NFL: Refs make a horrible callFive minutes into the Bears-Colts game, Chicago coach Lovie Smith challenged the refs' call that Indianapolis player Courtney Roby was down by contact at his own 22-yard line after returning a punt from 3 years inside his own end zone. The replay showed he had tripped over his own player and clearly fumbled the ball. It was also clearly impossible to determine who had recovered this fumble from the replay footage shown on TV.
The referee ruled that the play stood as called and charged the Bears with a time-out. The commentators speculated that he ruled the way he did only because he hadn't been able to tell who recovered the fumble. I doubted that. I figured it was because despite the fumble, whistles had been blown before any recovery and therefore the ball would remain with Chicago. Shortly thereafter, the TV crew got word from the replay booth that it had been ruled the way it was for the very reason they had speculated.
What appalls me about this call is that despite Lovie Smith being totally correct in asserting that it had been a fumble, the fact that the refs had blown the call cost Chicago a time-out. Why couldn't they uphold his challenge, but admit that they couldn't determine who had recovered it and therefore had no choice but to allow Indianapolis to keep the ball? At least that way Chicago wouldn't have been penalized for the refs' mistake.
Why I Hate Politics
Last night, Jon Stewart had a segment on The Daily Show that perfectly illustrates the reasons for my disgust with the current political climate (by current I mean the last 20 years or so). While it unquestionably has a liberal slant�thus reinforcing my own prejudices�a similar segment could have been produced with a conservative slant.
At one point, I was very enthusiastic about Barack Obama, in large part because I thought he could make a major contribution to changing this climate. I went so far as to actively campaign for him in the PA primary last spring. But as time goes on, I'm less and less convinced that he's much different from the rest of them. There are other more important reasons for my newly found lack of enthusiasm�his vote in favor of the FISA Amendment Act after promising to support a filibuster against it and his desire to continue making war in Afghanistan�but his willingness to take the low road at times rather than the high one is certainly a significant factor. Over the last 20 years I've often written in a candidate rather than vote for any formally nominated candidates. Still, I'll probably still vote Obama-Biden rather than go for a third-party candidate or a write-in [there's a list of about 60 possible write-in candidates near the bottom of this page] but with much reduced expectations.