Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How to see the blown call

I wrote a column today about a blown call in Monroe's high school playoff game Friday night and its aftermath.

In the story, I urge compassion for all involved -- the players, coaches and fans who got hurt by its impact, and also the well-meaning referee who is an 18-year veteran but made a bad mistake.

Some readers obviously have asked to see the call. And you can do that, although I can't make it quite as straightforward as I'd like. Try this link, which will get you close (on WBTV's Football Friday Night home page). Then look on the right side of the screen and hit "Next" to get to the second package of highlights (the game is not displayed on the first screen).

Then, once you have hit next, click "West Montgomery vs. Monroe." You will see a highlight package that lasts about 90 seconds -- the play in question comes about 60 seconds into it and was filmed by WBTV's Danielle Trotta, who was in perfect position and was the only person who recorded it anywhere near this clearly.

Alternately, if none of that works for you and you still want to see it, e-mail me at sfowler@charlotteobserver.com and I'll e-mail you the link directly. We're here to serve.


Anonymous said...

Typical sorry refs. They blow calls all the time and screw you.

The deal is this was so obvious it was clear the worthless ref did it on purpose like so many do.

This needs to be sent to NCHSAA and the game reversed or replayed.

Refs are not called judges. They are called refs. Judges are in the courtroom and elected to office.

Steve Ito said...

What's worse than the call is that WBTV sports girl. Impossible to watch and listen to. Worst to ever come through Charlotte! Just put someone on cause they're blonde? Sad state of affairs tv has become. And by the way, it's West MONTGOMERY, not West Rowan honey.

Anonymous said...

Note in the video that the referee could not have been in better position to make the call. His eyes were high and then lowered to the feet. Scott, you can apologize for this guy all you want but he should never, ever be allowed to ref another game. You have to look down at the feet and he had the perfect line of sight....just a ridiculous, obvious call. And, BTW, I like the blonde WBTV sports girl.

Curtis said...

Okay, so I looked at the call on the highlight. And, of course, looking at it in slow motion it appears very obvious. Tough to say how it looked when it was real time though...nevertheless, a blown call.

What is the rule in HS Football for getting your feet inbounds? Is it both like the pros, or only one like in college? If it is both, I could see how it would be a tighter call I suppose.

Anonymous said...

High school only has to get one foot inside the chalk like college. Pros is two as stated.

Josh said...

The official who made the call is one of the best in Charlotte. I would work any Friday night with him. All of you who think he did it on purpose really need to think again. He was wrong. He booted the call. He admitted it and apologized personally (which a lot of officials would not do). He will be a better official because of this error, and that is all it was...an error. I have become a better official from my errors on the field too. He will officiate again next season, and you should hope he is working your school's games, because he is an excellent official.

Anonymous said...

Josh, I'm sure you are a nice guy and I admire you for defending your friend. But, you would have to admit, as an experienced ref, that if you were RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE PLAY you would have looked down and seen that the guy had - not one - but both feet in bounds. Obscure penalties with poor lines of sight are very hard and can be open to interpretation. HOWEVER, this guy - watch the video - is all over the play. Maybe you can say you would have botched the play too, but I think, deep down, you are embarrassed that your friend made the wrong call. If you are going to hang out in the end zone, the first rule is WATCH THE END LINE AND THE FEET.

Curtis said...

Just a thought...not sure of the viability (Josh, you may know since you officiate as well)...but I wonder if it would be possible to introduce instant replay to HS Football. If there are cameras there, it seems reasonable to me that between the local news crews, the HS Audio Visual club, HS video production clubs, etc. - that somebody could set up a simple monitor that could run play back.

I think it is unreasonable to expect anyone to get the calls right 100% of the time - hence the best refs in the sport at the highest level (NFL) and in college who very often utilize instant replay. You can say all you want "But the guy was right there, how did he miss it?"...fact is, he missed it. It's not like he did it intentionally. Humans make errors. Replay gives you a shot to fix those errors (most of the time). But without replay, you just have to accept that mistakes can and will happen - even "obvious" ones.

Anonymous said...

lots of people calling for this guy's head need to grow up a bit. These officials do a great job for little money and virtually no appreciation. The guy made a mistake, he's human. If you are perfect, perhaps you can be a ref.

It's a game. The sun came up the next day. Move on.

Anonymous said...

Films dont lie.

What gave the Monroe rogue call away as clearly intentional was the instant quickness by the ref who did not hesitate to immediately reject the good TD not consulting other refs. Dead giveaway.

Rogue or incompetent refs take away from the purity of high school athletics and are a plague that could be corrected in most cases. Had refs made a quick examination of the WBT film or many others filming it they could have easily reversed the rogue call on the spot and avoided this shameful situation.

J Fitty said...

There will never be instant replay in HS football. There is not enough money to fix stadiums - there surely is not enough for instant replay. They don't even have it for NCAA D1-AA, D2, or D3 football.

By Rule (1-1-9) "The use of any replay or television monitoring equipment by the officials in making any decision relating to the game is prohibited"

The guy is a great official, nothing rogue about him. He booted the call - simple as that. It is something he will think about every time he steps on the field (as I think about certain plays I have booted in the past).

He did not embarrass me at all. What embarasses me is officials who do not care, who do not hustle, who look terrible in their uniforms, who wear dirty uniforms. who don't try to improve as officials.

The purity of high school athletics is maintained by the players, coaches, and officials.

Anonymous said...




At any given game there are many digital filmings occuring and twice as many digital photos many on the field on the spot. You dont need to remodel or spend a dime.
Time to enter the 21st century.

There are ways to improve and increase the integrity of anything including high school sports. Isnt that the bottom line anyway?

Josh said...

If you have all the answers, contact the state supervisor of officials. His name is in Fowler's article. Contact info is on nchsaa.org. He is on the NFHS football rules committee. Stop griping about it...do something about it.

Curtis said...

Thanks for the insight J Fitty...like I said, I wasn't sure of the viability. But based on what you said, it doesn't seem like an option really.

Josh, J Fitty...I imagine you guys probably already know by now, there simply is no reasoning with some folks. The "rogue ref" posters on here are not going to listen to reason.

Still...everyone should respect what the refs do out there. For very little gratitude they provide a damn good service under a lot of scrutiny. I've been thinking about ref-ing some games myself (like Scott said, why anyone would do it is beyond him)...I think it has something to do with the respect for the game, the rules, the players. Guess I need to contact the NCHSAA?

Anonymous said...

You have to wonder why this stupid rule exist if it really does. Are they scared someone find discover the refs SUCK most of the time? Thankfully the NFL wised up and now there are NO bad calls.

Anonymous said...

NCHSAA is governed by a Board of Directors from across the state who alone suggest changes for voting at scheduled meetings only.

Its amazing how bad officiating can be defended by some idiots who try to evoke sympathy for obvious screwups when the only logic for having referees is to avoid such bad mistakes and play by the rules. Get out if you cant do the job right.

This is what refs are paid for. They exist for no other reason. How many bad calls have they made in the past? Like they say for every cockroach you see there are 100 you dont see.

No excuses.