Tuesday, February 26, 2008

AFL Officials To Wear Helmets

Arena Football League commissioner David Baker was on ESPN First Take this morning. Baker was promoting the AFL which kicks off this weekend. (Can you tell I'm excited?!?) Regardless of my excitement level, the AFL does seem to get more and more popular each year. After all... Americans crave football! Commissioner Baker did mention one thing this morning I found interesting: AFL officials will be wearing helmets this year. He said they would be designed to look something like a bike helmet or a baseball helmet. He also said they talked to many NFL officials about this, and there is a chance that the NFL could be implementing something like this in the near future. It really doesn't seem that far fetched especially considering the fact that John Clayton mentioned the possibility of umpires wearing helmets before the 2007 season even started. It will be interesting to see what they look like, and if the NFL decides to follow suit.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Phil Jackson Doesn't Like Joe Forte's Son

Kobe Bryant was ejected during last night's Lakers win at Seattle. Via the OcRegister, Phil Jackson told Kobe to be careful who he argues with - because come playoff time - he wouldn't want daddy to be upset at him:

Jackson had some strong words in response to Bryant's ejection by referee Brian Forte, son of longtime referee Joe Forte, who regularly works postseason games.

"I told him (Bryant) he shouldn't jump on 'Junior'; his dad might carry a grudge against him," said Jackson, who then alluded to nepotism getting the younger Forte his job. Jackson also added about Brian Forte, who gave Seattle guard Earl Watson a technical in the first quarter: "He's got a little bit of a red-ass." Forte is in his first full NBA season.

Bryant said his arm was smacked as he tried to secure an offensive rebound with the Lakers ahead, 88-57, but no call was made — much to Bryant's displeasure. Forte then appeared to wait until Watson missed a shot in transition before calling a technical foul on Bryant for arguing. Restrained by teammate Derek Fisher, Bryant went back at Forte, trailed behind him and offered up plenty of material for Forte to issue a second technical foul and automatic ejection.

"For the first technical I got, I didn't say a word to him," Bryant said.

This is the 2nd time in just a few weeks that we've mentioned Brian Forte's name around here. So far, in his first full league as an official - he hasn't earned too many supporters.

Monday, February 18, 2008

6th Grade Girls Coach Assults Ref...

You know... when I was in high school, I went to a small school where the middle school and the high school were in the same building, and we shared the same gym. I remember the Jr Hi girls coaches always being very competitive guys, but also a little on the strange side. There's gotta be no lower level of coaching than 6th grade girls basketball. Maybe that's one reason why this guy is so upset:

Police arrested a 6th grade girl’s basketball coach after a disturbance at a game in Estacada on Saturday afternoon.

Police said the incident started when the Molalla girl’s coach, 34-year-old Jeffery Scott Larsen, was ejected from the game.

Witnesses told police that a 6th-grade girl was cut on the hand when the coach slammed down his clipboard and stormed off.

Instead of leaving the court, Larsen stood in the corner of the gym and began to verbally harass Houston Webb, the 17-year-old referee, police said.

At the end of the game, witnesses told police that Coach Larsen stormed back onto the basketball court, grabbed the teen referee, menacingly cocked his arm back with a clenched fist and used profanity.

Estacada Junior High School principal Kevin Olds told police there were an estimated 75 parents and children in attendance who witnessed this event. Olds said many of the girls were frightened and cried.

Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies arrested Coach Larsen at his home in Molalla on Sunday morning. He was cited for a Class C Misdemeanor for criminally trespassing at a sporting event and was cooperative with police.

A little strangle hold to the throat, and he's upset about it - this kid will never make it to the college level.

Here's the Video:

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Floppers Beware

The Duke Blue Devils, who are famous for their outstanding flopping ability - we're outdone tonight against not only the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, but yes... also the officials. Over at AA, BP shows us that yes... sometimes, albeit rarely... the Dukies don't get all the calls:

Yep - all 5 starters on the bench, fouled out. As a Carolina fan, I couldn't be more thrilled!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Any NFL Teams Need A Kicker?

