Monday, October 22, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 43



lown calls cost Cougars dearly

By Tom Carpenter
Daily Cougar Staff

They are the bane of every football fan in the country, the cur every coach would love to kick. Like the blind seer Teiresias in Oedipus Rex, they foretell a destiny no one else can see.

A referee's job is to maintain order on the field of play and whistle infractions when they occur. All too often the clowns in the zebra stripes wrest control of a game and alter the outcome by throwing a flag on a play when no infraction occurred.

This was the case in the Cougars' loss to Cincinnati on Saturday.

Thanks to one of the poorest calls in recent memory, or ancient memory for that matter, the Cougars were denied a shot at victory by an official who called defensive holding on the Cougar secondary when replays clearly showed no infraction occurred.

The Cougar defense finally made a stand when it counted most, but a blind, incompetent official swept its fine effort away with one arching yellow flag thrown away from the play.

Head coach Dana Dimel argues with a referee after a questionable call allowed Cincinnati to run out the clock and escape with a 29-28 win over Houston on Saturday.

Kevin Harwerth/The Daily Cougar

Cougar head coach Dana Dimel was so thrilled with the official's bogus call he stomped onto the playing field to congratulate the incompetent official on his pathetic call.

The officials enjoyed Dimel's visit so much they promptly rained yellow flags down upon him to the merry tune of 30 yards.

By then it was a moot point. The three flags gave the Bearcats 40 yards, a first down and the ball game. The defensive holding call allowed Cincinnati to keep possession of the football and run out the clock.

Coaches and players are prohibited from criticizing referees, but fans and reporters can blast officials when it is painfully obvious the ref blew the call.

The Cougars can't get a break. They put themselves in a position to win and had the wind taken from their sails by a lousy referee.

What makes it worse is the inability to protest terrible calls and seek justice through replays.

The Cougars almost got their breakthrough win, but it's hard to beat a good football team and the officials too.

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