Sunday, November 05, 2006


Support The MacT Relief Fund? South View

I like it when Craig Mactavish is upset. For starters, "at times I have found his antics humourous" (to coin a phrase). Also, it gives me a general, warm sense of well-being when he's unhappy, simply because the odds are whatever he's unhappy about is something that pleases me. (Like, a junior-league-player mentality, just to pick one example.)

A $10,000 fine is intended in part to discourage him from going on future rants like the one Friday night. Anything hockey fans can do to counteract that is OK by me. So, nothwithstanding the comments below, I support this product and/or service generous effort.

As to the blown call at hand, I think a few people need a headsmack. Watching Hockeycentral for a bit last night, I found myself amazed that Bill Watters and Ray Ferraro have been in pro hockey for a combined 110 years. The short primer for y'all: Whistle Blown in Error cannot be undone, reviewed or even mitigated. This isn't a rules quirk or a technological limitation; it has nothing to do with consulting with the linesmen. It's just a fact of sport.

When the whistle is blown, the play is dead, period. What are the alternatives? The players are not expected to make a snap judgement when they hear the ref's whistle as to whether the ref made the right call or not. Marty Turco, as an example, is entitled to stop paying attention when the whistle blows. So is Sergei Zubov. Whether they did or did not, or did partly, is really beside the point.

Look at that video; if you assume Magoo hoots on his whistle right before he starts waving his arms, that's basically when Stoll first touches the puck. So I'm not sure what Bill & Ray want McGeough to discuss with the rest of the crew: "Guys, looks like a made a bad call there: do you think we can pretend I never blew the whistle or waved my arms before the puck went in, and just let the goal stand?" Yeeesh.

This isn't exactly a blue-moon occurrence either. Every so often a ref blows the puck dead because the thinks the goalie has it covered, when in fact the puck is well loose and goes in a fraction later. Sometimes a linesman makes a bad offside call on an odd-man rush, killing an excellent scoring chance. Sometimes an official has a misfired neuron and just blows the whistle for no apparent reason at all. It happens.

Magoo made a bad call, and unfortunately for the Oil, the type of call he blew was irreversible. But he's a well above-average ref with lots of experience. He'll make fewer than most. MacT's comments were not a very good idea, though I personally appreciate the entertainment value.


Dude, you should know better than to consider yourself typical of Oiler fans OR hockey fans. Someone will back me up, I'm sure: Ferraro and Watters were arguing with Kypreos, saying he should have consulted with the crew. I have no doubt that other people, including many Oiler fans, share this opinion. Which is, as noted, nutty.

He's a well above-average ref with lots of experience

Seriously, you think he's above-average? I'm more shocked about that statement than Magoo's horrible call. Who else can be worse??

Just curious if anyone knows what exactly happened in the ATL/WAS game of the same night, where a handpass was called pre-goal and that call WAS reversed and the goal allowed. The only footage I have seen I can't pick out the whistle sound, but it was eerily similar to the Oil situationa few hours later.


While all would/should agree that the rule is that once the whistle blows the play is dead, I think the broader point is that a) there is no reason why Magoo should have made that call from where he was located, and b) there needs to be an adjustment of the rules where a combination of these things can come into play: i) a ref isn't allowed to make a call from that viewpoint, ii) the players are told to always play through the first whistle, iii) the whistle is in fact not blown on a play like that, iv) a coach can challenge the ruling, despite the whistle, v) the refs and linesman are allowed to huddle and discuss, despite the whistle being blown. The only comparable I have is the NFL, where challenges have not been allowed on plays deemed dead. But I think the NFL has a rule this year where certain dead plays can still be reviewed. I'm going off memory, because I can't find any mention of challenges in the NFL Rulebook. But the NFL also has a permanent stop time at the end of every down that has no comparision in hockey, so it would be tricky to figure this out. But the league should. Why the hell is it wasting time enforcing language laws when it should be increasing the quality of the on-ice product?

I think the biggest question is why didnt he let his lineman call the play, as he had the perfect vantage point. I think this is where mac-t nailed it on the head when he alluded to the fact that magoo has to be the center of attention. Does Magoo feel that his linesman is incompetent?

Under existing rules, they could have "huddled" together and gotten the call right. That doesn't mean allowing the goal (as the whistle had likely gone). However, they could have rewound the clock, and had another faceoff in the same spot (inside the Dallas zone). Moving the faceoff outside the zone as though Magoo was correct? That's not doing everything they could to get the call right. Same for taking a couple seconds off the clock.

Also under current rules, the league can obviously can make an effort to encourage refs to not blow the play down on a faceoff hand pass that the ref *thought* he saw. Either he saw it, or he didn't. No inventing stuff.

