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Post Saban’s got a point

Tuesday November 10, 2009

The SEC officiating crisis was wearing thin weeks ago, and I’m glad that Nick Saban (of all people) is stepping forward as a voice of reason.

“If I was an official, and I was making what I made officiating because I love the game and I love doing it, and I was getting criticized by the media, including our announcers on TV, like these guys are getting criticized, I’d step back and say ‘I think I’ll go to the lake this weekend. You can have this.’ That’s what I’d do,” Saban said. “Can somebody stand up and fight for these guys and what they do for the game?”

Get all of the conspiracy theories and teacher’s pet stuff out of the way, and Saban’s on the right track. SEC officials are missing calls. There are possibly equipment issues. The point is that the refs are being held to the standard of perfection – a standard to which no other person in the SEC (well, OK, maybe Tim Tebow) is held. We go into hysterics every Monday over the latest howler (one, in this week’s case, that reasonable observers don’t necessarily consider a mistake). It’s easy to dwell on one replay, and we even had disagreement and discussion about this within the Georgia camp before the fateful call against LSU. At the same time the errors in execution, strategy, and playcalling by players and coaches that add up during a game are pushed to the side in favor of “yeah, but did you SEE THAT CALL?!?”

The caricature of the blind ref/ump is older than most of us. They’re going to continue to get some wrong as surely as your quarterback will throw an interception at some point. Though the imperative to improve both the system and the individual officials has to be there, the conference isn’t doing itself any favors by losing its head every time an impossible standard isn’t met.

2 Responses to 'Saban’s got a point'

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  • Of course he’s saying that now. He just had a win preserved by a horrible call.

  • I always hate it when i disagree with you Groo, lol. But unfortunately i see this a little differently. I read the comments from Rogers Redding where he essentially blamed Coaches for complaining too much & whined a/b his equipement. I chuckled at that lame excuse simply because you don’t have to have HD to see the giant mound of turf come up under the LSU receiver’s foot when he intercepted the ball in bounds. Nor was HDTV necessary to see AJ Green didn’t celebrate excessively. I watched the Miss State/Florida game on a non-HDTV and i clearly saw that Dustin Doe dropped the ball before crossing the goal line. Marc Curles, Penn Wagers, et. al didn’t need xray vision to see the umpteen times Timmy Tebow taunted an opponent. I could go on but i won’t 😉

    I’m by no means getting on the conspiracy theory bandwagon, mind you. However, i certainly am of the opinion that the wealthiest, most visible, most competitive & talented conference (SEC) has a serious problem with officiating deficiencies that HDTV cannot fix. In addition, i’ve heard Verne & Gary say more than once this season that the replays they get to see in the booth are the very same ones the Replay Official has access to. That’s more than troubling.

    I’m not issuing an indictment upon all SEC refs nor do i think they are out to get certain teams, including UGA, but i do think their job performance this season has reached new depths of incompetence and has certainly interfered with points on the board. And to me, that’s just unacceptable. I don’t seek perfection, but i do believe a league of this stature & resources deserves fair & competent officiating.

    Sorry to respectfully disagree. Go Dawgs!