OSU Beavers

Pac-12 referees, Fox TV crew again fail to reach 'the line to gain'

OSU Beavers

Don’t want to take up a lot of your time on a stay-at-home, TV-watching day that features the Masters, one last-minute Pac-12 game and the NFL.

BUT… something must be said about the officiating in the Oregon State-Washington game last night. And while I’m at it, I will toss out a couple of other observations about the Pac-12 After Dark telecasts:

 
  • First, you know where I’m going with this. Twice in the fourth quarter, on-field officials incorrectly spotted the ball after OSU runs near the goal line. The Beavers pick up first downs there, they have a legit chance to win that game. But both times it appeared the ball was spotted short.
  • Both times, the replay center failed to make a correction.
  • We are probably going to hear that there were not enough camera angles of that play to make a change, but really, only one angle was needed and we saw it on our TV screens. Bad spot. End of story.
  • Spotting the ball after a big pileup is always a problem and I sympathize with officials. This one, though, was a ridiculous mistake. But I move on.
  • There was a crucial “targeting” call late in the game that gifted the Huskies a first down. Was it contact with the helmet? Yes. But the runner ducked his head to make it that way -- which I’m seeing more often, because it’s so easy for the runner to do, either accidentally or on purpose.
  • I hate those targeting calls because they are so subjective and the penalty is so heavy. Players are being ejected from games after helmet hits that are basically accidents, with no intent involved.
  • I would hate to be a quality Pac-12 referee these days. Why? Because the overall officiating there is getting a national reputation for being the worst in the country. Just as the conference’s overall reputation under Commissioner Larry Scott continues to decline. There are some good on-field officials in the conference -- but they are being hauled down in the muck by the others.
  • Now, about those Fox telecasts. I’m sure play-by-play man Alex Faust is having to call these games off a TV monitor, which is terribly difficult. But he opened a Washington State-OSU game a week ago by mixing up the teams. He obviously doesn’t have access to the same audio we hear at home because often a referee can be heard explaining a penalty (like a running-into-the-kicker call that should have been roughing the kicker) and Faust still had no idea what was going on.
  • Faust is better known as the young play-by-play voice who replaced the legendary Bob Miller on the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings’ games.
  • I feel for Petros Papadakis, the analyst on the Fox games -- who is very solid and often has to bail his partner out of mistakes. 
  • And a closing note to football broadcasters everywhere: I’ve been watching football on TV since there was one game a week on -- and it was in black and white. And never, prior to this year, had I heard the phrase “the line to gain.” And suddenly, I’m hearing it, on average, 473 times a game. It's an instant cliche, I will hear it on every NFL game today, for sure. Please, give it a rest.