Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pac 10 Official All But Admits Improper Use of Replay in Stanford Game

It's been a few days since the most blatantly awful replay review of all time, so I think it's time we take a look at what has shaken down in these days in the immediate aftermath of this travesty.

For one, we finally got a public statement from the head of Pac 10 Officiating, Dave Cutaia. In an e-mail he sent out in response to the criticism of the play, he is quoted as saying:

"The replay official felt he had a shot that showed the point of the ball hit the ground...

*First Lie.

...This is basically a judgment call on his part, as an on-field official might judge defensive pass interference.

*Second Lie.

So, let's look at the first part of the statement. The replay official found a shot... no, wait, scratch that... felt he found a shot that conclusively showed (whoops, he didn't use the word "conclusively") the point of the ball hitting the ground. Hey, that's not bad. It's an empirically-testable statement. Now obviously it wasn't any shot that we had available to us, the television-watching audience, because that one clearly did not meet the burden of proof. Ahhh, so it was a secret camera angle that wasn't available to the TV broadcast, right? They do have secret angles, don't they?
Q. What will be the source of the video for replays?
A. All reviewable video will come direct from the television production of the game.

(From the official replay policy)

Allright, no worries. Let's pretend you did have a secret reverse-angle shot that the television networks just didn't decide to put in their broadcast. It probably would have looked something like this shot taken by an on-field photographer:

Which even more conclusively shows that his hand is under the ball.

Moving swiftly along to lie number two...
This is basically a judgment call on his part, as an on-field official might judge defensive pass interference.

Now I'm just a simple caveman, but to me it sounds like Cutaia is admitting that the replay was improperly administered. Either that, or he doesn't know the rules of instant replay set down by the same conference that he is apparently in charge of officiating. You see, the second line of the aforementioned official document on instant replay clearly states:
Standard: There must be indisputable video evidence for an on-field officiating decision to be changed by the Instant Replay Official working from a private booth in the press box.

That underlining was not done by me for emphasis, that's exactly how it appears on the website. But, wait, there must be some wiggle room for a replay official's judgment call, right? I'll do a search of their rulebook for the word "judgment":

So anybody who has taken the time to read the first paragraph of the replay policy (a group which may or may not contain Cutaia) can sufficiently agree that replay is definitively not a "judgment call" and is, moreover, fundamentally opposite from judgment calls like defensive pass interference. Instead it requires, (everyone together now) indisputable video evidence, which Cutaia all but comes out and admits was not the standard of proof used in this specific reversal. The replay officials acted blatantly against their authority... it's black letter law.

Cutaia then declined to make public the names of the officials involved. Perhaps a smart move, what with all the crazies out there, but it still reeks of an institutional refusal to make anybody take accountability for what, in Cuataia's own words, was a clear-cut incorrect ruling. At any rate, it's these two guys. If anyone can track down a directory of Pac 10 officials with mug shots, it should be pretty easy to find out who these incompetent bozos are and keep track on whether or not they've been fired or reprimanded.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vote for Your 2007 All-Hairmerican Team!

It's that time of year again... time to start putting together ballots for postseason awards. And while many of you will be wondering who will win pedestrian trinkets like the Heisman, Butkus, or Maxwell award, the House Rock Built will be digging through game film to award the most prestigious honor of the postseason: The All-Hairmerican Team. Founded on this very site in 2005, the award has continued its annual tradition of awarding excellence in hairstyles in college football. Taking one look at the distinguished recipients of this award, it's pretty clear to see that an All-Hairmerican is a better predictor of success at the next level than just about any award out there.

This year is shaking out to be the most thrilling competition in the history of the award. Aside from a few locks (Colt Brennan and ASU lineman Paul Fanaika), there's a pretty wide open field out there. Also, we may be approaching a first in the glorious history of the All-Hairmerican award: Georgia Tech LB Philip Wheeler has a shot of being the first ever two-time All-Hairmerican. Oh, the tension!

So this is where you come in, dear readers. Make your voice heard, and submit your nominees in the comments section. Results will be tabulated a week from today and the finalists will be committed to eternity in shining awesomeness.

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Granted, it's no "Hot Hot Hot", But...

Did anyone else catch this Stanford ad during the football game on Saturday? If you did, you're probably just as stunned as I am that something as tragic as that could be aired on national television. My YouTubing has revealed that it's part of a series of ads that don't take themselves very seriously, so I suppose Stanford earns a few points for defying the schmaltz-o-meter-topping ads that we customarily expect.

Nonetheless, terrible. Just terrible.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shhh, Don't Tell Any Michigan Fans

Allright, readers, I'm entrusting you with a big secret here. I'm going to pull a very expensive prank tomorrow, but I want to let you guys in on it so it'll be that much more hilarious. See, I'm chartering a private jet, at my own expense, to fly from Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti to Seattle. While this might seem like a waste of several thousand dollars to you, just imagine what a riot it will be when Go Blue Wolverine reports "Willingham to Michigan: Done Deal" and cites my FlightTracker map as proof.

Mum's the word, okay?

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Yarrrr, What Be a Pirate's Favorite Football Team?

A lot of people are making fun of Les Miles for this flub that he made during a press conference, showing off his awesome Michigan education by not knowing how to pronounce the state directly north of the one he lives in. But hey, Les, it's not all that bad. It's an honest mistake that I'm sure all of us have made at one point or another.

So, in the interest of setting the record straight for everyone so that there are no more embarrassing mistakes, here's the House Rock Built's definitive guide to state pronunciation. If any Michigan students are reading, pay close attention, because this course is worth 3 credits toward a Kinesiology major.



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Monday, November 26, 2007

Coach O Gives His Tearful Farewell Speech

Breaking a long spell of silence, Coach Orgeron finally updated his personal blog after receiving the grim news that his tenure at Ole Miss has come to a tragic conclusion. We wish the Orgeron the best.

Tudday, da coachO considah hee-sef da LUCKYAHMAN onda FASSA-DIS URF!

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving You Pukes!

Orson asked me to whip up something festive for the holidays, and I can't think of anything more festive than the coach cooking you a turducken to celebrate this joyous occasion.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Le Pierrot Triste

From the SBT:

Maybe the most indicting numbers regarding Notre Dame's pass protection, or lack thereof, this season came the week after the Irish lost to Navy in triple-overtime. In the 48-46 loss to the Mids, ND yielded four sacks to a team that had recorded only five all season. That gave the Irish 49 sacks yielded -- 11 more than the old school record.

Well, the next week the Mids played North Texas, the worst Football Bowl Subdivision team in the Sagarin computer and one of 32 the Irish actually would beat, according to Sagarin (no, Duke and Stanford are not on the list of beatable teams).

In the North Texas game, Mean Green quarterback Giovanni Vizza attempted 50 passes and was not sacked once. What's more, in the 72-62 loss to the Mids, he completed 40 of those passes for 478 yards and eight touchdowns -- and he rushed for 97 yards on 13 carries.

And Vizza, for the record, is a true freshman.

Sorry I haven't been posting. I think that block of text pretty much sums up this last month or so. Again, sorry. The House thrives on upbeat, quirky humorous commentary, and there is just no joy in Mudville this year. Each week I attend these shitfest games and sink deeper and deeper into a detached nothingness. In that dark spot, I just can't produce anything snappy for you to enjoy. Maybe it's a lame excuse, but that's all I've got.

The plus side? The season's almost over. High fives and banana daiquiris for everyone!

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