From Thursday night's Rutgers / WVU basketball game:

Rutgers head coach Fred Hill was visibly frustrated for much of the night, which is understandable given his team's performance. How bad of a night was it for the second-year RU head man? After a travel was called on J.R. Inman in the second half, Hill kicked the scorer's table adjacent to the Rutgers bench. Mind you he wasn't upset at the call, which was caught not only by all three officials but also by the 7,826 associate referees in attendance. Hill was simply frustrated with yet another Scarlet Knights error, and took out his frustration on the scorer's table.

The "kick heard 'round the Coliseum" caught the attention of official Doug Shows, who immediately assessed Hill with a technical foul. The kick was strong enough to knock the Rutgers radio broadcast off the air.

Boy... That's one powerful boot!

No Girls Allowed!


A high school near Topeka Kansas (St. Mary's Acadamy) was scheduled to play a basketball game the other day. 10 minutes before tip-off they noticed that one of the officials was a woman. They decided to pull their kids off the floor.

The school actually said they could not have a woman call the game because it would put her in a position of authority over the male students and that was against the academy’s beliefs.

The official, Michelle Campbell, decided to simply walk off the floor herself and left. The other official followed her. When they tried to find a replacement, Fred Shockey said, "there was no way I was going to work those games. I have been led by some of the finest women this nation has to offer and there was no way I was going to go along with that.”

There are plenty of jokes that could be said here. But the truth is, if she was a qualified official, then I think she deserves to be able to call the game. Violet Palmer has demonstrated that women can effectively officiating at the highest level. Heck - with all the horribles calls in the Big East and the Big Ten, maybe they should consider hiring a few female offials. However... if the woman was dressed like this, than I suspect it was a good thing they pulled those kids off the floor.

Hat Tip:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Evidence Is On Fire

While waiting around on Wednesday to find out what happens during the Roger Goodell / Arlen Spector meeting, here's a good video to remind you why they are meeting.

From the great

Possible Human Error Caused Clock Malfunction

According to, there was possible human error which may have caused the clock malfunction in last night's Rutgers / Tennessee woman's basketball game.

Precision Time Systems inventor and president Michael Costabile said there is plenty of room for human error in running the game clock. At issue is whether Rutgers' Kia Vaughn fouled Nicky Anosike before time expired.

The Precision Time device, which keeps time for all NBA games and many at the college level, uses small microphones attached to the referees' whistles that communicate wirelessly to devices worn on the referees' belts. The devices start and stop the game clock. When the device picks up sound from the whistle, the clock stops.

Costabile said because the clock seemed to pause before reaching zero indicates to him that either an official or the timekeeper may have stopped the clock, anticipating Anosike would be fouled, and then restarted it when that wasn't immediately the case.

It's unfortunate the officials were put in this situation. I heard Chris Myers talking about this today on his radio show, and they were asking why the officials didn't review the play, and rule the game was over. Well, according to this report:

Officials replayed the video and ruled the foul came just before the buzzer. Anosike stepped up and hit the two free throws to take the victory.

I have to ask. If a whistle or clock operator stopped the clock inadvertantly - they must have caught their mistake and quickly restarted it - just enough time to get the foul in. That has conspiracy written all over it. My impression is if it's a home game - and the home court's clock fails like that - they should not have been rewarded in that case. The officials should have reviewed it more closely and ruled the game over. But, either way - tough position for those officials to be in at that point in time.

