A Game Is 60 Minutes, Not One Play
Guest Writer - JonasClark
When it comes to sports, you have two opponents - the opposition, and the officials.
This is no secret, and in fact I'm sure it's been said before. But that third entity often leads to controversy. Sports without controversy though would be like a relationship without disagreements - While it may sound perfect, you would soon find that it lacks drama and opportunities to learn. In other words? Boring.
We love drama. If the best team won every time, what would you take to Twitter to comment on? What do you talk to the people you're shoulder to shoulder with at the bar? It would be just like news that only shares fluff and success stories, and eventually we'd all tune out. You can only take so much of "what should happen" before you need a little "why did that happen?".
Championship Sunday gave America plenty of WTF moments to draw even non-viewers into debates on whether the Saints got screwed on the admittedly bad no-call for pass-interference late in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game. Now on Monday, there are analysts taking the stance that the Rams rightfully won because the Saints had infractions go uncalled all game, allowing the late scenario to even be an event. Does this taint the NFL?
The NFL is notorious for bad calls, and it is nearly impossible to prevent. With all of the rule changes year after year, like the catch rule that is now explained so specifically that actually catching a football is harder than it sounds. It is easy to make a mistake. Let's not forget that the AFC Championship game saw some questionable pass-interference calls and non-calls, as well as some others in their game too. Why aren't we upset about it? Because the team that was supposed to win that one did, with the #2 seed Patriots headed to their third straight Super Bowl. They played a better 4+ quarters than Kansas City, and they won. Plain and simple.
A season is made up of 16 games that feature calls or non-calls that worked for and against the teams in that play on Championship Sunday. Do they deserve to be there? Of course. The post season is made up of 3 (or 2) games that had calls take place, allowing them to advance. The Saints had 12 drives comprised of 64 plays. The Rams had 68 plays on 11 drives. That is 132 moments in a football game, on one of the biggest stages. 132 different moments for the players to take and be great at their jobs, and they were. Don't let one, or even 10 calls take the accountability away from the athletes. It is what happens in the other 60 minutes of a football game that a team can control where they could prevent their future from resting on the 50/50 judgement of the guys in stripes. Both teams were great, the Rams just did more throughout the game and in overtime.
This is the world of sports, at all levels; Accept the drama. One day a referee may "give" your team a championship title by not making the right decision. Would you put an asterisk next to it? Probably not. Then please don't do it to the Rams if they win theirs.
The league is like The Hunger Games. There's a lot to chance. "May the odds (and officials) be ever in your favor."