Since the Marion Local/Crestview game last Friday, a number of you have written with opinions about players dictating the outcome of the game…when clearly the whistle should have been blown.
You might be interested in the responses received via Facebook, Twitter, and personal contact in the wake of last Friday’s column about the conclusion of the Marion Local vs. Convoy Crestview regional finals basketball game.
In that column I commented on the fact…that there were two officials’ calls at the end that dictated the outcome – one correct, and one where the officials made no call at all and simply raced off the court while the horn was sounding.
If you go back and read, Marion Local lost the game, 41-40. But with a half-second remaining the Flyers had a slim hope of scoring off a court-length inbounds pass to Tate Hess, who was knocked down by contact before the clock expired.
Later, when questioned, both coaches did the politically correct thing by using the old argument that they would rather see the players dictate the outcome of the game…than over an official’s call.
The politically correct part of this, of course, is that coaches generally take officials off the hook, as there’s already a growing shortage of men (and women) to do the job.
By the same token, Marion Local coach Kurt Goettemoeller confronted one of those officials as he left the court. So while they advocate for the players deciding the outcome, in their heart, coaches see what everyone else sees. Which is precisely the case I made in the column. The player never had a chance to decide the outcome.
There’s been plenty of response, pro and con, that when a player is getting knocked down you have to make some kind of call. It was right there on Twitter this week, the clip of the final play of Marion and Crestview as taken from the WOSN broadcast of the game. Two thousand people saw it live. Another hundred thousand saw it on their phone.
Chris Lutz wrote: “Maybe instead of blame the referees, you can look at the fact that they (Marion) got outscored 37-23! That’s a damn good Crestview team!”
James Rand wrote: “As a former official, your characterization of what happened is sensationalism. Just write about the game, instead of being judge and jury.”
Doug Blankenship disagreed: “You see it almost every week. It’s disappointing how we keep kicking the can down the road.”
And thanks for your opinions!
To Chris Lutz’s point, we’re not ‘blaming’ referees. We’re pointing out an obvious hypocrisy with ‘officiating’, however, where because of the physical nature of the contemporary basketball, they’re asked to evaluate contact instead of calling it. So when plays happen at the end of the game, like what happened last Friday night, officials take a bye – and coaches justify it by saying they’ll let the players decide.
But if that’s the case, why officiate the final minute of a one-possession game, if your intent is to let the players determine the outcome?
Because, you can present this logic all you want and the fan in the stands ain’t going to buy it. And what you get is a distrust for the process, a lack of respect for the outcome, and worse for those who preach it…respect for the game! This is the world in which we now live.
You see, Chris, James, and Doug, the issue is different than in the past…because of social media. Thousands have seen the replay that showed Tate Hess clearly knocked down as the ball arrived. Nothing sensational about it. And the justification that the players determine the outcome just doesn’t fly when the players don’t get the opportunity to go to the line and actually determine the outcome.
There are photos of Fort Recovery’s Cale Rammel being contacted during his shot in the district final game. And yes, people saw that on video replay, too. There was no question, nothing sensational, about whether he should have been awarded two shots.
But again, the officials have been brainwashed to evaluate obvious contact, instead of calling it, because as a coach commented during the girls state tournament this past weekend, “You can’t call every foul that occurs.”
But another coach, with a state title to his name, told me this week, “If you can’t make that call you should not be doing district, regional, or state tournament games!”
And to Chris’s point about being outscored 37-23, that doesn’t really matter, either, if one team is still ahead at game’s end, or the score is tied. No one’s thinking in terms of being outscored at that point, they just know what the scoreboard says. So then what? Don’t keep score?
Everyone talks about there being more contact and physical play allowed in the tournament than you see in the regular season, despite the contention from officials that it’s not so – that the same fouls are called in March that are called in December.
When I watched the Chaminade-Watterson game last week I couldn’t believe how Watterson center Cole Rhett was allowed to be mugged every time he touched the ball.
Rhett, by the way, is 6’7” and weighs 295 pounds, and will play offensive tackle next fall at Toledo. And there was every indication that the contact he received was being evaluated like the federal income tax code is levied. Those who have more should be taxed at a higher rate. In his case, the bigger you are the more abuse you should take.
Coaches say they like it this way…some of them, while people in the stands are saying, “What the hell are we watching?”
At some point basketball is going to have to toe the same line like everything else regarding equality and fairness…or be totally out of step with the rest of culture.
Disagree if you want, but you’re going to see it.
If not live…then on Twitter.