Friday, October 21, 2016

Boogering the call

Now that was an interesting name. A man named Booger McFarland, evidently a former NFL player and currently one of those dreaded "analysts" was on TV giving his -- what else? -- expert opinions.

Booger? Really? Who might they trot out next? Puke Johnson? Farts Lonnegan? May we someday be treated to the infinite football wisdom of Dingleberry Jones? Please.

If anybody noticed, the WNBA season has officially ended and a champion crowned. These poor girls can't seem to catch a break. It's bad enough they play in mostly empty arenas, are seldom if ever on TV during the regular season, and make a fraction of the minimum wage of any NBA player. Now they appear to have nitwits in charge of their own league.

Why else would they schedule the deciding game of the WNBA Finals in the same time slot as when Thursday night football was airing, and the Cubs and Dodgers were slugging it out in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series?

But hoo boy, they weren't short on controversy. In the end, the LA Sparks would win the Championship over the Minnesota Lynx. But the Lynx got robbed, jobbed, screwed, like that.

With a little over a minute to go in a tight back and forth game, an LA player put up a shot that went through the net. Two points. But it shouldn't have been. The shot clock had clearly expired before the ball left the shooter's hands.

The Minnesota coach noticed this of course and complained loud and long to the officials. Check out the replay, she demanded. But they didn't and the game went on.

In the end, the Sparks margin of victory was a mere one point. If the prior two points had been nullified, as they should have, a different champion (Minnesota) would have resulted. This was the ultimate of the refs deciding not only the game, but the series and a title.

Of course, the league sent out a memo acknowledging the mistake after it was all over. But what good does that do? And naturally, the apologists try to gloss it over as "just one of those things".

But this is not acceptable. It was a reviewable play that should have been, but wasn't. Fining or even firing the incompetent refs does no good either after the fact.

In a perfect world, with so much at stake, both teams should have been put back out on the floor with the score as it was before the blown call and the same amount of time on the clock, even the following night if necessary. Those who were in attendance would be able to come back and sit in the same seats to watch how it played out. Tell me the 4-letter network wouldn't have jumped at the chance to televise it, and I'll tell you you're crazy. They would have hyped it all day today.

True, LA might have still won, but at least the game, and result, would be fairer than how it played out the first time.

It's almost beyond belief such a scenario could happen in, say, the deciding game of the World Series, Stanley Cup, Super Bowl, or the NBA for that matter. The "guys in the booth" would study the replay continuously from all angles until they got the call right. This one was a no-brainer -- not even close. The refs just colossally blew it. Worse, they didn't even bother to check the replay in the first place.

But it will blow over shortly as the next news cycle kicks in. Only because it was the "girls" in a league that continues to struggle for exposure and popularity. But that doesn't make it right. Had the same thing happened in one of the above male mega-events the viewing public would be outraged and heads would roll.

So while the Sparks celebrate and will get their parade -- hope somebody shows up for at least that -- it probably won't be on TV either -- the Lynx are left to wonder what could, and probably should have been.

Yet there are worse things. At least none of the girls was named Booger.

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