(If you’re wondering, the fact that Bob Huggins got a technical called against him for screaming, “Truck!” is evidence enough of the rank bias.)
One of my favorite jokes: “What can be said about X that hasn’t already been said about Baghdad?” It is overwrought, ridiculous, and properly frames our immediate although not entirely important concerns as Americans with a place that has real troubles and real challenges. Let’s take that joke for a spin though:
What can be said about Saturday’s game against Syracuse that hasn’t already been said about Baghdad?
Sports are a fleeting, largely unimportant thing. I think we can all agree on that. And yet, there I was Saturday, screaming at my television immediately after the goaltend, and even more furious that the referees were looking the other way. This anger grew throughout the afternoon as I read recap after recap which seemed to suggest that Deniz Kilicli had simply missed a potential game-tying layup, rather than having it stolen from via absolutely unconscionable refereeing. If you’d like to see my breakdown via Twitter, it is available here
. Here is the article that was so infuriating
although I note that it has been edited to include mention of the goaltend. On Saturday, it didn’t.
Being a Mountaineer fan is being used to this level of utter malfeasance by referees. So far this season the basketball team has lost two games to Top Ten teams after referees decided that they should be the ones deciding winners: Syracuse was the second, Baylor the first. Against Baylor, a referee called a ticky-tack foul against Dominic Rutledge that kept Baylor in the game. It was an atrocious call and it decided the game.
This though is bigger than basketball (although WVU has constantly been on the short-end of terrible refereeing on the basketball court); against Syracuse this season in football, referees incorrectly told Dana Holgorsen that he couldn’t ask for a review of a too-many-men-on-the-field penalty which should have gone against Syracuse. That’s within the last few months. Diving deeper into the Mountaineers history is to reveal a litany of examples of what might be gently described as outright misconduct.
I have no way of knowing if calls this bad routinely go against other schools. I do know that, as of recently, WVU has been on the receiving end of far more injustice than it has benefited. In fact, the only example that comes immediately to mind was a terribly botched call against Louisville
, calls that Louisville fans should still rightly object to. But note what that story says: the Big East apologized.
I doubt highly that the Big East will acknowledge that its officials stole a game from WVU. We certainly received no apology for the call from the Big 12 officials who kept Baylor’s season perfect. We didn’t receive an apology after a horrid out-of-bounds call at the end of the Connecticut game in Storrs earlier this season. And chances are, despite widespread acknowledge of the terrible call Saturday, the Big East just won’t find the time to either mention the mistake or punish the offenders.
Such is life as a WVU fan.
(For more: this from Mike Casazza