The ‘Blaming the Officials’ Game
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The ‘Blaming the Officials’ Game

Blaming game officials is the top excuse for a loss in sports. Many who have played or watched sports have participated in blaming the officials at one point in their life.

I’m guilty of using the excuse on more than one occasion, but I am not the first and won’t be the last. After watching the NCAA men’s basketball championship game between Wisconsin and Duke, my Twitter feed blew up with complaints blaming the officials, and I got tired of seeing it.It was amazing to see how many fans were blaming the officials.

In most cases, such as Wisconsin on Monday night, the team was outplayed in the second half.

Was Justise Winslow’s foot out of bounds? Looked like it.

Did the ball go off the Duke player’s hand? Maybe.

In Wisconsin’s game against Kentucky, Nigel Hayes should have had a shot-clock violation, and it was not called, which helped the Badgers victory. Kentucky fans and players probably feel they should have been playing Monday night.

The state of Wisconsin is all too knowledgeable with questioning those officiating.

In 2012 the Green Bay Packers should have won the game versus Seattle, but we all know how that one ended.

The final play could be blamed on the replacement referees. I placed blame on them, but what about the other three quarters of play? More things could have been done differently so the Packers would not have been in that spot at game end.

In the NFC wild card game between Detroit and Dallas this past season, the officials reversed a pass interference call. Was that decision the reason why Detroit lost? No.

Detroit had a 14-0 lead at one point, and they had chances to stop Dallas late in the game on a fourth down. They even had the ball under two minutes to win it.

The following week in Green Bay, Dallas’s wide receiver Dez Bryant may have caught the football depending on who you ask. Was that incomplete call by the referees the reason Dallas lost? No.

When there is blame put on the officials, the ‘what if’ game follows suit. Or the would have, could have and should have game. So much happens during a game that teams could have done differently to win.

Bo Ryan and some players comments after Monday night’s game were probably in the heat of the moment. From a respected coach like Ryan, it is surprising. However, if some calls went the other way, Ryan may have won a championship. Yet those calls and the officials are not the reasons why the Badgers lost.

Sports and fans will never change. There are always going to be bad calls made during big games, but officials are never the reason why a team loses the game.

Unless you are the 1972 United States Olympic basketball team, you don’t have an argument.

 

Marty Kauffman

Sports Editor

mkauf036@uwsp.edu

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