Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bummer Sooner

In the wake of last week's poorly officiated loss to Oregon (and its 327 different pairs of uniform pants, all looking like they came out of a crowd scene in Flash Gordon), the president of the University of Oklahoma has demanded that the game be stricken from the record books, that the officials responsible be suspended for the entire season, and, presumably, that he be allowed to date Oregon's really hot sister. As a next step, he's making loud noises about how OU is liable to take its ball and go home instead of honoring its contract to play Washington in 2008 unless the Pac-10 conference changes its rules on referees. Honestly, there are so many angles on this one, it's hard to know where to start. But still...

One, as Pat Forde has pointed out at ESPN, doesn't the president of a major public university have better things to do with his time than go apoplectic over a football game? Don't they have, I don't know, students who don't run the 40 in 4.4 seconds on that campus who might require some consideration?

Two, does anyone else find it mildly alarming that the lesson being given here is "if life is unfair, whine loudly and then pretend it never happened"? I'm sure this valuable life lesson will be of tremendous use to OU grads as they try to negotiate their way through, say, a rejected health insurance claim.

Three, isn't the Oklahoma mascot a cheater? The original sooners were, after all, the ones who jumped the gun on claiming ye olde Indian Territory. One wonders what instant replay officials would have made of that. (and for that matter, why isn't the Prez demanding that the charmingly spelled RUF/NEKS fan organization be disbanded? After all, they cost the team a bowl game back in 1985!)

Four, well, let's stop there. The more attention paid to this sort of thing, the more likely it is to happen again. It's a shame that a bad call helped - the defense is probably a little culpable there, too - cost Oklahoma a game. But it wasn't the first time it's happened, it wasn't the first time it had happened that week, and unless OU moves to a conference where the games are refereed by magical pixies and wise unicorns, it will happen again. This smacks more of a flailing attempt to distract attention from a program that hasn't been living up to its own arbitrary standards of late, because, let's face it, it's a lot more fun to blame those darn Pac-10 officials than to look at last year's record, or wonder where this year's starting quarterback went.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be over here complaining about that goddamned umpire who blew the call on what should have been Ryan Howard's 57th home run. Oh, wait, he went out and hit another one.
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