I’m sorry. I just can’t help it. Billy Zane, in his purple costume and black eye mask, may as well be making these critical calls at crucial times during the USA World Cup contests and the last couple of games in the NBA Finals. Dirk’s “fouls” as D. (however-I-spell-my-first-name) Wade twice drove to the basket late were bad enough, but to award Ghana a penalty kick mere moments after an actual momentum swing (and a real goal for the US) was a complete farce. Do refs who make phantom calls study the same phantom rulebook?
I shouldn’t get this upset over a series where neither team means anything to me and a sport that I only follow once every four years. And of course the bottom line is that even without these calls, the Mavs and the USA soccer team just didn’t get the job done. Letting your foot off the throat of your opponent, shooting incessantly from the outside even though nothing’s going in, taking a total of 4 shots on goal in 3 games (!), playing people out of position and keeping a potential offensive spark on the bench until it’s way too late–it’s all part of the same losing process, no matter how badly the refs suck or what infractions they’re hallucinating.
To the NHL’s credit, hockey’s officiating in the Stanley Cup Finals seemed pretty damn good compared to these other clowns. Unless you’re an Oilers fan and then I’m sure you have your own laundry list of bad calls to bitch about. Think we’ll just worry about the baseball umps for a while…