The first one is Pat Forde; I am not sure I could say it better myself: Presidentially Preposterous
The Dash understands why Sooner Nation (2) lost its collective mind after the officiating fiasco at the end of the Oregon game, which was won by the Ducks 34-33. The non-call on the onside kick stunk. The inept review of the call was worse. The Pac-10's one-game suspension of the offending officials was completely justified.
But the Oklahoma reaction has become an overreaction. In fact, it has transitioned from righteous indignation to outright insanity.
The actions of school president David Boren (3) make you wonder whether he isn't actually the booster club president instead of the guy running an institution of higher learning. The former governor and U.S. senator pushed out his pouty lip and dashed off a petulant letter to Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg (4) that is embarrassing on multiple levels. "… The Big 12 should request that the game should not go into the record books as a win or a loss by either team in light of the level of officiating mistakes," Boren's letter said.
And strike the Kansas City Royals' 1985 World Series title from the record books because of that terrible call at first base by Don Denkinger, too!
"It is truly sad and deeply disappointing that members of our football team should be deprived of the outcome of the game that they deserved because of an inexcusable breakdown in officiating," Boren concluded.
What's truly sad and deeply disappointing to The Dash is the fact that Boren should have such an inexcusable breakdown in perspective.
Is there really nothing better for the president to do at the University of Oklahoma? Like, maybe check in on the college of arts and sciences? Or, if he's that terribly concerned about the football program, perhaps he could lend a hand to the compliance office and help monitor players' jobs at local car dealerships. Y'know, make sure they actually show up and do some work.
If the president can put down his pompon for a minute, he'll realize a couple of things:
1. Bad calls happen. In every game. A few times a year, they can play a critical role in a game's outcome. Are we going to set a precedent of presidential hissy fits after each critical blown call?
2. The game did not end on this bad call. Oklahoma still had the lead, still had a chance to win. It didn't get the job done.
But instead of absorbing this as an object lesson -- life is not fair, but you have to deal with it -- the school president is setting the sore-loser tone.
Coach Bob Stoops (5) went off shortly after Boren, all but declaring the officials and the Pac-10 unforgiven for the damage done to Oklahoma's season. (Bob: You can still win the Big 12 title and go to a BCS bowl. And you weren't going to win anybody's national championship anyway. You might have sustained the illusion for another few weeks by winning this game, but it wasn't going to happen.)
When asked about Boren's letter, Stoops thanked the prez for taking time away from reviewing game film to join in the bitchfest.
"We have a great administration," Stoops said. "President Boren is the absolute best president a head coach can have."
Clearly. The question is whether he's the best president a math professor can have.
Then again, maybe Boren is simply following presidential precedent at Oklahoma. It was OU prez George Cross who once explained to the state legislature a need for more funding because, "I would like to build a university which the football team can be proud of."
In closing, The Dash will take the obnoxious step of quoting itself, just to help the honorable president Boren. This was from an August column enumerating 23 new rules of conduct for college football fans:
If the scoreboard says you lost, you lost. That's not going to change. Take an hour to vent postgame, then try to regain your sanity. Do not diminish your quality of life -- and the quality of life of those around you -- by spewing for days about the refs who cheated your team, the flagrant league bias against your team or the complete lack of class displayed by the team that beat your team. Your team l-o-s-t.
Try to deal.
Here is more on the replay official’s experience …
first you should know that Riese didn't see the ABC television feed that viewers watched at home, which you, your spouse and your children know showed an Oregon player touching the ball before it traveled the required 10 yards. And you should know that Riese will not talk about specifics on the call, but said: "My supervisor knows what happened up there and that's all that matters."
A source in the replay booth on Saturday said that Riese found himself crunched for time, pressured by television and the on-field referee for a rapid decision, and there was such a delay in getting the video feed to Riese that he never even got to properly review the play.
The Pac-10's coordinator of football officiating confirmed that Riese didn't get all of the replays that ABC was providing.
With all the cameras working the game that one half of the country was watching, Riese saw only a single frame of video, the source said. The angle was bad. But it appeared to show an Oklahoma player touching the ball with his helmet before it hit the Oregon player. (From other angles, clearly, it hits the Ducks player first.)
