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.