Blog Entry

End of Pinstripe Bowl a disgrace to the sport

Posted on: December 30, 2010 8:16 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2010 8:19 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Ask any defender of the bowl system why college football shouldn't ditch bowl games for a playoff and one of their reasons will be that the bowl games are a reward for the players who work so hard during the season.  They're right, too.  The bowl games are a reward for the players.  A vacation to enjoy themselves and have some fun before the year comes to an end.

Just as long as they don't have any of that fun on the field, apparently.

What was a very entertaining first edition of the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium was marred on Thursday evening when an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called on Kansas State wide receiver Adrian Hilburn for what was deemed a celebration after scoring a touchdown in the final minutes.  That celebration was a military-style salute to the crowd after scoring the touchdown that brought his team to within two points and gave Kansas State a chance to tie the game with a two-point conversion.

Instead the Wildcats were backed up 15 yards and forced to go for two from the 18-yard line.  An incomplete pass later, and Syracuse left the Bronx with a 36-34 win.

It was a terrible call, and at possibly the worst time it could have been made.  Kansas State fans, and college football fans have every right to be angry with the official who made the call, and reportedly told Hilburn "wrong choice, buddy" as he threw the flag.  Still, we can all be as angry with the official as we want to be, but I worry that we might be shooting the messenger here.

Yes, it was a terrible call, but the penalty wasn't what's truly terrible about all of this.  The fact that a player celebrating a touchdown is illegal in the first place is what's truly terrible.

These are kids out there on the playing field, are they not?  Maybe the NCAA and the schools forget that from time to time because they're so busy counting the money that these kids make for them.  It's because of this stupid rule that a kid goes from the elation he was feeling for possibly saving the day for his teammates to wanting to crawl under a rock knowing that he just cost those teammates the game.

Is this the lesson that the NCAA is trying to teach its student-athletes?  

I mean, I know that college football is big business.  Hell, listen to any coach leading up to a bowl game and he'll tell you that his team is taking the approach that the bowl game is a "business trip."  It's just I fear we've reached the point where we've forgotten that football is a game, and that college football is a game being played by college kids.  For our entertainment.

If the NCAA wants its student-athletes to start behaving like professionals, then maybe the NCAA should start paying them like they're professionals.

Since: Dec 31, 2010
Posted on: December 31, 2010 2:34 am

End of Pinstripe Bowl a disgrace to the sport

I don't understand 2 things,

How does a ref make that call over any other? I mean really that salute, what about the extra shoving 8 yards into the endzone...or the other celebrations that happened?

How do Cuse fans get to claim the win when they wern't given the oppertunity to win it. Would you rather win because a ref blows a call or win because you were up 2 with 1 minute to go and you make a great goal line stand... or you win in overtime...

I have to say that both teams played their hearts out and the great game it was turning into was taken away by a bad call. you would think the other officials would have said not to call it... pick up the flag... something...

I salute you ..l.. mr official.

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: December 31, 2010 1:27 am

End of Pinstripe Bowl a disgrace to the sport

I happen to be a Syracuse fan living near Syracuse. I was in the car (but did see it later) and listening on the radio, even the Syracuse radio guys thought the call was a disgrace. This call crossed any fan bias lines, it was horrible no matter who you wanted to win, it was horrible for college football as a whole!

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2010 12:43 am

End of Pinstripe Bowl a HUGE Disgrac to the Sport

Well Said Brother...Well Said...That call was even more tragic then the "Jake Locker" Call years ago in the Wash-BYU Game...And absolute travesty...I also won Money on the Game so this is not sour grapes or anything stupid like that, any good official lets the players decide a game...I know it won't happen but this schmuck should never officiate another game...At least at the College Level, he obviously did not want to go Overtime...Or else he just had Syracuse in a Pool...Absolutely sickening

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2010 12:40 am

End of Pinstripe Bowl a disgrace to the sport

Yes, I'll admit that I'm a K-State fan, but that may have been the second-worst call I've ever seen in any sport. The umpire blowing the perfect game last summer was probably the worst - but to his credit he admitted it right away, and has been outstandingly apologetic about it. (I'm an umpire and I've made similar blunders [although not of that magnitude] so I can all too well appreciate his predicament.)
But this was truly shameful. Denkinger [sp?] call in the St.L. / K.C. World Series was truly catastrophic, Eric Gregg's strike calls were an abomination, the call last season about Washington Huskies celebrating in the end zone was deplorable. But this one, this one was probably the all-time dumbest. It was "intentionally" awful. Truly incompetent.