With no other video immediately available, and television waiting, Riese did what he's told to do when he's out of time and has no conclusive evidence.
He upheld the call on the field.
The university president wants this to go down as a no-contest. Some Oklahoma fans want retribution. Some conference officials just want this to quietly go away because it smacks of a serious problem with the replay process. And what we're really probably entitled to any regular American fifth grader would tell you is a playground do-over.
Adults don't do those things, though.
Kill the umpire, right? Zebra hunt?
This is probably a good time to remind ourselves that sports isn't war. It's not life or death. College football is supposed to be a pleasant, passionate weekend diversion, void of death threats for sure. There's just something that doesn't feel right about villifying Riese, especially after further review.
And even noted Sooner homer Berry Tramel reminds Bob Stoops of his mantra:
That's what Stoops proclaimed the day he was hired and that's how he's coached these eight memorable seasons. Such a mantra has served him well.
Now Stoops teeters on the edge of excuse-making. Yes, the refs rooked him Saturday in Eugene. Yes, barring miracle of miracles, the game is over with the proper onside kick call.
Yes, it's accurate to say that Mister Gordon Riese of Portland, Ore., cost the
Sooners the game.
But so did a blocked field goal. So did OU's sudden allergy to pass defense. Riese's brain lock, or whatever caused this scandal, did not end the game. This was not Lubbock.
The Sooners had time to recover from this and darn near did.
Stoops began his press conference Tuesday with a short acknowledgement that the Sooners were accountable for part of their demise. He ended his informal sortee with writers the same way.
Stoops assured that he and his players have moved on, and the actions of his players backed him up. The young among us are resilient. They bounce back.
In news that had nothing to do with Sooner-Duck
Bradie James is now locked in, too …
First the Cowboys took care of two-time Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten. Then they took care of three-time Pro Bowl safety Roy Williams.
On Tuesday the Cowboys took care of inside linebacker Bradie James, who they hope will be a Pro Bowler. The team signed James to a five-year extension worth $20 million that includes an $8 million signing bonus.
Since 2003, the Cowboys have guaranteed nearly $35 million to linebackers in bonus money as part of free-agent or rookie deals to James, Bobby Carpenter, DeMarcus Ware, Akin Ayodele, Kevin Burnett and Al Singleton.
The Cowboys have six other players who could be unrestricted free agents after this season: center Al Johnson, defensive end Kenyon Coleman, safety Marcus Coleman (who is on the suspended list), right tackle Marc Colombo, center Andre Gurode and linebacker Al Singleton. Punter Mat McBriar will be a restricted free agent.
Farther down the road, the Cowboys will have to work on a deal for cornerback Terence Newman, who is signed through 2007.
Last night in Denver, Marty Turco and the Avalanche trio of Sakic, Brunette and Hejduk reminded us of late April, But isn’t this the biggest story? …
Briefly: When Colorado's Andrew Brunette opened the scoring at 1:49 of the first period the musical selection confirmed that the Avalanche is among the many teams in pro sports that has junked the song, "Rock and Roll Part 2" as a celebratory anthem in the wake of Gary Glitter's conviction on molestation charges in Vietnam. That's especially significant because the old NHL Colorado Rockies team introduced the song to major league sports back in the late 1970s. The Avalanche now is using Blur's "Song 2."
Players come to your house to watch the game …
Former Vikings John Randle and Chris Doleman and ex-Bear Shaun Gayle are part of an eBay auction in which the winning bidder will get all three to come to their house -- snacks and beverages included -- to watch the game. Bidding, which goes through 11 a.m. Thursday, had climbed over $1,000 by Tuesday afternoon. Proceeds will go to the Jimmy V Foundation, and bidders must be 21 or older and live within 75 miles of either the Metrodome or Soldier Field. Go to www.ebay.com/millerlite to bid.
"Fans are a part of what makes the game great," Randle said Tuesday afternoon. "This is one way to give back. I'm psyched about it."
Randle said there's no real plan other than watching football and hanging out. The one guarantee: He won't be wearing his trademark face paint.
"That's been retired," he said with a laugh.
