The Behrend beacon. (Erie, Pa.) 1998-current, December 03, 1998, Image 9

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    Out o
NFL referees need help; instant replay
is a necessity
If this past week in the National
Football League isn’t enough of a
clue that instant replay and full time
officiating is a necessity, then there
needs to be some investigation of
what the league officials are up to.
Too often in the league’s most
crucial games, referees are making
calls that they don’t even see. It’s
getting to the point where the refs
should just get in their little
huddle and flip a coin to
determine which team gets the
benefit of the call. But wan a
minute...we've all witnessed
that maybe even heads and
tails are too complicated for a
I’ve always tried to
understand the point of view
of referees and have always
understood how difficult it
must be to make all the right
calls in the heat of the
moment. We all have to admit
that officiating is difficult and
understand that a perfect game for
an official in any sport is probably
more difficult than a perfect game
pitched in baseball and even more
difficult than Denver’s bid for
perfection in 1998.
So maybe all the blame can’t be
put on the officials. When is the
league going to do something to
solve this problem? I mean, what
are they waiting for? Maybe it’s
going to take a call that has a direct
hit on the NFL as a whole. The
biggest positive thing the league
has right now is the Denver
Broncos’ 12-0 record that is
bringing many eyes into the world
of football this season. What if it
isn’t an opponent that puts a
blemish on Denver’s record, but
instead a little yellow flag that some
blind referee throws, hoping that he
didn’t make the wrong call on a
play that happened 20 yards away
from him?
Just as city officials can’t wait for
a car wreck to finally put up a stop
sign, the league can’t wait for
disaster to strike for them to take
some course of action.
Two NFL teams walked out of
Week 13 this past week feeling a
disastrous and unfair action was
taken against them. The Pittsburgh
Steelers and the Buffalo Bills are
in the heart of the AFC playoff race
with only four weeks remaining in
the regular season. Both teams
entered this past week with a 7-4
record, putting them tied with three
other teams in the AFC for third
place. Only Denver and
Jacksonville felt somewhat
comfortable in first and second,
respectively. But with a few bogus
calls, both teams (if playoffs were
to start today) are involved in a
four-way tie for the final two
playoff spots, as opposed to being
in a four way tie with all of those
teams enjoying an extended season.
I’m sure most of you caught the
whit of NFL writers following the
“tail” end of the Steelers’ game
against the Detroit Lions on
Thanksgiving. I myself even had
to chuckle after reading all the
phrases that go along with the
flipping of a coin. But all joking
aside, the implications of that coin
toss and the many other missed
calls throughout the contest put
many fans in doubt of who should
have really won that game. The
interception and touchdown that
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were unfairly taken away from the Lions
could have put Detroit on top without a
need for overtime. On the other hand,
Pittsburgh witnessed their share of bad
calls. But the most crucial blow came
when the clock
running...something as easy and routine
as a coin toss.
Depending on whom you talk to, you
will probably hear many stories about
what happened in that huddle. I’ve heard
that Jerome Bettis said tails; began to
say heads then said tails; Carnell Lake
said heads and Bettis said tails; and even
someone from Detroit said heads and
Bettis said tails. So no one truly knows
what happened which makes that coin
toss about as mysterious as the Steelers’
Immaculate Reception in 1975, when
Franco Harris somehow ended up in the
endzone, with no one else, including the
officials, knowing what happened. Now
the “Coin Toss of ’9B" might not be to
the level of importance of that play in
’ 75, but it definitely should bring a sense
of urgency for something to be done.
If that wasn’t enough, maybe the New
England Patriot’s last minute drive down
the field this past Sunday against the
Buffalo Bills will open someone’s eyes.
Overlooked, but arguably more critical
and obvious, was the blown call on
fourth down and nine for the Patriots.
With the Bills clinging to a2l -17 lead,
New England quarterback Drew
Bledsoe threw a 10 yard pass to the
sideline which was ruled complete.
After one replay on TV, it was obvious
that Shawn Jefferson’s right foot never
touched the ground when he had
complete possession of the football. A
confused referee only five yards away
looked to another ref 20 yards down the
field. Impossible to tell from the angle
that he saw the play from, he called the
pass complete. There was no way that
he could tell if Jefferson had complete
possession, nor be able to see if both feet
were inbounds.
So instead of the Bills just taking a
knee and letting the clock run out, the
Patriots were given new life. Then on
football’s most inconsistently called
play, the Bills were cheated again.
Bledsoe heaved a pass to the endzone
where the ball bounced off his receiver’s
shoulder pad and fell to the ground. But
out came the flag. In a rarely called
penalty in the final second of a game,
the Bills were called for pass
interference. Clearly Buffalo’s Henry
Jones made contact with the Patriot’s
receiver, but the contact had nothing to
do with the fact that New England
dropped the ball. New England then got
the ball set down on a silver platter at
the one-yard line. I won’t even give the
Patriot’s the honor of saying what
happened next. The final score: 25-21.
In a football season that is headed for
a finish that will more than likely
exemplify heart and hard work, it will
be a shame to see a team’s possible
playoff berth shattered with a flip of a
coin or some mind-boggling call by an
for the Beacon
official that doesn't understand or
seem to care about the consequences.
“That’s just part of the game,” some
people might argue. But if you really
think about it, that doesn’t make
sense. Teams don’t practice their
arguing with officials during the
week, nor do they come up with a
game plan to avoid had calls. Refs
are on the field for one
enforce the NFL rulebook. When it
1 ' Jr Jr
officiating and instant
replay would give refs
the opportunity to figure out ways to
better call a game and give them a
second chance to make sure the call
they made is right.