Just in case you haven't seen it. Here's the video:

Ishy and I Discuss Georgetown/Villanova Call

i don't know dude, it did seem like he was trying to foul him

rigginsorama: i think the georgetown call was one of the most ridiculous calls i've ever seen
"ticky-tack".... but supposedly they were consistent b/c there were 48 fouls called in that game
the game is only 40 minutes long
but even still... that's ridiculous - his arms were in the air
the dude is 75 feet away from the basket with .5 seconds left on the clock

Ishy: yeah, i guess
i didn't notice the clock
but is a foul a foul whether it is the first couple of seconds of the game or the end of the game?

rigginsorama: thing is... i don't think it was a foul any time of the game

Ishy: or whether he is in the defensive or offensive side of the court

rigginsorama: he didn't knock him out of bounds
he didn't put his hands on him
that shouldn't even be a foul if the dude is driving to the basket and he'
s "gently bumped" like that

Ishy: oh, so is foul only a foul if his hands are on him?
blocking foul

rigginsorama: not even

Ishy: all the kid had to do was put pressure on him, not get in his way

rigginsorama: he didn't get in his way
via deadspin "Swallow That Whistle. Georgetown 65-Villanova 63. With fractions of a second to go in a tie game, Hoya Jonathan Wallace took off toward the opposite end of the court. Nova's Corey Stokes wisely tried to crowd Wallace against the sideline, interposing his body but keeping his hands well away from the action. Nonetheless, his distended belly somehow committed a ticky-tack foul that allowed Gtown to escape with a two-point margin. If tummies can foul people, that explains why Tractor Traylor spent so much time on the bench."

Ishy: didyou see his leg?

rigginsorama: i realize it's a call that could go either way - but when start calling fouls like that - it's takes away from the "game" and after all - isn't that why we watch. I think georgetown deep down - can't feel like THEY WON the game. Deep down they have to feel like they were helped out by the officials

Ishy: i'm sure they do, but a foul is a foul
now, it is a questionable foul, but there is a blocking foul
at least he was consistent

rigginsorama: i didn't see blocking - the ref has to take "context" of the play into whether or not he blows the whistle. The whole play start to finish was a scrap with just seconds left to play - from the time the NOVA dude drove the baseline to when they were diving on the ground, to the bump on the sideline - their was contact all around. To blow the whistle on that one is ridiculous

Ishy: thing is, when a ref is calling anything and everything, don't you think that the players should have realized that by the end of the game and been that much more careful? if a ref is giving leniency, then by the end, you know it. it's like a strike zone. if he is calling it tight at the beginning of the game, you want him to be tight at the end. if he is liberal at the beginning, then at the end you want the strike zone to be wide
hmm, no rebuttal, you must have liked that comment

rigginsorama: it's comparing apples to oranges

Ishy: yes and no
you yourself admitted he was consistent
48 fouls in a game
obviously he was calling everything

rigginsorama: I'm suggesting that the whole game was "awful officiating"
not just the one play

Ishy: don't you think the players should take note of that?

rigginsorama: still doesn't make it a "good call" or even acceptable

Ishy: ah, now we're getting somewhere
i'd be interested in seeing whether he made any other blocking calls like that in the game

rigginsorama: it just brings out the fact the refs were horrible. If they don't make that call - they go to overtime - play it out on the court. That one call ruins that possibility, and always brings to light the fact that they weren't just horrible for one play - but for 40 minutes

Ishy: to see if there was a precident

rigginsorama: but I'm not sure how many other calls were ticky-tack... i didn't watch the game

Ishy: yeah, me neither, what in the world is ticky-tack?
who came up with that?
and what does it mean?
rigginsorama: it's like when we used to be playing basketball in your driveway - and you'd always be complaining foul.
those were ticky tack fouls

Ishy: well, i think having a basketball thrown in your face counts as a pretty flagrant foul

rigginsorama: classic!

Feel free to pick a side in the comments. Agree with Ishy or me?

Update: Big East coordinator of officials Art Hyland agrees with Ishy. Ah... screw him, what does he know!?!

Bob Knight On Jay Leno - Dressed Like a Referee

Last night, Bob Knight was on Jay Leno, dressed as a referee. The Indy Star has all the details:

Wearing a referee’s shirt and blowing a whistle as he walked out on stage, Bobby Knight poked fun at college basketball officials Monday night during an appearance on the “Tonight Show with Jeno Leno.”

“There are fat guys that referee. There are slow guys that referee. I mean, some of them don’t see well. There are a lot of them that don’t even know what the rules are. What better job could you have than to be a referee?” said Knight, who won three national titles as head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers.

