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When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

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  • #16
    Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

    Originally posted by TMJ31 View Post
    I feel compelled to open this post with a disclaimer. I am not posting this in an attempt to start a flame war, incite an argument, or anything even remotely in that vein. Truly, I'm not. I am genuinely curious to hear peoples honest opinions on this topic. Not knee-jerk post game reactions.

    Ok, now that's out of the way. Here we go:

    LeBron James fouled Paul George at the conclusion of Wednesday night's Pacers loss. I know it, you know it, every single basketball analyst on social media knows it. All the folks who enjoy posting .gifs and sports meme's SURE know it. (See Below)



    So here is my question to everyone. Why isn't it ok to assign partial (or significant) blame to botched end-game calls when we are dissecting a loss? It very clearly is a foul. The foul would have resulted in 3 free throws which at that point could have led to the Pacers extending the game into overtime. The exact same situation we faced in Game 1 of the ECF's last season, by the way.

    Yet, when a poster on PD, or someone on Twitter or what have you expresses anger over a blown call/no call, they are almost instantly and overwhelmingly inundated by people chastising them with quotes like "We didn't deserve to win", "They NEVER call that", "We should have never allowed it to get to that point", etc. etc. Tonight, I even had the pleasure of some random jerk on twitter writing this gem directed at me. And I quote (somewhat censored): "quit b*tching f*g" - What a lovely specimen of humanity.

    The only thing I can think of that makes it "OK" to complain about calls in some cases, but not in others is the context. I'll explain.

    In last night's game we were rolling. We had the Heat right where we wanted them. Unfortunately, due to foul trouble (another topic...), lack of offensive and at times defensive execution, and an overall lack of poise down the stretch, the lead dwindled and we eventually relinquished it. (Not to mention LeBron is apparently allowed to step out of bounds directly in Joey Crawford's eyeline)

    So perhaps then it is only "OK" to complain about bad late game calls if the team played well ALL the way to the moment the bad call in question happens? Is that the only way we 'deserve' to be the recipient of a call that may change the outcome of the game? What my anecdotal evidence shows me is that many fans fall into the "We didn't deserve to win, therefore we shouldn't have gotten the call" category. This simply baffles me!

    Basketball games are 48 minutes long. Last night, the Pacers were the better team for MORE of those minutes than the Heat. About 30-18 or so, by my rough estimate, maybe even a touch more. So, because in the waning minutes of the game we were outplayed, that means that our early efforts to build a 15+ point lead are completely inconsequential? Yes, we did give up that lead, which meant that we found ourselves needing a 3 pointer with time expiring to go into overtime. But because the previous 5-6 minutes hadn't gone our way, we suddenly forfeit the right to fair calls?

    I realize that a few of you may see where I am going with this and post in agreement with my sentiments. But I am fully aware many more of you won't, based on previous PD and Twitter reactions to my opinions. (See this thread on a game last year...) I am not trying to sway opinions or preach that my view here is superior. As I said in my disclaimer, I honestly just want to know WHY people who feel the other way, have that opinion.

    Call me crazy, but I just feel like if in the final seconds of a game, if you have an opportunity to tie or win, REGARDLESS of the previous circumstances that got you to that point, you deserve the same calls.

    The Pacers were robbed of that opportunity Wednesday night. Yes, we gave up a lead. Yes, we played poorly down the stretch. Yes, it should not have gotten to the point where we needed to rely on a proper foul call. But alas, it did. And we didn't get the proper foul call.

    And for the life of me, I just cannot fathom why we aren't more upset about it.

    Have at it.
    First of all a small tangent: The play where Joey ignored or didn't see LeBron step out despite seeming to be looking at him pissed me off only when later Joey made a big point to look for I think CJ Watson doing it at halfcourt after ignoring the fact that Watson was pushed first. Which brings me to a bigger concept that still angers me with officiating: When they don't call it both ways. I felt like Miami could flop and get a foul, then if we got hit hard but didn't flop it would get ignored. I suppose logically this means the Pacers should flop more (they do some, but not as much as they could), but it just makes me unhappy to think that's the 'solution' to that problem.

