My Syracuse football team is 3-1. It feels good to be 3-1 after being a losing team for so long. Unfortunately, the record is marred by a win over Toledo that probably shouldn’t be a win. The Syracuse kicker missed an extra point, but the officials even after review, said he made it. If Syracuse isn’t credited with the extra point, they probably lose by one after another Toledo field goal instead of going into overtime and winning by three. I was shocked that the officials called the kick good since the ball is very obviously passing in front of the uprights, but they did. Apparently, they only looked at one angle. Toledo probably should have won that game.
Probably. But that can’t be changed now. The play was reviewed, the officials made the call, the game went on. The problem is Toledo wants it changed. They actually requested the win be taken away from Syracuse and given to Toledo.
When you’re on the wrong side of such a bad call, it seems like it should be simple…a mistake was made, change the score. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. In most cases, even when there is such an obvious mistake, you can’t just say, “well, those points should come off,” because you don’t know how changing that one play or the one call might have affected anything that happened after that. Even when there are only seconds left, you just never know. Unfortunately, it’s not always as cut and dry as just removing or rewarding points. There are too many other factors at play in sports, and that’s why we can’t get into changing the outcomes of games after the fact. It’s one of those slippery slopes we just can’t head down. Because Toledo probably should have won the game, but you just never know. If you start changing the outcome of games after the fact, where do you draw the line between definite and probable? You can’t. The line is too fine in sports.
There have been very few scoring changes after games, none of them that I can find have ever changed the win/loss outcome of the game. Just player stats. And they’ve all been at the end of games when nothing else could have been changed by the play, such as an extra TD on an interception for the winning team as time expires and another down wouldn’t have been played anyway. And, for the record, I don’t even think I agree with that.
You can look into why the call was made and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In this case, make sure more than one angle is always looked at in replay situations. But you can’t go back and change the win. There’s too much at play in each game to say for sure how exactly a call would change the ultimate outcome of the game. Next week, there will likely be someone else in some sport that probably should have won if not for a bad call. It sucks, but it happens.
As Syracuse blogger Sean Keeley said on Twitter yesterday…”Feel bad for Toledo. That said, if everyone had to vacate wins cause a ref made a bad call, everyone’s all-time record would be 0-0.”
And we’ve been there, most recently in Syracuse’s loss to Marquette in the NCAA tournament this year when with under a minute to play in a tied game, refs called a “over and back” foul on Scoop Jardine and awarded Marquette the ball. Marquette hit a three. Refs admitted after the game that it was a bad call. If Marquette doesn’t get the ball then and doesn’t hit that three, well who knows… And that’s the problem, who knows. And for the record, I’d give up this regular season football win for that bad tournament call if we’re changing scores and trading wins and losses. But we’re not…and we can’t.
That might not be as cut and dry as the missed kick as to what might have followed, but it was in an elimination situation. It ended our season and our chance at playing for a championship. It hurt. We wondered what might have been but had to accept that what was done was done and it was our turn to be on the wrong end of a really bad call.
So…as a Syracuse fan, I apologize to Toledo. For what it’s worth, I know it sucks, but you can’t change the record. You can only wonder what might have been, play the next game, and hope something is done to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But unfortunately, it more than probably will.