The BCS Title Game, The All Star Game, and More!

by Corey

Sucker Judges

Football referees make judicial decisions with absolutely no reference at all to previous decisions on similar topics. Sure they have rules to interpret, but each ruling on each infraction is made on the spot to the evidence at hand with no previous reference at all to how previous referees handled such cases in the current game or in other matches under the same rules.

We accept this. Its kind of what we do in sports, accept crap as just something we have to live with.

Referees are judges. Don’t even try to dispute this because they call themselves “back judges.” They interpret rules. But how can you properly interpret rules without referencing the previous legal framework? It’s the basis for our legal system here in the United States. It’s a basic question and common sense. Hey, did anyone else have this problem? What did they do? Did it work? Okay let’s do it too.

Not in professional sports. Officials receive direction on the rules from the league, conference, or NCAA in the example of the BCS Championship Game brought to you by T.J. McPennybags between Oregon and Auburn.

The argument of course here is that a ruling in the Sugar Bowl is completely ignored in the championship match. Where is the consistency? We were screwed! Common refrains.

However, in the real court system, not one where people wear spandex and choreograph their introductions, there are two things that sporting events do not have – an appeals process and time.

Sure there are review systems, but this ins’t an appeal. The official on the field still makes the call, either to overturn his own ruling or uphold it. Maybe the the closest thing to a true appeal system is what takes place in the NHL when a goal is disputed and officials at an off-site location at the league level are consulted. Football does not have this process of having a different official judge the call. Also, the real court system has time. Decisions in sport need to be made within minutes, not weeks or months.

Officiating is an imperfect system. It could probably be improved, but even giving it unlimited time and review doesn’t guarantee success, because our real legal system actually kills people who didn’t do anything. In the end, I want a referee whose skill and accuracy are judged just as harshly as those of the athletes on the field. Clear vision, a history of good decisions, and an ability to dissect large amounts of information in a short amount of time and recall previous decisions made in previous games for the sake of some sanity are required. They are just as important.

All Star, Shmall Star

No Sabre was named to the NHL All Star Game roster. Tyler Ennis will be present at the skills competition as a rookie selection.

This is because they are bad. Also because Derek Roy is injured. He might have made the roster, maybe, if he had stayed healthy.

Again, there is a lack of talent on this roster. It;s why they play they way they do, and its why their record is the way it is, and it is why no one is going to the All Star Game. Everyone else is better.

I’ll Take The Fat Guy

Nick Fairley, before the Championship game, was probably known for trying to do terrible things to quarterbacks in dubious ways.

Watching him in the BCS title game was an illustration of something the Bills lack. Not only a little bit of meanness, but of brute force on the defensive line. I would like him next to Kyle Williams. Everyone pretty much says he is a dirty player. Sweet. If it is at all possible for him plant Tom Brady into the grass at some point I think the Bills should seriously consider him.

Bonus: Everyone at Auburn seems to love him. We could use that a bit too.


  1. Mike

    Again, I disagree completely that the Sabres are untalented. I think they have plenty of talent, and I wish you discussed it more instead of just glibly stating it as fact. You make it sound like they are at .500 because they are bad. The Sabres have had plenty of more “talented” teams mired at .500 at various points in previous seasons.

  2. Jay

    They’re talented compared to who, the Leafs? Great.

    Look, if you don’t think there is a (sizable) talent gap between the Sabres and the real contenders in this league, I just don’t know what games you’re watching.

    Can it be fixed? Sure. And maybe it’ll take just a couple of inspired moves to do it. Unfortunately, there’s not much coming out of the HSBC Arena’s offices these days that reek of “inspired”.

  3. Mike

    Are the Sabres as talented as say the Penguins, Red Wings, Blackhawks, or even the Flyers? No, clearly. But neither are most of the teams in the league, many of whom are doing better than the Sabres while having an equal amount of talent.
    I’m not going to excuse Darcy’s unwillingness to get rid of guys until its too late for other guys around the league who might just need a change of scenery.
    Look at the Sabres in ’03-04 vs ’05-06. Basically the same team sans Miro Satan and Alexei Zhitnik, both of whom were considered to be the Sabres most talented forward and defenseman respectively. Conventional wisdom before that season was that the Sabres had taken multiple steps back and might be the worst team in the league that year. People wanted to protest outside HSBC arena. We know what happened.
    Obviously, that was a unique situation. But Chris Drury and Danny Briere were, prior to that year, role players and not much else. Some would say Chris Drury has reverted to that. Philly fans wanted to run Briere out of town basically until the playoffs last year.
    My point is that a lot depends upon the situation, having the right combination of guys together playing well at the same time. It’s really hard to put a finger on why the Sabres have sucked this year, and the only reason we want to know why is because all of us fans want desperately to fix it. After some point talent doesn’t matter that much, although it’s always nice to have more if you can have it, but it doesn’t come cheap. I think the reason why everyone is looking forward to the coming of Pegula is that money to acquire some additional talent as well as a change in the voices at the top that is sorely needed as far as player evaluation. They need to find the right combination again.

  4. Jay

    The money has been there with Golisano — how they’ve used it is another matter.

    Also, the ’05-’06 Sabres had one thing that the ’03-’04 team did not – a Marty Biron that got on a ridiculous hot streak when the team needed him most (Upon Miller’s injury). That season had not started out great, either.

    This combination has not played well enough together since October 2007. Things should’ve started happening over 2 years ago. But as has been discussed ad nauseum everywhere, for whatever reasons there may be (some even good!), they LOVE their guys. Still.

    Were Drury and Briere overpaid?? Sure they were. But in the case of the Flyers, coming off the season that they experienced in ’06-’07, that move sent a statement to the players on the team, the fanbase, and the league that things would be different going forward (easier to do for a franchise that makes the cash they do, but you get my point). It was a move, based on dollars alone, that the Sabres as currently operated would never CONSIDER, let alone execute. In fact, they would likely hold their nose up over it.

    Yet here we are 3 1/2 years after, and what does the tote board say?

    Flyers – 3 playoff berths, 1 Cup Final, 1 Conference Final
    Rangers – 2 playoff berths, 2 series wins
    Sabres – 1 playoff berth, 6 playoff games.

    The current Sabre Way doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked for 4 years. It should not have to take a change in ownership for this to be corrected.

  5. Matty_Dubs

    YES! Draft that guy. Right away. And then don’t teach him any rules about late hits until after we play the Pats. Genius plan.