    Anyway, getting to the main topic at hand, just my take:

    I think it's always okay to be critical of officiating, so long as the following criteria is met:

    1) There is actually room to complain about a given call, rather than you don't like that a Pacer didn't get away with something (if the violation is called on them) or you wish it were a violation on the other team but in actuality it wasn't.
    2) You acknowledge that this is but one of several factors that result in a game's outcome, and that it's very likely the team could have won despite the officiating.
    3) Acknowledgement that officiating basketball is hard to do, and mistakes just come with the territory.

    In my opinion, officiating is completely fair game under those circumstances.

    Keep in mind, this is only speaking to how FANS feel, NOT players or coaches who actually directly affect the games. THEY ought to just suck it up and play on because they can't make it better by complaining about calls (well... mostly; sometimes I think refs do get affected by complaining, good or bad), and I think they're better off just keeping their focus on what they have to do now/next rather than occupying any time thinking about ******** calls/no-calls. But for fans, that's not the same circumstance, and I think for them it's understandable to complain because no matter how little or how much they criticize the officiating, it won't change the game one bit, so who cares if they choose to complain?

    Now, is there an argument to be made that it does no good? Sure, but you can say that about just about any aspect of being a fan. Watching or not watching the game doesn't change anything, either, so why bother watching, right? Of course not. So I think it's fair.

    Personally, my big problems with officiating are in no particular order:

    1) Inconsistency
    2) Favorable treatment depending on which player it is
    3) Rewarding flopping
    4) The later in the game it is, the more it pisses me off because the players have LESS TIME TO ADJUST OR DEAL WITH IT. Case in point, LeBron tickles Paul George on his final shot or tries to go all Titanic on him (Jack and Rose), yet nothing is called, and now the game is over whereas Paul George legitimately should have been attempting 3 FTAs to try to tie the game. Now, if Paul misses any of the FTs, that's on him, but he deserved to be attempting them in the first place due to LeBron's infraction.

    So with 4 what I'm saying is it doesn't bother me so much in the first half because no matter how terrible the call is, there is plenty of time for the guys to play on and deal with it. But late game bad calls or no calls? Drive me nuts because then the players have precious little time to recover.

    5) Refs with an attitude. See Crawford, Joey. He's full of himself, and while that can sometimes be entertaining, it can also be downright insufferable, too, and I feel the same way with refs as I do with judges and attorneys: If it's supposed to be about facts and interpretation of facts... check your ego, check your temper, and just shut up and do your job without making it a spectacle.

    That all having been said, I don't generally believe in the notion of teams 'deserving' to win, lose, get a call, not get a call. I'm sure I've said things like that before, and for all I know I may again, but when I consider it outside the heat of the moment, I feel like the games are what they are. Both teams always play flawed games, it's just a matter of how flawed, and the same goes for the refs, so it's always going to be that way. There are no perfect games in basketball, ever. If you won, you won, if you didn't, you didn't. BUT... that doesn't mean bad calls or no-calls don't happen, and that brings me back to thesis: Yes, I believe it's fair to criticize bad calls or no-calls, for the above reasons.

    As for why I'm not upset about it... I probably could be. God knows I've been livid in previous games because of things like this. I think for me, I've reached a new level of acceptance in regards to it. I still hate it, but I also hate the fact that everybody dies, too, but at some point you just have to accept it and keep living because you can't do a damn thing to change it.

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

      Originally posted by graphic-er View Post
      BUt if the roles were reversed, then they would absolutely call PG for a foul if he had 2 hands on Lebron James.
      Sadly, I think this is correct, and it angers me.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

        Originally posted by Major Cold View Post
        It wasn't called. He missed the shot. And if you think we are going to get the benefit of calls over Lebron you need to wake up.
        Has anyone else heard this type of reasoning for other sports? I don't think I've ever heard anybody dismiss what should have been a defensive penatly get excused because the player in question is a NFL superstar. Or how about a called third strike not going against a batting champ?

