Sunday, October 09, 2005

Reacting to Ravens/Lions officiating flap

Here's the story.

I haven't seen the game, so I won't get into any of the individual calls. I have two reactions from a general officiating standpoint:

First, Mike Carey, the official, ejected Terrell Suggs because, according to Carey, "he bumped me with malice in his heart." I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, we can't enforce what's in players' hearts, so I feel like Carey could simply have said "he bumped me." That's enough reason for an ejection, right? But then again, we do have to examine intent. The malice is important, and any official with fingers on the pulse of the game can reasonably say whether a player is out to get you or not. That makes a difference.

Second, Larry Lage, the writer for AP, wrote that the officials "seemed quick to flag the visitors." That feels like a bit of a judgement call for the game recap. Doesn't that belong in a column? That looks like he's questioning the officials' integrity, and that's not acceptable, even if it's not intentional.

Third, how is it that Ravens' coach Brian Billick seems like the only voice of reason? As frustrated as I'm sure he was, he made no incendiary comments and remarked that his team lost its cool--an angle that Lage didn't go into much.

Fourth--Carey speaking is helpful--and I'll blog about that separately.


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