Ebay Link is here for the Miller Lite auction ….
Coach Fran’s decision is defended in San Antonio …
So it wasn't the smartest decision. I liked it.
Last Saturday night, Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione chose to go for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 31-yard line, while nursing a 28-24 lead against Army in the Alamodome.
Everyone inside those four tall walls — apparently except for No. 94 on the defense, end Cameron Craig — figured 275-pound Jorvorskie Lane would earn that yard with 2:58 remaining. And the four-touchdown favorite Aggies would run out the clock on a narrow victory.
It didn't quite go that way, with an amped-up Craig busting past an A&M offensive line collectively yelling, "Ole!" and planting a startled Lane backward in the fake grass. Lane said Tuesday he never saw Craig coming.
Fortunately for the Aggies, A&M's defense held on a goal-line stand and saved the victory — and Franchione from his most embarrassing defeat as Aggies coach — 77-0 at Oklahoma notwithstanding. That loss came in Franchione's first season. This is his fourth.
Franchione said he went for it because he believed in his players. Presumably he still does, and said Tuesday he'd go for it again.
People have asked if Franchione rolled the dice on offense because he didn't believe in his defense. If that was the case, he'd rather have his defense face an 80-yard drive late in the game, than one from 30 — so that argument doesn't make sense.
Actually, it does make sense. If you go for it and make it, you don’t have to send your defense back out there. I believe that goes a long way in telling you he doesn’t want his defense to decide the game…
Revo tells us Showalter should stay …and his mole in the clubhouse makes another triumphant appearance…
I keep reading and hearing that the Rangers are uptight, that the clubhouse is tense because of Showalter's micro-managing.
Is that why they've been playing some of their best baseball of the season lately? Or is it because the Rangers have suddenly been getting solid pitching from four starters and the bullpen?
"Players whine, that's how it is," a Rangers staffer told me Tuesday. "They're not thinking about Buck when they're playing defense or at the plate.
"This clubhouse isn't tense. There's nothing to be tense about."
When Oakland was in town, the A's players were grousing about manager Ken Macha. Some Angels players had choice words for manager Mike Scioscia. But not to his face, of course.
"Hey, Joe Torre's been fired. Tony La Russa's been fired. I got it," Showalter said. "I want to rise above it."
In any clubhouse there are a handful of players who think the manager is great, a handful who can't stand him and maybe 15 riding the fence.
"The secret of managing," Casey Stengel once said, "is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided."
That's a tough job.
There's no question that Showalter's style wears on players, especially veterans. It's just little stuff, mostly petty, but it's cumulative. It happened in Arizona, too.
It's not like Showalter doesn't know this about himself, and that he hasn't tried to ease back some. But he needs to do even more.
If he gets the chance.
He needs to take another giant step back next year and turn the clubhouse over to his veterans, like Michael Young, Mark Teixeira and Mark DeRosa. Tell them what's expected and then leave it to them.
Today’s A-Rod is a jerk story from the New York Post and Sports Illustrated …
This will be on our show today or tomorrow I think:
Steve the Grape Guy’s website …
He has caught a grape thrown by hand – 177 feet
He has caught a grape shot by a slingshot – 267 feet
He has caught a grape dropped from the 22nd floor of the Sahara hotel in Las Vegas for the longest outdoor catch.
He has caught a grape dropped from the 15th floor of the World Trade Center in Dallas for the longest indoor catch.
He has caught 1189 grapes in 30 min. from 15 feet away.
Today’s email bag:
I am listening to you guys on the Internet right now and you are talking about the football game on Saturday. I am obviously an OU fan but I try to come to the table logically, and I mostly agree with everything you said (not Dan, who obviously didn't see the game at all). The flaw I have with your argument is that it was blown on the instant replay, which is actually ridiculous, in my opinion. I have yet to hear anyone who has seen the replay on the onside kick who thought that (A) the ball wasn't touched by the Oregon player before the 10-yard cushion and (B) it wasn't recovered by the OU player. I realize that the onfield crews have to make split second decisions that can go either way and can be wrong against one team or the other. That is why we now have instant replay.
