The Daily Dose/January 20, 2016
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
Notes from our Human Experience…
TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET: Recently an Oregon State University basketball player - for reasons we're sure he thought good - tripped one of the officials working his game. The player was on the floor, disappointed the official didn't call a foul on his evil opponent representing the University of Utah. As the official ran by the player leaned and stuck out a leg, tripping the official.
After Further Review: We are accomplished high school sports officials here and we are trying our darndest to deliver the objectivity you've come to appreciate and demand, so we gave the player the benefit of every possible doubt and there was still no doubt it was intentional. The player was ejected from the game and later suspended four games by Oregon State, a penalty that was later approved by the Pacific-12 conference.
Dry, Technical Matter: The penalty is actually for at least four games. It could be more depending on the player's behavior the next two weeks. You can bet the player will have his hand held to ensure the best possible behavior for the next fortnight so he will be allowed back as soon as possible.
Back On Message: Assaulting an official like this should've been rewarded with a suspension for one calendar year. Minimum. And we would not have dismisssed a lifetime ban out of hand.
You do not contact an official!
Uh, Sorry For Speaking In Italics: Not only is a four game suspension inappropriate, it sets a lousy precedent. Now every college basketball player can conduct a risk/reward assessment before throwing a fit:
You know, if I get frisky with this official, the worst that will happen is I miss four games.
Hut, Hut Hike: This is analogous to Penn State's child abuse scandal. Our own feeling was Penn State got off easy. They should not have been allowed to continue to make money off of major division college football for at least ten years. The whole program should've been shut down for a couple of years, then they could've started fielding Division III teams for a few years. In 2025 or so they could reopen the gates to Beaver Stadium.
Because what's worse than an assistant coach molesting kids? Nothing. For this Penn State received a ten year bowl ban, a large fine and significant scholarship penalties. The bowl ban was lifted a couple of years ago, as were some the scholarship penalties. This means you could pimp out the cheerleaders or sell crack to the local Pop Warner teams - anything short of Nick Saban opening fire at SEC media day - and there would not be a worse punishment.
The Referee Giveth, The Referee Taketh Away: If the officials in the Pac-12 conference deem this penalty insufficient they will, if they want, extract their revenge. Don't kid yourself. Oh, Oregon State won't blatantly take it in the shorts. Any good high school varsity official, much less a major college official, has put too much work into this honorable trade to lower themselves to that level. However, there are an indeterminate number of calls every game that could go either way. Calls where you're right there in perfect position and you find yourself scratching your head thinking "hell if I know".
This is especially true in basketball. I've worked games where we were sitting in the locker room afterwards chatting about a call where the covering official had one thing, another official had the opposite and the third said he would have let it go without a whistle. Officiating can be that subjective at times and it would not be the Upset of the Year to find the Beavers not getting the benefit of the doubt for a while.
For The Record: If you find yourself officiating and a call doesn't call itself, trust your instincts. If you're instincts are throwing their hands up reward the good play. If the play sucked, make whatever call keeps the game moving.
IT'S GOOD TO BE THE KING…EXCEPT FOR NOW: The King of England, Charles I, goes on trial for treason and assorted other charges on this date in 1649.
Thank Goodness: A complete analysis of the English Civil War is, thankfully, beyond the scope of this column, however Charles had been feuding with Parliament for a while, and war broke out in 1642 and after losing he was eventually taken captive.
It was not easy to bring Charles to trial, however. The House of Commons first attempt at indictment was rejected by those bastards in the House of Lords. The masses continued in ill humour, though, and the House of Commons passed an act establishing a separate court to try Charles and declared the act did not need Charles assent to become law, which probably did not please Charles.
For his part, Charles claimed no court had jurisdiction over a monarch, the type of attitude that got him in trouble in the first place. He was convicted, condemned to death on January 26 and beheaded four days later.
Another Great Monarchy Moment: Edward VIII becomes King of England on this date in 1936, succeeding his father George V, who had died earlier that day. Edward, however, had the hots for an American named Wallis Simpson and Edward's plan to marry this divorced woman was derided throughout the Commonwealth. Given the choice between being king and not marrying Ms Simpson and not being king and marrying Ms Simpson, he chose the latter, abdicating the throne in December.
I Do Solemnly Swear To Get America Involved In A War Before I'm Done: Franklin Delano Roosevelt becomes the first president of the United States inaugurated on January 20 on this date in 1937.
Really Dry, Technical Matter: Previously, presidential terms had ended on March 4. This had been selected as the day for presidential - and Congressional - terms to begin and end because in earliest days of our republic it took time for someone newly elected to get his affairs squared away, journey to Washington and decide who they were goint to take their bribes from.
As the decades past, however, March 4 meant there were four months when the country was governed by a lame duck president and a lame duck Congress, and the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution changed the dates federal terms began.
Oh Yeah: Congress now begins its term on January 3.
Death To Carter: 20 minutes after Ronald Reagan is inaugurated president of the United States on this date in 1981, Iran releases 52 American hostages it had held since November 4, 1979.
Thought For The Day: …you can never enslave a reluctant people without first charming them. Certainly you must convince them that your way is their way and that the chains you have forged for them are necessary ornaments. - Gore Vidal, Creation
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The last person executed in the United States before Gary Gilmore was Luis Monje, executed by Colorado on June 2, 1967.
Today's Stumper: The Trivia feature will return.
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