Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I don't usually do non-statistics posts, but as I did put "Stuff" in the title, I feel that I can use that similar to the "Beyond" after the Bed and Bath. There have been two stories that have hit the sports world in the past few days that have gotten a lot of people angry for what are actually fairly similar reasons. These two stories, one in college basketball and the other in college football, both deal with the issue of accountability--who do some of these people have to answer to. There's also the issue of "fairness," as everybody sees it differently. When we, as people, see something unfair, we know it is, and we yearn to do something about it, but one of the toughest things about dealing with the human condition is dealing with the idea that sometimes things aren't fair, and that's all you can say. Or is it?

Mike Rice might have something to say on that point. The first-year Rutgers head coach had a tough year, leading a fairly young Rutgers squad through a daunting Big East, to a 15-16 record. Even so, the Scartlet Knights were in the 2nd round of the Big East tournament--down only 2 to nationally ranked St. John's with seconds left. If you haven't seen what happened next,'s not going to be pleasant for those of you who believe the world should be fair. But, after it happened, what can we do? As impartial sports fans, we know that Rutgers got screwed over, that much is obvious. But should they replay the 2 seconds? How obvious does a blown call have to be to make it re-doable?

What I find most interesting about sports fans is their attitude towards play review, as compared to things people say when they leave a game when their team lost. When a team loses, especially on a close play, all one hears about is how atrocious the refs are, how they're biased, they suck, what a bunch of bums, etc. It's amazing that in this entire country, we haven't found one referee we actually praise. Oh, okay fine, there's one. But think about this record--we expect people (who are fallible) to be perfect, but then don't allow any sort of review in many of these situations. If you want fair, you support review. That's all. Because I think at the end of the day, you want to walk out of an arena knowing your team won or lost a game they deserved to win or lose. Not because the men in black and white were men, not machines, and made a mistake.

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