Controversial TD Highlights Goldengate, Burns Bridges
September 26, 2012 § 2 Comments
… between Roger Goodell and NFL fans, here on Monday Night Football. #FreeEdHochuli #Didn’tKnowEdHochuliWasALawyerDuringHisSpareTime #FreeEdHochuli’sBiceps #IKnowThisIsn’tTwitter
DangeRuss Wilson takes the final snap of the game, scrambles away from the pass rush, out of the pocket and heaves a mesmerizing spiral to the end zone. Multiple Green Bay defenders and Seattle receivers converge to catch the ball. Whichever team catches the ball wins. Green Bay defensive back M.D. Jennings clearly receives the ball first, while Seattle WR Golden Tate pushes off one defender and joins in to catch the ball. The lack of an offensive pass interference call is non-reviewable but besides that, this is clearly an interception, right? One referee signals touchdown and the other signals interception/touchback, neither confident about their calls. Crew chief goes to reviews the play and says… touchdown.
Fans/players/Jon Gruden were angry. Tom Crabtree (no relation to Michael Crabtree) and Jermichael Finley voiced their frustration with the replacement referees. Green Bay defensive star Clay Matthews posted commissioner Roger Goodell’s direct phone number on Twitter, where angry fans left thousands of messages on Goodell’s voicemail. Media quoted Seattle players saying they did not deserve this win.
Had Green Bay intercepted the ball, gambling people would have been happy with their spoils if they believed Green Bay would cover the spread. However, Golden Tate’s touchdown swung about $300 million dollars in Vegas sports bets, leaving many gamblers feeling dazed, confused and angry.
Had Jennings batted the ball down so that no one could catch the ball, there would be less controversy. Jon Gruden would have less ammunition in order to use against the referees and the quality of play. I would not have to makes jokes about how Wisconsin’s electoral votes go to the presidential candidate that relieves Commissioner Goodell of his duties, winner-takes-all. There would be no visceral reaction on Twitter about the Monday Night Football and NFL in general.
Would Ed Hochuli, one of the most respected active referees blow the same call? We will never know.
What Does MNF Have To Do With Figure Skating?
I joined Cal Figure Skating and was on the team that placed 4th in the nation. I learned how to skate in middle school and Cal Figure Skating’s Skate Night fundraiser got me interested in learning how to skate again. I didn’t know much beyond skating forwards and backwards, crossovers, spirals, waltz jumps, face plants and things I learned from Blades of Glory. It was a solid enough foundation anyway.
I emailed a coach at the local rink I skated at and asked if she could coach me leading up to the competitions. She accepted the challenge and we started training. The team had only competed in one event earlier in the school year, so all I had to do was go to two competitions in Colorado on back-to-back weekends. If we end up being one of the top 3 teams, Cal would qualify for Nationals. So what song do I choose to skate to?
Monday Night Football? Shut the front door.
How the Competitions Went Down
I had enough time to register as a USFSA member, purchase my flight tickets and hotel rooms. I practiced three days a week and learned five jumps, two spins and a step sequence.
My first competition was on Super Bowl Sunday. Uncanny timing to be skating to Monday Night Football on Super Bowl Sunday. On the other hand, I was a stupid Berkeley student who didn’t know the days of the week, skating to Monday Night Football on a Sunday. Despite all that, I went on the ice and skated well for my first competition, albeit against myself. The flight attendant on the flight back didn’t seem all too happy when I asked her if the captain could update the plane on the Super Bowl score.
I also ordered a custom-made San Jose Sharks Jersey with my name on it between the first competition. On one hand, it made sense with the whole sports theme and the sports song. On the other hand, I’m figure skating to a football song while wearing a hockey jersey. Good game. I skated the second time around with no one else in my group and fell at the very end. Nevertheless, judges were amused. Teammates were amused.
There were two months between the last regional competition and Intercollegiate Nationals. Brian Boitano skates at my local rink and he was happy to sign my Sharks jersey. “Be In The Moment.” That’s what Brian Boitano would do.
Then Nationals Rolled Along
It was my third competition ever and the first competition where I’m actually skating against other skaters, both from Boston University and one who has great footwork because he’s a senior level ice dancer. FML.
I had a difficult time getting the mental side of things together right up until the actual event. Coaches teach young skaters to think about each part of the routine as the routine progresses. Coaches also teach their skaters to not focus on what they messed up on earlier if mistakes happen. Crap.
I mailed in an underwhelming performance, messing up early and often, earning bronze. But at the end of this entire competition season, I learned a lot.
USFSA rules actually forbid men from skating in tights. Sports jerseys aren’t considered garish attire. Parents, coaches and skaters. Many skaters have tried-and-true rituals to get ready for their events. People enjoy listening to Monday Night Football (I think) and seeing new skaters take interest in skating. I enjoy figure skating and watching figure skating. This whole experience was awesome. I went from:
Thanks to my teammates, friends and family for all of the support. You all rock.