As someone who is a hockey official, I’m not one to be critical of the referee’s. Lord knows we have one of the hardest and most thankless jobs out there. But when you get to a level like Junior, College, or the Professional ranks where you have instant replay, you have to use that in your advantage to get the call right.
This morning I do my usual morning routine of watching SportsCenter and listen to local sports talk radio to see what the news of the morning is. The topic on ESPN was about a blown call in a soccer game that cost a team a chance of going to the World Cup. The topic on the radio was about a blown call in a hockey game.
Last night, EB and I were at the Detroit-Dallas game. We sat behind the Red Wings’ goal, so we were on the opposite end of the arena when the Brad May goal happened. When the play happened, we saw a big scrum behind the goal and players celebrating but no red-light or goal horn. When the review happened, I just assumed it was a regular video review at Joe Louis Arena and it was a no-goal. It wasn’t until a few minutes later when I received numerous text messages from friends saying it was a obvious goal.
I didn’t see the play on Youtube until 20 minutes ago. When I saw it, I thought both the officials and the NHL War Room in Toronto blew this call. It ovbiously went in the net. That’s why we have cameras in the net and behind the net atop of the glass. I’m going to give the ref the benefit of the doubt and say he couldn’t see the puck because of the apron covering the bottom of the net blocking his view. But in a day and age where we have HD replay ability in football and instant replay in sports, you have to get the call right every time.
Now onto the soccer story. International teams go through a 3+ year qualifying process for the World Cup. Teams play around 20 or so games in order to make the final tournament in South Africa next summer. In Europe, teams went through group play where the winners qualified for the finals and the second place teams played a 2-game series to take the remaining allotted spots. In one of the series, France played Ireland. Both teams had to play overtime in game 2 because of a tie in goal differential. Had the game remained tied, Ireland could of advanced because of away goals. Look at the video and tell me this official did not blow the call. I dare you to tell me the ref didn’t blow it. Even French star Thierry Henry, who touched the ball with his hand before the goal was scored said “I touched the ball, but I’m not the ref.”