Since: Jun 14, 2010
Posted on: December 30, 2010 11:49 pm

End of Pinstripe Bowl a disgrace to the sport

Players work so hard to win and the refs decide the game on a call like that? Wow! I've seen so many gestures made by players in that Tenn game and not one was called. That was ridiculous and its a shame for the K state players. C'mon refs!!!

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2010 11:09 pm

End of Pinstripe Bowl a disgrace to the sport

check out the syracuse receiver on the first td on the flea flicker. He drops the ball goes to the back of the end zone and makes some sort of gesture with his arms criss crossed over his head. was their a penalty called on that? Who ever the official was who called the penalty he should receive a one year suspension for the call. This is not a mistake on a judgement call this is the case of a ref trying to make himself bigger than the game. Mr. ref who ever you are YOU SUCK!!

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2010 11:05 pm

End of Pinstripe Bowl a disgrace to the sport

It's very sad that the official --at the end of an exciting Vol / K State -- "took the  game away"--from the guys playing , as well as from the rest of us that were --watching.

Having played in many a competetive golf tourney, I've seen a few decided at the end,  by some dumb penalty, and,  the few times when that happens, everyone leaves unsatisfied, perhaps mostly-- the winner.

As in any other "business", it is proper  for this official to be evaluated and presumably replaced in a different position , where he can't hurt anybody, going forward. Hopefully we will hear about some post game "accountability" being taken.

Folks commenting here--- that the NCAA is counting its ' bucks,  and , forgetting that the ca$h is coming from young people playing, really, GAMES--comments  are "all over it "-- when they state that  the NCAA is  neglecting the facts  $ CHA- CHING, that these are games, and,  need to be conducted in that spirit, for the guys involved.

IN ENGLISH-- that means --eliminate dumb penalties ---that give the opportunity ---to allow a clueless individual to "control" an event , so UNFAIR, given that  hundreds of people have spent thousands of hours preparing for the event.





NCAA LOVIN and CONCENTRATING ON THE CASH-- if that's their main goal,  you gotta think that is sad, and  think whether  the NCAA  could have done a better job of eliminating what happened on the field, somewhat to maybe ---"deciding" the game's outcome-- --from happening? Deep question I guess.

LOVING THE CASH:  is hurting the entire world, it's not just the NCAA . 

I'm thinking it's about down to : Only GOD can save us, when HE comes back; the greed has probably made the world--too far gone.

In the meantime, though:   I hope that this ref is evaluated, and, sent down to Pop Warner ( who incidentally have good football officials)  and maybe the refs'  supposed "comment"-----to the K St player that scored the TD --who that ref threw the flag on---should be "DISCUSSED" at his evaluation.

Since: Dec 26, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 9:06 pm

End of Pinstripe Bowl a disgrace to the sport

For the record I actually picked Syracuse to win this game.  Watch any other touchdown in this game and answer me this: if the military style salute deserves a flag why didn't all the other scores draw the same penalty.  Hell I saw more celebrations on tackles and defended passes.  I think this is a stupid rule and refs should never decide the outcome of a game.

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2010 8:44 pm

End of Pinstripe Bowl a disgrace to the sport

 As a fan of college football I watched this game I am not a fan of either school I would to say i watched the next game on where Tenn scored their first TD the player did a dance and saluted three times and no call

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2010 8:41 pm

End of Pinstripe Bowl a disgrace to the sport

First of all the ref deserved a one-finger salute. Secondly, if you call it, assess it on the kick-off.

Those calls should be for excessive show-boating or taunting. The guy gives a military salute and gets 15 yards? What is wrong with these officials? Honestly, do they actually think they're part of the game?

Personally, I believe  he official who made that call should never referee another college game ever @ the Div-I FBS level. Demote him immediately to Div I FCS or lower.

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