The problem is that after 59 minutes of getting the calls relatively right on both sides (and keep in mind that OU had two TD's brought back due to a penalty and a reversal of an onfield call due to the player stepping out of bounds), the officiating was decidedly in Oregon's favor when it was clutch time. If nothing else was called right, it was very important that the replay official see what everyone else in the world saw - penalty on the Oregon player for illegal touching and OU ball after a recovery of the onside kick. OU could decline the penalty and easily run out the clock at that point. The choking by the OU defense aside, OU deserved to win the game.
Also addressing the comparison to OU/Texas Tech basketball game, I agree 100 percent. Many OU fans were smug in telling Knight to go home and insisted that there was nothing wrong with the clock - there obviously was. However, Texas Tech more than evened the score on that last year when that final drive had several calls that went against OU (a fourth down spot of the ball that was a yard past where the player was down, a questionable catch in the end zone that was juggled all the way to the tunnel, and the final game-winning touchdown in which the running back for TT has still not scored).
Given that the last two true road games played by the Sooners (TT was the last true road game for OU last year if I remember correctly) were lost on a last-minute failure of instant replay officials to make the call as it appeared to everyone else, it must be difficult for OU coaches to get their players to believe they can win on the road when they have to take on the "12th man" in the instant replay booth. I know it sounds like sour grapes, but I question whether Oregon would have won that game had there been no officials on the field at all. My guess is that they would have lost 33-27, which is the score as it should have been.
And lastly, if OU deserved to lose because of the horrendous play of their defense (which forced four turnovers, by the way), then how do you feel about the play of the homefield Oregon defense who forced no turnovers and allowed Peterson to dominate running the ball in the fourth quarter (I heard 147 yards but I can't prove that)? Both teams deserved to win, but only one team earned the win on the field. Oregon should have their instant replay official win taken away and take pride in winning on the turf and not in the booth.
1st – In response to your Hollis Price and your comparison to officials or home cooking, you have to agree that Hoops and their 35 games season and college football and their 12 game schedule has nothing to do with each other. Yes it happened in Norman, but it was a conference game that each team plays 16 of them, and it didn’t effect both teams opportunity to play in the NCAA’s and chance at a championship.
2nd – In response to your President Boren argument…you are dead wrong….OU is football and the entire country relates to the State of Oklahoma as a football state……he is stepping up and doing what the million of fans want him to do………..have a voice and represent your fans and alumni with a voice that can make a difference.
3rd – This has never happened in college football……….and don’t mention the Missouri-Neb 5th down play because they didn’t have instant replay during that season.
This is unprecedented and that’s the reason why the uproar……….
4th – And the part that hurts the most…..Most experts think OU could go undefeated if they win 2 games..Oregon and Texas……..They were half way there until they were robbed of a win……..
5th – This has nothing to do with the porous defense…..Did Texas deserve to win the Rose Bowl when they gave up 600 yds of offense?
Saying “they should of played better defense” is a cop out and has nothing to do with the argument. If the official make the correct call, OU wins by 6 and are undefeated.
Since the PAC 10 says it was the wrong call….there you have it………….The only RIGHT thing to do is take the loss away from OU so that their National Championship dreams aren’t ruined by two guys who made wrong decisions last Saturday……
Browns tight end Kellen Winslow spoke out in the locker room Monday, saying the coaching staff is holding back the offense and it's time to unleash it. He also said he doesn't understand why he's not on the field on third down.
-- Cleveland Plain Dealer
I took the above quote from the Truth & Rumors section of SI.com today. Dude, this guy is either crazy, or has the biggest set of man marbles I have ever seen. Let me get this straight. You come out of college as a loudmouth, brash, but supremely talented player, only to get injured forthe entire year in your first NFL game. You then follow up that stellar year with another complete season lost to injuries, this time by pretending you are Evil Kneivel.
So here we are in year three, and after the second game of your third season, your THIRD game ever as an NFL player, and you have the audacity to call out your coaching staff??? Seriously, is this really happening??? What say you Bully Sports Sturm?
Steve Young: on today’s show at 1:30
Being a Saints fan is summed up in 1:36:
Will Ferrell for Ipod