It’s dangerous work, Leno pointed out: “You could get hit with a chair or something.”
There's only one Bob Knight. My guess is ends up in a studio somewhere - perhaps with CBS during tourney time this year.

Here's the video:

I just thought of this. Forget Bob Knight being an announcer. Can you imagine Bob Knight actually being a referee?!? If he were mic'd up, that'd be "must-see".

Monday, February 11, 2008

Home Court Advantage?

The Tennessee woman's basketball team beat Rutgers tonight in Knoxville by 1 point. The game ended on a very controversial play that left the Scarlet Knights feeling a little bit cheated. Here's how it was explained at

Trailing 58-57, Anosike [on Tennessee] grabbed an offensive rebound and was grabbed by Kia Vaughn from behind. Unclear whether the foul had come before time expired, the Rutgers bench began to celebrate, but officials reviewed the play and determined that the foul had been committed just before the buzzer.

Television replays showed the game clock seemed to pause as Anosike came down with the ball and two-tenths remained on the clock, leading to the controversial finish.

Basically, what happened is that what the first shot was missed, the clock stopped at 0.2, allowed enough time for Anosike to grab the rebound, and get fouled, and then the clock started back up.

While watching highlights on ESPN, they said it was a "glitch", but I don't know - just seems a little fishy to me.

Anosike would sink both free throws to give Tennessee the lead, and the win.

Apparently, the Scarlet Knights also had a Villanova moment earlier in the year:

It wasn't the first time this season Rutgers lost a game on a controversial call at the end. The Scarlet Knights were beaten by Stanford on two free throws by Candice Wiggins with one-tenth of a second left when she was fouled by Prince 80 feet from the basket.

I'm curious to know if Rutgers can (and will) protest the finish to this game. If that clock doesn't pause, they win this game - and the video proves that.

Photo Credit: ESPN

Georgetown Wins Another on Bad Call

I didn't watch this game and as of now I have no first hand account as to what happened - but when ESPN says "controversial" before going to commercial when talking about the highlights that are coming up - you just know they're going to mention the refs. Over at the fanhouse - Charles Rich described the final seconds like this:

Scottie Reynolds [Villanova Guard] took the ball on the inbounds and tried to go to the basket. Jerimiah Rivers stayed right with him. Playing great defense, and Rivers blocked the attempt as Reynolds tried to launch a shot and draw a foul. The refs ignored any contact and properly let the play go. There was no clear advantage and this is the Big East where physical play is expected.

The ball hit the floor and bodies were all over the place and each other going for the ball. No calls. It finally went to Georgetown's Jonathan Wallace near the baseline with just over 3 seconds left.

Wallace started down one of the line, and Villanova guard Corey Stokes moved with him to prevent him to launch a heave before time expired. Wallace got past him, with the barest contact and the refs whistled a foul with 0.1 seconds on the clock.

I should mention that Wallace was over 70 feet from his own basket when he was brushed up against. Of course, Wallace would sink both free throws - ball game over. Georgetown is now 2-0 on controversial finishes this year. They are ranked #8 in the country and still #1 in the Big East.

Update: Wow! I just saw the replay on ESPN - and absolutely ridiculous. So unfair for Villanova. Played their hearts out on the road - and despite having an awful 2nd half were still in the game - and then lose the game like that. Please referees - put your whistle in your pockets unless the foul is legitimate. This call was flat out wrong and that official should be reprimanded for that call.

According to - there were 48 fouls called during this game. Over 1 per minute. Double WOW!

Update 2: I was listening to Steve Czaban this morning on Fox Sports Radio. They were talking about this play, and "The Czabe" said that he thought the referee should be "Richard Zednik'd". I don't know about you - but maybe it's just a little too early to be saying that.