If the calls made by officials are
crucial to the outcome of games
(which was proven this past week),
then officials need to be doing more
than just showing up for a few hours
every Sunday to call a game. Just like
every other team in the NFL needs to
practice all week, so do officials.
With practice, the refs can come up
with better ways to call the game and
review their previous week’s game.
This may sound funny for refs to
watch game tapes, but if it means that
they are more prepared, then it is
But even full time officials
wouldn't be able to see everything.
Which gives more strength to the
argument to bring back instant replay.
From 1986-1991, the league used
instant replay and ii was found that it
slowed down the game and, when a
mistake was made, it gave the replay
officials a bad name. But with the
progression of technology comes a
more accurate account of what
happened on the field. The only way
to solve the problem of the game
being slowed down would be to have
a time limit. It doesn't take
commentators any more than a minute
to review a play so why should it lake
any longer for an official?
"I think all the officials are honest
people. Honest people can make
mistakes," said NFL senior vice
president George Young. But the
argument of most fans doesn’t deal
with the honesty of a referee. It deals
with the fact that players and teams
do what they have to do to win. When
that is done and someone that isn’t
part of the game takes their hard work
from them, then the credibility of
football loses. The fact that refs are
honest people doesn’t solve the
problem. That isn't the answer. The
answer is to give the referees help so
less mistakes occur. It’s time to get
officials out of the negative spotlight
and put the heart, dedication, and
competitive drive of the players back
at the forefront.
Snyder is the sports editor for the
Beacon. Out of Bounds appears
weekly on this page.
is shown time and time
again that they aren’t
capable of doing that,
whether it is la/iness
on their part or just too
difficult to keep track
of everything, then
some other plan of
action must be taken.
There are two
substantial acts that
could be taken by the
league. Full-time
5 vs. 5 Basketball
M yy Registration Deadline
-Sign ups are in fall semester December 11
-play begins spring semester
Spring semester Intramural schedules are available in the IM office.
Housing and Food Service
Athlete of the Week
November 16- November 23
Name: Andy Lawrence
Sport: Men’s Basketball
Class: Junior
Position: Forward
Andy Lawrence, a junior forward, has been named the Housing and Food Service Athlete of the
Week. Lawrence helped lead the Behrend Lions to the 1998-99 Hamot Classic Championship in the opening
weekend of the season.
“Andy played really well after missing pretty much all of last season,” said head coach Dave Niland.
“He had two great games and picked up right where he left off.” Lawrence was the leading scorer for the
Behrend Lions in his first two seasons and last year before injuring his foot. He has scored 716 points in his
In Saturday's opener, Lawrence was 6-9 from the floor for 15 points and passed out five assists. On
Sunday, in the championship game against Whitman College from Walla-Walla, Washington, he scored 15
on 6-10 from the field, grabbed three rebounds and had two assists.
Lawrence is a graduate of Saegertown High School.
November 23 - November 29
Name: Jason Paloskey
Sport: Men’s Basketball
Class: Senior
Position: Guard
Jason Paloskey, a senior guard on the men’s basketball team, has been named the Housing and Food
Service Athlete of the Week. Paloskey scored 18 points in Behrend’s 80-70 loss to Cornell University. He
made 6 of 9 shots from the field including five three pointers against the Division I opponent. Paloskey also
had five rebounds and three assists in the game.
“Jason played exceptionally well on Tuesday,” said head coach Dave Niland
some big shots and kept us in the game. He is shooting the ball really well to this point.”
Paloskey is leading the team in scoring with a 14.3 ppg average and is nearing the 1,000 point
plateau for his career. Paloskey is shooting an amazing 60% on his three point attempts this year, making 12
out of 20 through the first three games. He is also averaging 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Paloskey
and the rest of the Behrend Lions will be facing a tough stretch of games that includes regional contests
against Elmira and Fredonia State.
The Behrend
SPRINGBRE AK Florida, Texas, Part t ' me position in a residential program for individuals with development
Cancun,Mexico, Jamaica,etc Browse disabilities. Responsible for assisting in meal planning and grocery and call 800-327-6013. shopping, providing ongoing monitoring and instructions relating to money
Best hotels, prices and parties. Reps, management and coordinating weekly schedules. Requires 25 working
organizations, and promoters wanted, hours/week including evenings and weekends and required staff to sleep at
Inter-Campus Programs. facility five nights a week. Bachelor’s degree in Human Services preferred,
Associate degree or equivalent status required with some experience
working with disabled adults. Act 33/34 clearance also
Mike D,
Thanks for a great
Students and employees of Penn State Behrend are invited to submit a free classified ad in The
Beacon. Types of ads may include personal messages and items for sale. Maximum classified length is
25 words. Persons who submit ads must state their affiliation with Behrend. Classifieds are meant for
individual use. Official notices and group events should be submitted to the Calendar editor. Busi-
nesses must pay regular advertising rates. The Beacon can not guarantee the publication of all classified
submitted for space purposes. Classifieds should be sent to the Classified editor at The Beacon, Reed
Building or dropped off at The Beacon offices, or sent to Deadline for submission
for publication in that week's paper is Monday at S:OOPM.
December 3, 1998 - The Behrend College Beacon
Interested Candidates please send resume to
Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Center
Human Resource Department
136 East Avenue
Erie PA 16507
page 9
“JP knocked down