Rivalries and Referees and …

Rivalries REferees
September26/ 2022
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September 26, 2022

Rivalries and Referees and …


It happened a week ago but … I HAVE to address “what the knucklehead UNC QB said” even though not one single Chinese much less two billion of’em seems to have noticed.  The entire proud alumni / fan base of NC State University did notice.

The NC State fan base has since moved on and is now firmly focused on THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOTBALL GAME IN THE 130 YEARS OF NC STATE FOOTBALL encompassing The Aggies, The Red Terrors and The Wolfpack.  …

Clemson’s Death Valley this coming Saturday versus The Fightin’ Dabos with GameDay and the eyes of mega millions watching.

Sure to be THE Most Watched Textile Bowl in human history!

A Wolfpack victory is NOT inconceivable and would propel the West Raleigh institution into the rarified pantheon of Relevant College Football Programs at least temporarily … surpassing the hopes and dreams of generations of loyal Wolfpackers. 

A loss on the other hand will, surely, be blamed on those $%^&^# Referees because … pretty much all losses are by college football fans.

NOTE: To their credit … NOT ONE Wisconsin Badger fan is “blaming the refs” for their 52-21 Massacre At The Horseshoe by tOSU.  That exception proves the rule.


OK, to that housekeeping chore involving the knucklehead UNC QB … For reasons no one can fathom including him … Last week Drake Maye blurted out to “the media” that “the only reason anyone goes to NC State is that they could not get into UNCCH”. … a trite and lame insult volleyed back & forth by in-state rivals in all 50 states since trite insults were chronicled.

The statement is factually incorrect and believed only by mouth-breathing nitwits which are in abundance in pretty much every fan base … definitely in abundance in both of the fan bases involved in this instance.

It was only significant this time because – until this past Saturday versus Notre Dame – Young Mr Maye was the latest “maybe messiah” to lead UNCCH to that aforementioned “pantheon of relevant college football programs”.  He was the reigning Football BMOC on fabled Franklin Street.   Emphasis on the “was”.

After being mauled by the visitors from South Bend, Franklin Street’s attention is now focused on Late Night With Hubert or whatever that is called now.  Any goofball comment Drake Maye made is even less OMG than it really ever was.

In the down-the-rabbit hole world of Hated Rivalries NOTHING is insignificant or ever forgotten.  Case-in-point the tombstone of the late Charles Shackleford has the word “Amphibious” carved beneath his name. 

Drake Maye could go on to NFL glory or to discover a cure for nail fungus but he will forever bear the burden of his throw-away insult back in September 2022.



I note above the “tradition like no other” among EVERY college football fan base to “Blame the F’in Referees” any time the clock runs out and your team has fewer points than your opponents.  It is a tradition that predates leather helmets and Lee Corso suiting up for Florida State.

Blaming the referees – or umpires – or East German judges – or conference commissioners – or play-by-play announcers – or – or – or is simply how waaaay overly-caffeinated fans cope with defeat. 

The alternative – simply accept it and move on – would probably work but no overly-caffeinated fan has ever tried that.

As Big Time College Football enters its “The Games Actually Matter Now” stage it is GUARANTEED that every week we will see a minimum of a dozen games in which Referee Bias and/or Incompetence is listed as why “we” lost.

I cannot say I’ve never blamed referees for “my team” losing.  I did … in 1961 … My Kinston Red Devils played the Mount Airy Granite Bears in Enka NC for the State 3-A Basketball Championship.  The game and glory was literally stolen from “us” by legendary referee Lou Bello’s blatant bias in favor of those no-good rascals from “Mayberry”.  At 14, I knew a crooked ref when I saw one.

In 1969 I had a unique opportunity to spend three hours driving from Columbia SC to Raleigh with Lou Bello.  You damned right I asked him about that game in 1961.  After my detailed recounting of his felonious behavior…

Bello thought for a minute and noted … “I’ve reffed close to 1,000 high school and college games.  That charging foul I called that night on Kinston’s Pete Watkins probably coulda gone either way. That one has always haunted me “

I KNEW IT.  I looked at Lou Bello … He grinned …and winked at me.


Speaking of Refs calls ……. In the fourth quarter of Saturdays UNCCH versus Notre Dame, Mack 2.0 took issue with a pass interference call.  I don’t recall whether UNC was on Offense or Defense but Mack “lost it” …

Blondie walked in the room as Mack was “losing it” and commented –

“He looks like an old geezer yelling at kids to get off his lawn … or standing in a Wal-Mart parking lot frustrated that he can’t remember where he parked his car.” OUCH.

Blondie was right!  The expanding paunch … the white hair … the manic gesticulating … the look of complete confusion … It was kinda scary and sad. 

Maybe the defining moment when Tar Heel Nation accepts that Mack 2.0 will not be “awakening any sleeping giants”. … sigh.

Is it time to retire to his oceanside manse at Figure Eight with a metal detector and beachcomb for Blackbeard’s earring?


IMO:  On the subject of Referees … They are as competent and impartial and determined to “get it right” as ever.  I mean that sincerely.  But video technology is such now that within seconds we see replayed details no human being could possibly see in real time speed.  

Whether they are full or part time or watch 100 hours of film … or can recite a rulebook while holding a lighted match … humans can never be as accurate as a dozen replayed camera angles in stop-action.

The advent of Replays helps to “get it right”which IS everyone’s goal.   Yes, they delay the game but … yes, the replays do reveal mis-calls … but are those mis-calls intentional?

Those afore-mentioned “Too Many RedBulls” fans will ALWAYS think so.  Overly-caffeinated also means overly-paranoid.

There are two games going on simultaneously …. the one between the actual participants on the field / court … and the one in the minds eye of overly-partisan fans.

No amount of replay of replays of replays will ever affect the latter.

Regardless of the outcome Saturday in Death Valley … hopefully it will NOT come down to a disputed call / no call.  But it probably will … sigh.

NOTE:  I did read somewhere that the Replay Official for the BIG game will be “Refrigerator” Perry…. but that shouldn’t matter … should it?


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