Thursday, March 22, 2007

The notion of accuracy gives me seizures!

Just watched Memphis beat Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 game. Great game, but I must say -- there was a bit of a problem at the end. Here comes a rant.

But before I go into it, I want to express for the record that I have had a lot of interaction with the mentally, physically, and developmentally disabled in my lifetime. I really have. My mother for a time was a teacher in a school for the disabled. The disabled are generally capable of more than the public gives them credit for. And I watched Life Goes On. I have plenty of exposure. So all I'm saying here is, they shouldn't hold high-profile jobs. Such as, I don't know,
college basketball referees. They just can't handle it! That whole "everyone's a winner" vibe doesn't hold much water when you're determining the outcome of an event in which only one winner is humanly possible.

To wit: With 3.1 seconds left in the game, Texas A&M threw the ball in, only to have it knocked out of bounds by a Memphis player. Tipping the ball with your hands right before it goes out of bounds should take about 0.2 to 0.3 seconds off the clock. At least, according to general rules and to announcers Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, who only have a combined 379 years of college basketball coverage between them. But after reviewing the call for, oh, about five minutes, the refs decided the clock should be set at 2.0. So, 1.1 seconds were taken off. That's enough so that the Aggies could only get off a desperation shot rather than running a coherent play. Ball game.

So my question is: why are the special needs people relied upon to do math in these situations? It embarrasses them, and it embarrasses everybody else. We don't want to be in the position of telling them they're, like, not exactly right on their painstakingly considered calculations. Do we? So why are they out there? It's a mystery. And in the meantime, it's the Aggies' loss. Literally.

Everyone's a winner. Until some ref goes and pukes on him(or her)self at midcourt. Just something to think about.

- Aggies Lose to Memphis in Thriller [Houston Chronicle]

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i.p. daily said...

I couldn't agree more. That call was garbage, and when combined with the non-call on a Memphis goal tending two minutes earlier, bad calls damaged Texas A&M a lot. You know the referees are doing a bad job when the announcers actually mention how bad they are. There is an unwritten rule that announcers are supposed to congratulate the refs on a clean game unless there are calls that are so obviously blown that there is no choice but to be honest about it, and that's what happened last night.

MSH said...

Yeah, especially when it's Verne freaking Lundquist. Not exactly a young whippersnapper questioning the establishment. And he was openly insulting them.