Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cross the "T" in Idiotic

Last weekend's college football games brought us some dramatic upsets and the usual idiotic drivel from sports commentators of the various sporting networks. One of the hottest discussions from last weekend came from the BYU-Washington game and the controversial ending.

Jake Locker scored the winning touchdown with two seconds remaining in the game and in his excitement flipped the ball over his head and began to celebrate with his teammates. As a result of flipping the ball in the air, Locker received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for excessive celebration. The 15-yard penalty meant the chip shot extra point that would tie the game was now a 35-yard attempt and subsequently was blocked by BYU and BYU won the game.

Everyone from Huskies coach Tyrone Willingham to seeming evryone at ESPN (Jim Caple, Mark May, Lou Holtz, Kirk Herbstriet, etc) all feel that the refs made the wrong call in penalizing Locker. Granted, Locker did not fire the ball into air in celebration as much as just flipped it into the air. However, the NCAA Rule 9, Section 2, Article 2c states that “throwing the ball high into the air” in celebration is an act of unsportsmanlike conduct subject to a 15-yard penalty.

The ball was thrown into the air and the refs were correct in making the call. Why is it that everyone at ESPN seems to think that the refs were wrong to make a call that they were correct in making? I have seen several sports writers note that all football calls are judgement calls and the refs should have not called this penalty because it was seemingly an innocent flip of the ball. So if I "innocently" bump into a receiver while guarding him, that should not be a pass interference or illegal contact call? If I "innocently" hold a lineman, I should not be called for holding? Of course I'm going to get called, assuming they see it.

I'm curious what everyone would be saying if Locker had done this in the first or second quarter and they ended up losing by the one-point? Would everyone still be up in arms about it? If it is a penalty in the first quarter it should be a penalty on the final play.

Is it a crap rule? The way it is written, yes it is. I understand the NCAA wants decorum and integrity in their players, but flipping a ball into the air is not an excessive celebration. Don't kill the refs for making the correct call, go kill the NCAA rules committee for making a shit rule.

And while your at it, can you kill most of the ESPN college commentators while you're at it?

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