Thursday, December 2, 2010

Give the refs a break

The men in the black and white stripes are not very popular in Las Cruces right now.
Fans of the Las Cruces High School Bulldawgs are still outraged at what they see as a blown call at the end of the state semifinal football game in Albuquerque, Saturday, Nov. 27.
Bulldawg Geoff Segovia believes he caught a “Hail Mary” pass in the end zone to win the game against the Manzano Monarchs.
The referees didn’t see it that way, and Manzano prevailed 35-31, and will face the Mayfield Trojans in Albuquerque’s Wilson Stadium at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4.
In the Aggie-Miner game at Pan American Stadium Tuesday, Nov. 30, officials seemed quick to call technical and flagrant fouls against the home team, but appeared to allow the visiting Miners to play “physical” defense.
Though New Mexico State’s backup center Abdoulaye N’doye was called for a flagrant foul on hot-shooting Miner Randy Culpepper in the first half of that game, an equally physical foul that laid Aggie Christian Kabongo on the floor in the second half was missed by the referees. That quickly led to a confrontation that sent Aggie Chili Nephawe and Miner John Bohannon to their locker rooms early.
I can understand why fans gather around the coffee machine the next day and complain about the calls. Some of the calls do seem implausible.
But personally, I don’t buy the biased referee meme.
Like everyone else, I like to yell at them. Call their mothers names. Maybe recommend an optometrist or two.
But I have never walked around in a referee’s shirt. I have never tried to run up and down the court chasing a bunch of human gazelles for two hours. I can’t imagine how they keep enough focus to see where so-and-so’s feet are when a pass is caught or a foul is committed.
It’s easy to sit on the sidelines or in front of a television and second-guess a call made on the field or on the floor.
While it’s only natural for sports enthusiasts to pull up a replay on YouTube to vindicate their point of view, fans should stop and consider that those guys making the calls are human, too.
There may be an occasional bad apple out there that tries to influence a game, but I think that is a rare case.
Maybe I just have a naïve view of human nature.
Call them names, if you want. Insult their family members and seeing-eye dogs. But spare me the conspiracy theories.

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