jones and LeBron got into a shoving match earlier in the game...and nothing was called. Not even a tech. Ah, NBA officiating: A model of inconsistency.

Somewhere Tim Duncan is smiling.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ref Tackles Player - Take 2

Here's another video of an official tackling a player. Although - this one, courtesy of hot clicks, appears to be accidental, and also very painful:

According to reports, the official ended up ok.

And lastly, unrelated, I want to take a minute and congratulate my buddy Ishy and his wife. They were blessed this morning with a brand new baby boy named Austin. Since Ishy has been a life-long Phillies fan, I figured this video, also courtesy of hot clicks, would be a preview of this to come in Austin's life.

Although... poor Austin will probably be about 25 when the Phils win their next championship.

Duke Gets All The Calls

I'm sure this is taught in Coach K's school of "fooling the officials". I can hear him training his guys: "At Duke University we've won a lot. We have some kids who haven't failed that much. But when you get to Duke, you're going to fail some time. That's a thing that I can help you the most with. To prevent failing more than we should, my coaching staff and I implemented strategies on how to effectively teach flopping and goaltending. We've perfected the science and we feel we will fail less because of that"

Coach K's new techniques are working like a charm... see:

This was called a block last night. Duke won easily.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Officials Spot Costs 49ers Game

Interesting story coming out today about the last play in last night's game. Mike Singletary blamed Mike Martz for the play call, and now Martz is going to do what all good coaches do... blame the refs!

Criticized after the game for a bizarre choice of plays, Martz said nothing to reporters and took the heat. The team's head coach and players took the heat, too, with Mike Singletary saying that Robinson got the call because "Coach Martz felt that there would be a cavity inside, so he made that call. So you've got to live with the result."

"It cost us the game," he said. "We go to the 1 -- or the half-yard line -- then spike the ball when, all of a sudden, officials tell us they're going to look at the replay. While they're looking at it, the ball stays at the 1. So we send in a play. Then, when they make their decision, they move the ball back to the 2½ and tell us they're going to start the clock on the official's wind.

"We couldn't change the play. We had to go with what we called. If it would've been at the 1, we would've made it. But they moved it and didn't give us any time. So what are we going to do? If they would've moved it to the 10 we still would've had to run the play that was called. We got screwed because of the spot, first and foremost."

That might need an explanation. Because officials overruled San Francisco quarterback Shaun Hill's spike, there was no dead ball. And no dead ball means the clock doesn't stop. San Francisco didn't have a timeout left, so it had exactly three seconds to produce a game-winning play.

At that point, Martz said, the 49ers could do nothing but run what he called. And what he called, was a play designed to score from the 1, not the 2½.

"Obviously, if we had had time we wouldn't have called that play for that situation," he said. "We would've called a double fade and passed it. I didn't expect anything like that. We had no recourse. We got screwed every way possible."

Mike Pereira, the league's vice president of officiating, doesn't see it like that. In fact, he insisted officials acted properly at the end of Monday's game.

As the 49ers lined up for the third-down spike, he said, officials were notified on the field that there would be a review of the previous play -- a Frank Gore run that seemed to put the 49ers at the half-yard line. Nevertheless, they couldn't stop Hill from spiking the ball as a flag was thrown.

Had the spike been allowed to stand, Pereira said, the 49ers would have been penalized. Apparently, they were in an illegal formation, which would've moved the ball back 5 yards.

But the spike didn't count because it was superseded by an official review of the previous play, Gore's run. Once the review was completed, Pereira said, it was announced to the stadium crowd that Gore was stopped for a 1-yard loss and that the ball would be reset at the 2.

Pereira also said officials gave the 49ers an opportunity to line up before setting the ball down and starting the clock. But it still wasn't enough time to check out of the call, Martz said.

"We had no choice to do what we do," he said.
Mike says he didn't find out the ball was respotted until he talked to former coach Mike Nolan Tuesday morning which has to make new coach Mike Singletary very happy. Who does Martz report to again?

Back to the call... personally, my thoughts are that the 49ers are at fault for not being prepared for the spot change. They've got spotters in the booth, and those guys need to be telling the coaches that it's possible the spot will be moved back, in which case Martz should have had a back-up plan. As soon as the ball is respotted, they go with plan B and run the pass.

I know it sounds simple on paper and most likely a lot different during the middle of the action, but for some reason I can't imagine this same scenario happening to the Patriots, Titans, Giants or any of the other elite teams in the league.

Of course.... they could have just spiked the ball, which was the original 3rd down call anyway. Either way... this is just typical Mike Martz school of coaching 101 in action. Are you paying attention class?