New rules:
- there's no reason they couldn't rewind the tape 5 or 10 seconds to review something the ref thought he saw (or was uncertain of). In other words, give the ref even more incentive to not blow the whistle prematurely. Allow the play to continue. If there's concern that a glove pass *might* have been involved, go upstairs and rewind (up to a max 10 seconds)

Ironic point: Magoo must've agreed with Matt's earlier assertion that faceoffs aren't that important...

- Rod

Uh, Colby, in the single ref system, Magoo would have been in the corner. The two ref system means he doesn't have to invent a call on something he doesn't see. The 2nd ref is in much better position.

I agree that Andy's list is ridiculous. That said, to suggest they can't fix anything... Come on. Of course they can make changes to minimize the chances of this happening again.

- Rod

You're still not, of course, going to be able to introduce some kind of non-whistle whistle to the game, any more than you can have a fucking pony made of ice cream for Christmas.

Why not? They already have the non-whistle in the game, on questionable goals where the play continues. They just go back and look at it after. Why couldn't they have done the same here?

The NFL tells players to play through the whistle. A smart coach does too. Why couldn't the same play have happened, with the players playing through it, and a coach can challenge it?

Wild guess--you're an only child?

Um, no.

I agree that Andy's list is ridiculous.

Why? The point is, solutions exist. It just makes sense to develop a plan in case situations like that occur. It's better to be proactive than reactive.

But he's a well above-average ref with lots of experience.

Now that's a ridiculous idea.

Well, shit, why don't they just play the full 60 minutes without stopping? Then after the game they can take a few hours, decide which goals counted and which ones didn't.

Brilliant counter-argument. Between your last few comments, wild guess--you were raised by sophists?

What was ridiculous? The idea of ignoring the first whistle. No way that works. Every item on the list after that hinged on ignoring the whistle. So that made the list ridiculous. Does that mean what Magoo pulled isn't fixable? No. Your first point was solid...but got lost in the "2nd whistle" nonsense.

- Rod

No, wait, I got it. We'll give the refs a whistle and a big cowbell, and then when they really want to stop the play they can pound away like Gene Frenkle.

Now that was funny. But it does prove that Cosh watches an inferior product called the CFL, and has no idea that some leagues have moved beyond the concept of being rewarded for missing a kick.

Every item on the list after that hinged on ignoring the whistle. So that made the list ridiculous.

I communicated this poorly. The actions I suggested aren't necessarily contingent upon previous ones. It was supposed to be a variety of different things that could be done. But I don't understand why you are against the letting the play continue suggestion, Rod. It's what you suggested:

Allow the play to continue. If there's concern that a glove pass *might* have been involved, go upstairs and rewind (up to a max 10 seconds)

This is one of the things I suggested, although I apparently did a horrible job explaining it. And it's what already happens in hockey when a guy rings one off a post and no one knows if it actually went in or not. Play goes on, players haven't stopped, and they go upstairs when the whistle finally blows.

Andy, some of us are aware of the NFL, and simply prefer the CFL. Really. Two great games today BTW. Not sure why you're bashing the CFL and not the Stamps...

This is taking a tangent, but apparently some think the NFL is perfect (head shots have to patterned after their rules, officiating, etc.).

Single point: you're ignoring the fact it gives incentive to run the ball out of the endzone on a missed field goal. These can be exciting plays that go for a touchdown, or can backfire completely by only getting it out to the 10. No single point, no incentive to run it out, play ends. Boring.

The NFL has a much bigger problem than than single points. Namely, a team with a lead can kill the clock entirely too easily. 45 second clock. 4 downs. No to mention walking off the field with time still on the clock. It's a joke. The CFL has much better rules surrounding clock management at the end of a game. Specifically, a team actually has to get a first down within the final two minutes to kill the clock.

I'll stop there...

- Rod

As for the list, I must've misread it. The point of ignoring the whistle was the problem. Cosh's cow bell line was a killer. Nicely done.

Andy, I think we can agree that refs shouldn't whistle down a glove pass unless they're absolutely certain. Magoo couldn't have known from where he was, and the rules should have allowed him to rewind the tape to check. Since the rules don't allow that, it should be changed. That's the suggestion, right?

- Rod

That's the suggestion, right?


Nice misdirection with the Rougue, btw.

Magoo blew the whistle. Play dead. No goal. That's cut-and-dried. But after consulting with everyone else in the universe and realizing he'd screwed up, couldn't Magoo have dictated the faceoff be held in the DAL zone, with the original time put back on the clock? A "do-over" in other words? He screwed up on so many levels that it's unbelievable he won't be getting disciplined by the league.

The call cannot, and should not be reversed. Once the whitsle is blown, the play is dead. It was a bad call, but it's also doubtful the Oil would have scored if McGoo had not blown the whistle. The first goal however, is easily reversed and should have been. I've seen it happen before and there is no doubt it was interference and should have been reversed this time, otherwise, what's the point of having 4 guys in stripped shirts out there? I'm amazed that more attention isn't paid to Dallas' first goal which was blatantly illegal. The entire official crew should be suspended for that.

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