Here's video of the play:

Friday, February 8, 2008

Q&A with Bob Delaney

Over at's page 2, Sam Alipour had a little Q&A session with current NBA referee Bob Delaney. Mr. Delaney if you've ever heard, used to work undercover in New Jersey trying to capture guys from the mob. This was mentioned a lot on message boards and a few blogs during the few days when no one knew who Tim Donaghy was yet. There was the speculation that perhaps Delaney had made the wrong guys mad, and his punishment was to fix games to help these mobsters out. Well, those speculations ended up being totally untrue and of course, you know the rest of the story. Here were a few of the questions and answers from this interview:

This may be hard for you to quantify, but what was the single most dangerous experience you faced?

It wasn't one particular situation. It's an ongoing thing. I'm wearing a wire in a jock strap between my legs everyday, knowing that if it's found on me ... in that world, informants die. You live with that cloud over you. If one wire wiggles out of place, if someone pats you on the belly or back, they find that thing. It's not like I had surveillance teams on me. In deep cover, that's impossible. And I have no credentials saying that I'm a cop. My identification said my name was Robert Allen Covert.

Covert. Wasn't that a bit of a risk?

It's a catchy name for an undercover guy, but back in the '70s before Watergate, that word wasn't common. It wasn't like we were being cutesy. We took a guy who died at birth, and I became that person. But today, it's obvious that people will think that's a pretty cool undercover name.

You put a lot of people away. Do you have any fear of retribution?

I'm no different than any cop who put someone away. Retribution could happen. I'm not naive. But I'm aware of my surroundings. I have security in place that I'm not going to discuss. Also, even though I work for the NBA, I have strong ties and still consider myself a part of N.J. state police. They're very helpful, as are other agencies, in terms of intelligence information and awareness of my situation.

In what ways did this experience make you a better referee?

The challenge is very similar: There's pressure, a lot going on, and decisions have to be made very quickly. Apparently, I'm attracted to that lifestyle. [Laughs] Also, I have an awareness that comes from my law-enforcement base: I recognize when the crisis may escalate, or players are at a point where it may become a fight. And people aren't happy to be arrested, nor are they happy to have a foul called on them, so I'm used to working with people who aren't pleased.

It's no secret that many ballers have an affinity for gangster tales like "The Godfather" and "Scarface." Do players ever ask you to regale them with stories?

Oh, yeah. After a game in L.A., I was doing tape review, and after I call a foul on Kobe, the announcer says, "Kobe's giving Delaney an earful about that call." In reality, Kobe came over to me during free throws to say: "What was it like wearing those wires all time? That must've been wild." And when Grant Hill was in Orlando, he came up to me and patted me down. He's like, "You still wired?" I'm like, "Yeah, and the last time I was wired, 30 people went to jail." You gotta laugh in this world, man. [Laughs] Shane Battier will always ask about what's real and what's fake in movies like "Training Day" or "The Departed."

That's pretty impressive stuff... It's always interesting to know more about the people you are used to booing.

Woman Referees to Blow Whistle For Cancer

Over the next week, thousands of woman's basketball officials will be using pink whistles during games. Approx 4000 officials in both college in high school will donate a portion of their game checks to benefit the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.

"'Calling for a Cure' is a unique awareness and fundraising program, one best suited to involve the women and men who run the basketball courts each and every game," said Michelle Perry, Director of NCAA Division I basketball. "And even before tip-off of 'Think Pink' week, I'm pleased to announce that hundreds of women's basketball referees have already generously donated significant portions of their game checks."
Fans can donate to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund online at or by calling 1-800-4JimmyV.

Ultimately, all funds raised by the game officials and the participating coordinators will be presented to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund at the Women's Final Four scheduled to be held April 6th and 8th at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, FL.

This is a great thing that all these officials are doing.