        I think that type of excuse would get laughed at in leagues not named the NBA, and sadly, it's stated as common fact in the league named the NBA.
        Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right. ― Ricky Gervais.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

          Originally posted by Since86 View Post
          Has anyone else heard this type of reasoning for other sports? I don't think I've ever heard anybody dismiss what should have been a defensive penatly get excused because the player in question is a NFL superstar. Or how about a called third strike not going against a batting champ?
          yes I have in both the NFL and MLB

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

            Originally posted by Unclebuck View Post
            yes I have in both the NFL and MLB
            Yep it happens a lot to guys like Manning and Tom Brady, I mean they also changed the rules to "protect" them.
            @WhatTheFFacts: Studies show that sarcasm enhances the ability of the human mind to solve complex problems!

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

              Originally posted by vnzla81 View Post
              Yep it happens a lot to guys like Manning and Tom Brady, I mean they also changed the rules to "protect" them.
              There have been two rule changes because of those two, the Tuck rule and illegal contact. Neither have anything to do with protecting a superstar, but rather clearing up ambiguous rules.
              Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right. ― Ricky Gervais.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

                Originally posted by Unclebuck View Post
                yes I have in both the NFL and MLB
                What were the scenarios?
                Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right. ― Ricky Gervais.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

                  Originally posted by Since86 View Post
                  What were the scenarios?
                  Off the top of my head. I have heard Mike and Mike morning on ESPB radio. discuss both specific scenerios you mentioned.

                  I don't watch baseball at all, and only very little football. So I can't say I have any first hand knowledge, but I have heard it discussed.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

                    Originally posted by Unclebuck View Post
                    Mike and Mike.
                    Explains a lot.
                    Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right. ― Ricky Gervais.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

                      Originally posted by Since86 View Post
                      Or how about a called third strike not going against a batting champ?
                      I would find it very hard to believe you haven't heard umpires excoriated for expanding strike zones for certain pitchers and narrowing them for certain hitters. That's one of the primary umpiring gripes. You also get complaints about how tags are called against runners with reputations for stealing bases and how pickoff moves are treated depending on how well-known the pitcher is.

                      Are there as many? No, but it isn't because MLB is somehow more rational, it is because the area of subjectivity is smaller and the time given to make the decision is longer. There's a reason the NBA is considered one of the hardest (if not the hardest) sports to officiate.
                      BillS

                      A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
                      Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

                        TMJ, I too am pissed off about the officials. They officiate our games vs Miami completely different than the other 30 teams. One call last night I have never seen before, was when Wade scored, and a foul was called AFTER the ball dropped through the hoop and bounced on the ground
                        Being unable to close out a game in which you have a comfortable lead in the 4th Q = Pulling a Frank Vogel

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

                          Roy Hibbert plays the same way every single game defensively. Only vs Miami he gets in foul trouble.....
                          Being unable to close out a game in which you have a comfortable lead in the 4th Q = Pulling a Frank Vogel

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

                            Originally posted by BillS View Post
                            I would find it very hard to believe you haven't heard umpires excoriated for expanding strike zones for certain pitchers and narrowing them for certain hitters.
                            Not really. I usually hear them talking about how specific umpires have smaller or larger strike zones than "normal" umps, but I've never heard that Lou Darvish (for example) gets the benefit of the doubt just for stepping on the mound.
                            Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right. ― Ricky Gervais.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

                              Originally posted by Pacergeek View Post
                              Roy Hibbert plays the same way every single game defensively. Only vs Miami he gets in foul trouble.....
                              Absolutely not. You can clearly see him swinging his arms down on the replays of at least 2 of the fouls called last night. He made his reputation by NOT doing that - if he's getting sloppy it's time to call them.
                              BillS

                              A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
                              Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: When is it OK for fans to be critical of end-game officiating?

                                Why is Miami allowed to habitually foul on defense?
                                Being unable to close out a game in which you have a comfortable lead in the 4th Q = Pulling a Frank Vogel

                                Comment

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