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Monday, September 17, 2007

Phantom Field Goal

I scored tickets to the UNC vs. Virginia football game at the last minute on Saturday (got the call at little after 10am for a noon kick-off).

UNC has a new coach, Butch Davis, who is seeking to elevate the football program to the status of the school much-heralded basketball program. It was a great day for football: the hot weather finally broke and fall was in the air.

But that didn't stop me from getting sunburned on my neck and knees - maybe it had to do with the metal seats...

The game got off to a slow start but ended 22-20 with Virginia coming out on top after Carolina missed the two-point conversion to tie the game as time wound down.

Of course there was that phantom field goal that Virginia got. I'm not going to say that it was the deciding factor in the team's loss but some fans sure felt that way.

Here's the take from Lee Pace over at Carolina's web site:

"Everyone was equally flummoxed by the review of a Gould field goal midway through the third quarter that was originally called no good by the officials but overturned upon review in the press box. The kick looked wide left from my view at the 30 yard line, but Virginia's ball boys were positioned in the end zone and felt the ball was inside the upright and over the cross bar. They immediately appealed to Groh to challenge the ruling. The video replay showed the official directly underneath the falling ball flinch--either at the ball headed straight toward his face or at the sun, or both. He wasn't even looking at the ball as it fell through the goal posts. Why he signaled "no good" instead of conferring with his partner standing under the opposite upright is a legitimate question."

It does beg the question: how does a referee call a field goal no good when it was good? From the stands it totally looked no good. After a few minutes the announcer balked "would the referee please pick up the phone" then the prerequisite huddle amongst the striped men and then the announcement that the call would be overturned. The field goal was good. Of course boos reigned down and cups and lemons and even small bottles of liquor (smuggled in by frat pledges!) were tossed on the field.

I don't believe I've ever heard of a field goal being reversed like that in all my years of watching football.

This one will go down in history and at least I'll be able to say I was there.

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