Much Ado About Nothing???

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24: Golden Tate #81 of...

Golden Tate’s Disputed “Catch”

Ok, I get it, the “replacement” NFL officials are very poor. It is difficult to watch some of the calls, incorrect rules interpretations, and general comedy of errors that are occurring in many of the NFL games. It is clear that these guys are over their heads.

Last night might be just the straw the “real” officials are waiting for to end the lock out.

In case you missed it, or have not read a newspaper or listened to any sports talk radio or television today, the final play of the Seattle Seahawks vs Green Bay Packers game came down to a last second heave from Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson in the general direction of wide receiver Golden Tate on the final play of the game. The problem is that Green Bay Packer defensive back M.D. Jennings actually fell to the ground with possession of the ball, and then Tate – basically reached in with one arm and got a bit of the football and then the official on the field ruled it a simultaneous catch.

I remind you that I have no allegiance to either team, but I am sure the Packers and Seahawks fans see this play each in their own completely different light.

Where does this one rank?

If you look at sports in general there are a ton of lousy calls that could determine the outcome of games, or even titles or seasons for that matter. Here is a short list of my personal top 5 worst calls ever, but remember, my views are tainted by my team allegiances as well. Not sure where this call ranks on an all-time list, and you might get other arguments but here are my personal top 5 worst calls of all time.

  1. Penn State vs. Nebraska – Beaver Stadium – 1982 – Keep in mind I was 12 years old at the time, and this one is still blazed into my memory 30 years later. During the final drive was aided by a Nebraska personal foul on the kickoff and the “questionable” call on the 15-yard sideline pass to tight end Mike McCloskey. Both McCloskey and Penn State Quarterback Todd Blackledge admitted years later what all Husker fans already knew long ago. He was like 2 yards out of bounds when he caught the ball to give them a first down and keep the drive alive. Then Blackledge hits Kirk Bowman on a catch…errrrr…trap….in the end zone to seal the win with 4 seconds left. Penn State eventually wins the National Title that Osborne should have garnered.
  2. Colorado’s 5th Down – One of the worst ever (obviously or it would not be on my list!). Colorado is awarded not 4 but 5 chances to punch it in after a first and goal to beat Missouri on the last play of the game and go on to claim a share of the National Title. I would call them cheaters, but the officials made them do it!
  3. Put Some Time Back on the Clock…TWICE – The U.S.S.R. somehow gets the officials to put time back on the clock – – not once, but TWICE at the end of the game allowing the Soviet Union a couple of do-overs to score a basket at the buzzer and win the gold medal with a 50-49 victory in the final of the 1972 Games.
  4. Missouri’s Loved or Hated Man – The most controversial call in World Series history, first base umpire, Don Denkinger calls the Royals’ Jorge Orta safe at first base in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 Series against the Cardinals. Replays clearly show that St. Louis pitcher Todd Worrell clearly beat Orta to the bag. Denkinger’s call allows a two run rally by the Kansas City Royals who then pull off a 2-1 victory. Kansas City goes on to win the Series in seven games.
  5. Head or Tails? – The easiest call in any football game is the coin flip, unless you are NFL official Phil Luckett. During the 1999 Thanksgiving Day game between the Steelers and Lions the teams come out for the overtime coin flip. Steelers captain Jerome Bettis calls “tails”, but Luckett hears “heads”.  I can still see the looks on Jerome Bettis’s face…”WTF” – The Lions win the toss and go on to win the game. The NFL changes its procedures forever after this monumental turkey day gaffe.

Bottom line when it comes to what all of us fans think is poor officiating…..If you don’t like getting screwed at the end of the game, play better and don’t put yourself in a position to get screwed.

Stat of the Weak (weak)

Johnny Goodman’s Fantasy Football teams, known for countless league titles and copious amounts of lifetime earnings are a combined 0-6 to start the year.

Heisman Trophy Watch

  • Nick Florence – QB – Baylor – Can the Bears pull off back to back Heisman winners. Ni-Flo is on fire leading the NCAA is total offense with 174 rushing and 1004 passing in just 3 games.
  • Stephon Jefferson – RB – Nevada. Explodes onto the list. Through four games he has 11 rushing TD’s and 699 yards rushing to lead the nation in yards per game rushing.
  • Rakeem Cato – QB – Marshall – Stays on the list leading the nation in passing with 10 TD’s and just 2 interceptions along with 1481 yards through 4 games.
  • Geno Smith – QB – West Virginia – Should be able to continue to pad his numbers in the normally wide open Big XII. Barely behind Florence of Baylor in total offense per game at this point, but has a much stronger supporting cast than the other candidates on this list.

Stay Classy Nashville, Tennessee (Golden Tate’s Hometown).
 

 

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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