Under-Reaction Monday: Wisconsin’s Referee Weekend

10 09 2012

It was a rough weekend for Wisconsin football fans: the Badgers looked positively diarrhetic against a middling Oregon State team and the Packers were by no means the high-powered offense as advertised from last year’s powerhouse (if ultimately short-lived) season. Both games also exhibited some questionable officiating, and the combination of flag-happy refs and generally underwhelming football between the two teams has drawn the Facebook-status ire of most people with a stake in those two teams’ success.

But before we resign ourselves to a football apocalypse, let’s step back and get a better perspective on each team’s failure. First, the Badgers. The Badgers’ loss is bad, not because we were on the wrong end of a bad call near the close of the game, but because for the second week in a row fans were reminded that this Badger team is not in the same class as the previous two Rose Bowl squads. This is not like the Michigan State game from last year, in which the Badgers were steamrolling opponents on a weekly basis, only to have a hail-mary pass deflate a fan base whose hopes were running high. This year, meanwhile, the running game has stalled and Montee Ball’s chances at breaking the NCAA touchdown record now appear pretty slim. If UW continues this way and racks up a few more losses, then the big concern for Badger fans is whether or not the program will be able to bounce back into its winning ways–especially with Michigan and Urban Meyer’s Ohio State on the rise.

Meanwhile, in Green Bay, FOX’s national audience was treated to a back-and-forth game with flags being thrown around like feces in a monkey cage. There were bad calls, late calls, overturned calls; as Rich Eisen tweeted, “McCarthy/Harbaugh might eat someone’s young by game’s end.” If anybody benefited, though, it was Green Bay: Randall Cobb’s punt-return touchdown was clearly the result of a block in the back non-call. And in the grand scheme of things, despite wins from Detroit and Chicago, a week 1 game shouldn’t mean anything to an Aaron Rodgers offense in December.

And from my own perspective, I’ve really got nothing to worry about because the Yankees are going to cruise to a 28th World Series. I haven’t even looked at the standings since July because I’ve been so confident. Let me just take a quick look at our division lead…

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