Although it’s become an overused and trite exclamation, we’ve all stated out loud, at some time, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life!”
Last Saturday, some poor excuses for referees, gave me a chance to actually state that sentence honestly.
If you watched (I won’t say enjoyed) the Badgers’ football nail-biter at Arizona State on TV, than you too are entitled to honestly offer that statement.
If you were among the thousands who were stunned by the game’s ending, you have every right to be more than angry, If you missed it, you should be even more angry that you missed it, because you’re not likely to see anything like it again this century.
Here’s a brief replay.
Trailing 32-30 in the last minute of an extremely hard fought but well played game, the Badgers put themselves back in contention with some miracle passing and a very well executed fake punt that caught Arizona defensive players napping.
With seconds left on the clock, the Badgers found themselves in position for a 38-yard winning field goal attempt. However, their new coach, Gary Andersen, saw the value of moving the ball to the center of the field for a straight-on kick.
His quarterback, following instructions, took a snap and carried the ball to the center hash mark before taking a knee (YES, HE DID! Look at the tape!) and putting the ball on the turf as the referees whistled the play dead with 15 seconds left on the clock right before going into their famous Five Stooges impersonation.
An Arizona player fell on top of the ball and ignored pleas to get off of it as the seconds ticked on a clock that should have been stopped when the whistles blew the play dead. This was a delay of game penalty that should have been called by Moe, or one of his fellow refs.
The most important part of this missed call is the fact that no game can end on a penalty, thus assuring one more play and a Badger chance to win 33-32 by making the field goal.
Of course, all this silly conjecture is based on the premise that the referees had more than a slight understanding of the game. It turns out that the only understanding they had was the closest path to the locker room and a chance to see how much speed they retained after a long game. Forget about any thoughts of a TV replay!
It’s really a shame because the Badgers had shown great heart in not giving up during those last few minutes. They earned at least a chance to end up victorious.
Andersen showed remarkable restraint and true class during the post-game press conference. Looks like UW’s legendary former coach and current Athletic Director, Barry Alvarez, has uncovered a coach who proved himself and his players as winners even when deprived of a victory in the rankings.
Alvarez, by the way, was quoted as saying he is looking forward to the next time he sees those refs. Sounds like he would enjoy a replay of the post game festivities without the speedy departure by the refs who competed in what can only be called a “zebra race.”
The refs, by the way, were “disciplined” by the Pac 8 Commissioner Monday.
The Badgers, however, will be disciplined for the entire season as they battle for national rankings while carrying a defeat that is in name only.
Closing Tip: If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it!