Awful Officiating: Big Ten Refs Indiana @ Illinois

Last night I got home, turned on ESPN to find Indiana and Illinois tipping off in the first overtime. I figured I'd sit down and watch how this one would end. The officiating during the first overtime period was absolutely horrible. Indiana twice got away with turnovers on their offensive end when the officials first didn't call an offensive foul, and on the next possession they didn't call traveling. It didn't matter for Illinois though who still had a chance to win it when their center Pruitt had a chance to win it with 2 free throws with 2 seconds on the clock. Pruitt 1-7 from the line, wound up missing them both. On the rebound an Indiana player grabbed it, took a dribble, and then attempted to shoot a 3/4 court shot when Pruitt fouled him across the arms. No call! Watching the replay showed that it was basically a boneheaded play on Pruitt who was obviously frustrated after missing two potential game winners (he missed a potential game winning free throw at the end of regulation also). The Illinois bench and coaching staff couldn't believe the no-call, and Jay Bilas even mentioned that sometimes the officials choke on their whistles late in the game. Illinois would pull away during the 2nd OT but there were a few bad calls then as well. I only watched 10 minutes of the 50 minutes played, I sure hope that the officiating wasn't that bad for the entire game.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Super Bowl Ref Mike Carey Almost Blew Whistle

The most talked about play in the Super Bowl, which I guess is simply known as "The Play", almost didn't even happen according to head official Mike Carey. In an article in the New York Daily News (found via the fanhouse) Carey says:

"radar was definitely up, because I knew a sack, or at least grasp and control, was imminent,"
"It didn't quite happen," Carey said. "But boy it was close."

"I anticipated a sack,"

The article goes on to say...

Carey saw enough to be convinced that Manning's forward momentum never stopped. If it had, he would've had to blow the whistle and declare Manning "in the grasp and control" of the Patriots defense, which would've ended the play and resulted in a drive-crippling sack.

As we've mentioned before, thankfully Carey kept the whistle silent and let the play happen. I haven't heard anyone say that Carey made the wrong call, but I've heard some say that they wouldn't have blamed him or faulted him if he did blow the play dead. I can't imagine the outcry we'd be hearing if Eli launches that ball and Tyree catches it only to find out that Carey had blown the play dead.

By the way - considering the Giants amazing run to a thrilling Super Bowl victory, you have to wonder if college football still thinks their system is better. The NFL just set record setting ratings, and I seriously have to imagine that as popular as college football is, if they could somehow figure out a way to put together a ligitimate playoff system, they could see similar ratings from over time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The McDonalds Rappers Have Some Competion

Ok... I know this is totally un sports related, but I just can't help but laugh. Funny thing is this happened about 5 minutes from my house. You have to watch the video til the end, then that's when these two guys break out the "chick-fil-a rap"...

Oh... when the news reporter first starts talking, there's a guy in the backround wearing a hat - that's my brother, he's talking on the phone... to me. So, theoretically - I made it on TV!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Clubhouse or Chapel

This article in Tuesday's NY Times goes into detail about how a former minor league umpire was put in uncomfortable conditions when, on Sunday's, his "office" would be turned into a chapel service.

“They preach to you,” Miller said in a telephone interview. “Some are more overbearing than others. At the end they ask if you have anything ‘you want me to pray for.’ The other guys would say ‘our families, safe travel.’ I’d say nothing. Then they would pray. It was very uncomfortable. They’d say Jesus this and Jesus that. At the end they’d say ‘in Jesus’ name.’ ”

Josh Miller, a Jewish man, says he didn't like the situation and that he felt like he was left with no other choice but to stay

“You don’t want to be rude to them because it might get back to somebody and it could affect your chances,” he said. Citing one umpire evaluator as an example, he added: “He’s a very religious guy, so I was really uncomfortable leaving. He’d ask, ‘Why are you leaving?’ I’d tell him I’m Jewish, and who knows what that would do. It was something I didn’t want to have to deal with.”

After reading this article I was kind of shocked that this was even the case. Let me first say that I am a Bible believing Christian. I do however, find this practice of trapping people in their office and preaching to them to be a little bit intimidating. I find that for Christians to be a good testimony, we need to be sharing the gospel by our actions - not just our words. For Mr. Miller to respond like this suggests that the chaplains were maybe sending him the wrong signals. In fact, he goes on to say

“Half the time they’d forget and pray in Jesus’ name and pray to Jesus,” he recalled. “One time this guy found out I was Jewish, and he started talking about nonbelievers and looking at me.”

