It Was “Something”… What?

ACC referees
March12/ 2012

It was “something”.  “What” depended on your bias position.  If the jersey colors were switched, then the perception of “what it was” would switch too; but it would still be SOMETHING.  But it was officially “nothing”.  So now what?

UNC got its #1 seed and NC State got in so the “no call” simply takes its place in the ever-growing pantheon of “let’s screw State because we can”.


The Official BobLeeSays commentary on “The Verdict” will be posted within the next few days.


I think TA’s knee did touch the ground.  …..I wasn’t around here when Dudley Bradley mugged Clyde The Glide.  …..I think Karl Hess was completely wrong to toss Corch & Guggs.   ….. I lose track of the other umpteen times that refs have, according to legend, purposely screwed NC State.  Young wuffs are taught the entire list before they learn to make that little finger thingy.  Wuff mommies have a new one to teach their pups.

UNC’s Kendall Marshall and State’s Alex Johnson made contact.  There was clearly contact made between the two players so it was not “a flop”.  It was either blocking or charging.  EVERY block / charge call ever made since Dr Naismith hung the first peach basket has been viewed thru biased eyes by those who claimed they saw it.  Did the defender establish position or not?

Call it a block and Marshall shoots a free throw in addition to the made basket if judged to be “in the act of shooting”.  Call it a charge and the basket is no good and State wins the game and The Brickyard is trashed and Mark Gottfried is the latest Wuff Deity…..  But make “no call” and even the most terminally partisan Heel fan and ESPN analyst is rolling his eyes.

Vince Foster is found dead in Fort Marcy Park with a bullet hole in the back of his head and key files are never found.  It is ruled “a suicide”(????). At least a COD is listed.

Referees, umpires, and head linesmen are part of the human element in any sports competition.  Fans with maturity issues ALWAYS use the game officials as the reason their team loses.  For the record, I have more than a few otherwise mature friends of the Tar Heel persuasion who swear every UNC player is mugged on every play of every game.  It causes me to question their professional acumen as well as their parenting skills.

If one automatically assumes “the refs are crooked” then the competition is as bogus as rolling craps against a guy with loaded dice or playing poker with a guy using marked cards.  …..Or fighting a war against a foe who laughs at The Geneva Convention which every foe America has ever fought has always done.  Why is that?

So long as Johnny Swofford is ACC Commissioner he will be loathed by NC State partisans.  He could publicly behead Karl Hess and the dudes who called Saturday’s game and he would still be hated by the average Wuff.  “Johnny Swofford is out to get NC State” is as much a part of “being a State fan” as “Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up!”  Ten years after Swofford retires he will still be catching hell from Wuff goobers who think Claude Sitton is still editor of The N&O.

Other than “firing that damn Johnny Swofford” what can be done to lessen the annual angst about “crooked officials”?   About ten years is probably long enough for any conference commissioner.  Swofford is in Year Sixteen if you are counting and, believe me, many people are counting.

Everything has “a shelf life” – milk, fish, house guests, Baptist preachers…. and conference commissioners.

Enraged paranoid partisans usually have a 3-5 year lag time once any administrative change is made.  Case in point – George Bush.  Get rid of Swofford now and the Swofford Blame Clock will start ticking.

Oh…. every conference fans claims it’s officials are “the worst” and every conference has a designated perpetual victim.   Once a fan base assumes the designated victim role it never relinquishes it.  At least a snapping turtle lets go when it thunders.

Let’s consider a solution that might apply across the country, not just in The ACC.  Do away with “conference officials”.  All teams in all conferences play by a uniform rulebook just like there is supposedly one strike zone across MLB (bad example?).  The definition of “a charge” is the same for Gonzaga as it is for Seton Hall, right?  An official from Des Moines will make the same call as an official from Lynchburg, right?

Assign basketball and football game officials out of a central national office.  Use a computer in Mombai that is programmed so no official works any team’s games more than some very low number…. 2-3 per year in BkB.  No more than one in FB.  The person in charge of assigning the officials will be a blind Eskimo compu-nerd with no allegiance to any school.  Game officials will quickly become anonymous zebras.  Their mere appearance on the field or court will not enflame a fan base because their personalities will have been deleted from the equation.

Fans with way too much time on their hands quickly learn to hate their conferences’ “official in charge of officials”.  (See Administrative Blame Lag above)  Fred Barakat is still hated by some State fans and Fred has been dead for three years.   John Clougherty is now hated by State fans despite John’s son, Pat, being a very fine State baseball player some years ago.   Really ?  Yes, really.

The practice of each conference having its own game officials is probably left over from some by gone era when referees drove Studebakers and Madison Square Garden really was located at Madison Square.  You thought it was called “Square” because of its shape, didn’t you?

If we remove “those damn referees” as a convenient excuse will that hamper losing fans needing a convenient excuse?  Not at all.

If Marshall HAD been called for charging Johnson and State won on Saturday; Tar Heel would still have had the same excuse they used after the loss to Fla State on Sunday…. “if John Henson had not been pushed down by that Maryland thug and hurt his wrist; we would have won.” 

Sports fans, like politicians, are incredibly resourceful in rationalizing defeat.

#1 Rule Of Bracketology:  No matter which bracket “your team” was assigned to – it IS “the worst one” and your team was purposely put there because _____.


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