49ers/Cards Recap

Here's all you need to know via ninersnation:
How about a combined 20 penalties, 164 yards. The referees were a joke tonight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Recap

A pretty exciting weekend in sports, but if you're from Pennsylvania, it was probably the worst football weekend of the year. Penn State lost to Iowa, and both the Steelers and Eagles lost very winable games at home. At least McNabb can say he didn't cost his team the victory unlike Darryl Clark and Ben Rothlisberger. The Eagles lost last night falls on Andy Reid and his coaching staff, who were simple outcoached in every way during that game. Reid's back to back challenges (the first one was plain stupid) were a sign of desperation and once they got the ball back only down by 5, they were out of timeouts. Even then, they had a chance to move the ball downfield but on consecutive downs - 3rd / 4th and short - they handed the ball to Westbrook (hadn't worked all night) and failed to gain any yards. Ballgame! I would have put Tom Coughlin on the horse trailer for his ability to be the "greatest challenger of all-time". (See more on that call below)

Here's some officiating roundup's for the crazy weekend. I'm sure plenty of ommissions are to be found. Feel free to email links/pictures/video's of awful officiating to the email address to your right. Over there -----> and... uh up a little.

Starting on the high school field: The Georgia Region 7-AAAA championship game was delayed for over 3 hours and didn't get started until 10:15 because the referee's association forgot to schedule anyone for the game. They had to wait for one game to end, then use a police escort to bring the officials from that game over. Things get even crazier in high school football, when this kid - weighing in at over 300 lbs - is the new quarterback for Ellenville (NY) High School. It's good to see kids are laying off the steroids these days. On the other hand... the drive thru's up there must be doing ok.

Onto College, I watched some of the Ohio State / Northwestern game; a few snaps of the Michigan / Minnesota game, and most of the Penn State game. I wasn't able to catch any of the showdown in Lubbock or either of the other Saturday night games. Many Penn State fans are crying foul on the Anthony Scirrotto Pass Interference call late in the 4th on a crucial 3rd and long. It was a tough call that could have gone either way - but after reading the rulebook they may have a point. If you recall, Scirrotto was obviously going for the ball and incidental contact was made between him and the Iowa reciever. According to the official NCAA rule book:
It is not defensive pass interference:
2. When two or more eligible players are making a simultaneous and bonafide attempt to reach, catch or bat the pass. Eligible players of either team have equal rights to the ball (A.R. 7-3-8-XII).
g. Each player has territorial rights, and incidental contact is ruled under “attempt to reach…the pass" in Rule 7-3-8. If opponents who are beyond the line collide while moving toward the pass, a foul by one or both players is indicated only if intent to impede the opponent is obvious. It is pass interference only if a catchable forward pass is involved (A.R. 7-3-9-I).
When I first read about the PSU'ers hawking about the bad call, I thought they were just finding an excuse - and teams have lost games on far worst calls - but, after reading the rule carefully to understand all the wording, well... they may have a point. At this point, it doesn't matter - Penn St is #8 in the BCS and best case scenario is a berth in the Rose Bowl.

In the NFL - If the Chargers lose yesterday to the Chiefs, one of the biggest topics of conversation today would have surely been the pass interference call that was called late in the 4th quarter against the Chargers. This was an obvious bad call, and it set up the Chiefs with a first and goal from the 2 yard line that led to a touchdown a few plays later. The Chargers have had a handful of calls go against them this year (the biggest by far is the Ed Hochuli blown call that sent him to rehab earlier in the year), and this would have been another one. This time it didn't hurt them, and after winning the game you don't hear much about it.

In last night's Eagles / Giants game - I learned something. The ENTIRE body has to be across the line of scrimmage before it is an illegal forward pass. Wow... Chris Chase at Yahoo Sports makes a good observation about this rule:
This makes the tuck rule look like logical. Every spot ruling in football is based on the position of the ball. On a touchdown, the ball only needs to cross the plane of the endzone. The ball carrier can have his toe on the two yard line and it wouldn't matter so long as the any part of the ball is touching the end zone.
Each individual play in a game is also spotted wherever the ball is located when a player is ruled down. And this threshold isn't only subjected to the football. When a player steps out of bounds, he's considered out at the instant one foot touches the line. It doesn't matter where the rest of the body is, all that matter is that if one bit of the toe touches the OB line, that player is out.
But the line of scrimmage rule is written so that quarterbacks have to entirely cross over into another plane in order to be over the line of scrimmage? Compared to the other rules, this one is a complete outlier. It's completely ridiculous.

I have to agree with Chris. Never in my life did I think Coughlin was winning that review - but I thought it was pure genius and pure "in your face" when he pulled that one off.

Other football facts: Randy Moss was fined, and then unfined for his remarks last week about the officiating.

First... Biden was boo'ed at the Eagles game; then it was the refs. Figures.

A lot of folks are up in arms about an illegal forward pass call against the Packers in yesterday's loss in Minnesota. The call resulted in a safety for the Vikings. The Vikings won by 1 point. Head official Alberto Riveron has some explaining to do. We'll see if the NFL apologizes for this one.

Last Word... what's with all the Tony Gonzalez love yesterday. Listen, I know he's good and he's going to be in the Hall of Fame, but we don't have to change his first name to "Future Hall of Famer". This isn't Brett Farve, and even Farve doesn't get that treatment during every highlight. Gus Johnson must have called him that at least 3 times during yesterday's game, Dan Patrick called him that during SNF Highlights last night, and even today on Arrowheadpride, they say "Tony Gonzalez (10 catches for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns) - Another outstanding performance from our future Hall of Famer."

I just found this interesting and wondered if anyone else noticed.