It surprises me that they don't have a separate room setup where the umpires that do desire to be in the chapel can go. Or why not just let the umpires go into the players chapel - that might actually encourage less arguments during the game. I don't think it's fair - and if I were a Christian umpire and a man walked in to read from the Koran, or the book of Mormon, or any other book that I didn't agree with - I'd probably be a little unconfortable as well.

The organization who is responsible for the chapels is knows as Their site is currently down for annual maintenance. I commend the baseball chapel for what they are doing, but I think they need to change their approach on how they share the Gospel during this upcoming season.

Happy Fat Tuesday

When I mentioned to my cousin that I hoped he did something today to celebrate FAT TUESDAY! He responsed with:

if being "fat" is celebratory --- i am way ahead of the game!!!!!

There's only one Dizzle!

Here are today's NBA Refs (

Oh... and unless you want a few vacation days don't flick off the ref after he makes a bad call.

Sympathy for the Pats Fans

After sleeping on this one for a couple of days, I have come to the conclusion that I am actually somewhat feeling bad for them, or I guess you could say, sympathetic. Most sports fans can relate to what it feels like to taste defeat. But most sports fans do not know what it feels like to see your favorite team go 18-0, only to lose the final game of what was considered a dream season. I'm sure the Pats would gladly trade anyone of their 16 regular season wins for a win in the Super Bowl, but it was not meant to be. I tried to think this morning of my greatest disappointment in sports. What I remembered was not a very pleasant memory.

It was just 2 years ago, that I, a very passionate Mets fan was rooting for my team during game 7 of the NLCS against the Cardinals. That season, our expectations were so high that we could almost taste a World Series victory. Had the Mets won the NLCS they would have easily been the favorites against the Tigers.

Game 7 was an epic battle played between two teams - one whom was the clear favorite, and the other a sizeable underdog (at least on paper). Watching as every pitch, every inning went by - I kept waiting for the one moment that would give Mets fans the hope and the assurance of knowing we would face another day. That moment came when Endy Chavez made the greatest play I have ever seen. On a fly ball to deep left field - Endy leaped before he even reached the warning track and literally smacked into the wall as his glove reached up over top of the wall to pull back a definite home run. He then, in one motion, turned and fired to Reyes who fired to Delgado to double up the Cardinals and end the inning. The crowd went wild - I was up off my couch screaming! That was our moment. That was our Eli to Tyree moment! That was the play that would have been talked about for years! That ended the 5th inning , and with the score tied at 1, the Mets faithful knew that the momentum had finally shifted in their favor. But the offense could not respond and when Benji Molina hit his go ahead run in the top of the 9th inning, I think I shared the same feelings that my Pats friends shared when Eli hit Burress with 35 seconds left to play - unbelief! A few moments later, Adam Weinright struck out Carlos Beltan to end the game, and on that dreadful October evening, I simply hit power on the TV, went up to my room - and pounded the pillow for about 10 minutes. Complete Disappointment!

2006 was to be our year. This was the team that was built to win it all! But we were left with questions and no answers, only talk of next year (which I don't have to remind you - didn't work out so well either)

We watch sports because we love the game. We desire the thrill of victory - we root with all our hearts for our teams that we grew up watching. We love to see them win - we hate to see them lose. For some - they are used to losing (Philadelphia / Cleveland), but for those in Boston who had every reason to believe their team was going to do something that has never been done before in the history of the NFL - well this has to hurt pretty bad. They have my sympathy.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl Ref @ Duke/UNC Game

Rebecca Lobo just interviewed Boris Cheek during the UNC vs Duke women's basketball game. You may ask... who the heck is Boris Cheek? Well, he happens to be the father of one of the Duke players, but he also happens to have been the Field Judge during Super Bowl 42. One of the questions Lobo chose to ask was about the great play that Eli Manning made to Tyree. To summerize: She asked Cheek if he thought the play should have been blown dead when the SuperMangician was almost sacked. Cheek responded by saying he thought Mike Carey showed great composure and poise by not blowing his whistle and allowing the play to go on. I completely agree! Imagine what we would have missed if the whistle is blown and Eli breaks free! Mike Carey should definitely be commended for not blowing his whistle there and I'm thankful that Cheek just took the opportunity to do that.

As for the question, I heard them talking about this on Mike and Mike (they weren't criticizing, just mentioning) and now Lobo chooses to ask this question. I can't even imagine why people would even question that call. Even though another guy said no one would have been surprised if referee Mike Carey blew the whistle and ruled an in-the-grasp sack. NO ONE?!? I for one would have been shocked, and I can't imagine the reaction from true Giant fans. If Carey whistles that play dead, today we would all have been talking about that blown call.

Speaking of calls... During his judgements column on CBSsportsline. Clark Judge gives the Worst Call award to the Red Hooded Rule Corrupter.

It's Belichick again, this time on a fourth-and-13 at the Giants' 31, with just under seven minutes left in the third quarter. Logic says you call for the field goal. Only Belichick didn't. Instead he keeps his offense on the field, and Tom Brady threw the ball out of bounds.

Wait a minute, didn't Belichick remember that it was a call just like that -- fourth-and-11 from the 30, to be exact -- that cost Marty Schottenheimer in last year's playoff loss to ... New England? Are you going to tell me that Stephen Gostkowski can't kick a 48-yard field goal indoors? Please. If that's the case, the Patriots should find themselves another kicker.

I looked at my friend when the Pats decided to go for it and wondered why they didn't at least attempt a field goal. That is one of those calls that if they make it, it's a "gutsy" move, but under those circumstances, they have to without a doubt at least attempt a field goal there. That's what being 18-0 will do to you... it gives you the false impression that you are invincible.

Mike Carey - Ref Grade

I said a few weeks back that I thought Mike Carey was a great official, and all he did last night was back up that statement. He and his crew were on top of their game last night, and there were only a few minor calls that were either missed or called wrong. While breaking down the officials over at fanhouse, MDS said this:

"Unlike many big games of this NFL season, people aren't talking about the officials today. Referee Mike Carey and his crew had a good game, and they deserve a lot of credit today.

Yes, some will nitpick individual calls. Giants receiver Amani Toomer maybe should have been called for offensive pass interference on his 38-yard catch in the second quarter. The Patriots shouldn't have had to challenge the Giants' 12 men on the field penalty; that was a call that the official on the sideline should have seen. Carey seemed awfully quick on the draw to call a delay of game penalty against the Giants."

The biggest missed call in my opinion, was the push off by Toomer. That play was followed up though by an Eli Manning interception a few plays later so it didn't really matter.

Another call that could be questioned was the fumble that appeared to be recovered by the Patriots, but then Ahmad Bradshaw overturned the Pats defender and literally stripped the ball out of his hand. But I can understand the officials having to give that to the Giants after clearing up the pile and finding that a Giants player has the ball. That's just strength against strength and Bradshaw won that battle.

Bottom line - as MDS said - we're not talking about the officials today, and for Carey and crew... that's a win!

Penalties for the game:
Giants (4-36)
Patriots (5-35)

I'd say a fair game for sure! I give them an A (not a plus, but not a minus, a solid A)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Discussing the NFL's private use policy

Found in this morning's Washington Post:

"The NFL said, however, that the copyright law on its games is long-standing and the language read at the end of each game is well known: 'This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent is prohibited.'"

I'm sure we all remember hearing this, though isn't it at the end of the game? That seems a little backwards. Maybe it's in that little montage right before kickoff. I don't remember anymore. But here's one, especially for your lawyerly types - how do blogs work? Can I write a blog entry about this game? Perhaps on my personal blog, I'm not looking to make any money, though the company that hosts my blog and inserts ads on the page is. And what about bigger sports blogs such as TBL, Deadspin, etc. that (I assume) make a bit of profit on ads? Do they actually have rights from the NFL to blog about the game? Live blogs of events would certainly count as descriptions or accounts of the game.

Related: Blogger shut out of media day