Sports Controversy

Comments and more on some of the weirdest/controversial/unreasonable rules/players in any sport

Wake Up, ref. You’re missing a good game.

Written By: Stephanie Santa Maria

At almost every sports event, whether it’s a kids’ game or the pros, somebody complains about the referee’s or umpire’s calls.

Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga almost became the 21st pitcher in the history of major league baseball to throw a perfect game. That’s when a pitcher faces 27 batters in nine innings and gets them all out. No hits, no walks, no errors.

Gallarraga had set down the first 26 Cleveland Indians batters. The 27th hit a ground ball, and Galarraga ran over to cover first base. But the first base umpire, Jim Joyce, said the runner had beaten Galarraga and the ball to first base and called the runner safe. 

Galarraga pitched to the next batter, the last of the game, and got him out.

After the game the umpire saw film of the play, and admitted he had made a mistake. The runner had been out. But the umpire’s original call meant Galarraga lost his chance for a perfect game and a place in baseball history.

The Irish lost their Luck

Written By: Stephanie Santa Maria

With the title for the 2010 World Cup on the line, it was Ireland’s turn to be undone by an unseen handball. Actually it was by two unseen handballs. 

In extra time, France forward Thierry Henry twice controlled a long ball with his left hand before poking the ball in front of the net for his teammate (William Gallas) to score comfortably. 

Ireland’s players swarmed the referee, but he wouldn’t hear any of their pleas. That one goal sent France to South Africa and condemned Ireland to a summer at home.

What the Tuck?

Written By: Stephanie Santa Maria

The title is perfect for what happened at the snowy scene at Foxboro Stadium in January 2002, an AFC Divisional Playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders. With the Patriots down by three, quarterback Tom Brady dropped back to pass.

He started his motion when he saw Charles Woodson coming for him. So he brought the ball down and touched it with his left hand—the infamous “tuck.” The tuck meant that when Woodson knocked the ball free, it was not to be ruled a fumble, but rather an incomplete pass.

New England built on that momentum to win the game and then Superbowl XXXVI.

No Goal, cause I Say so

Written By: Stephanie Santa Maria

In the U.S. match-up against Slovenia during the World Cup 2010 group C match, Maurice Edu fired a ball into the goal in the 85th minute of the game. The American team thought they had just scored their third goal in the 85th minute of the game. 

The American team thought they had just scored their third goal and broken the tie—until it was taken away by referee Koman Coulibaly of Mali, who called a foul. 

Hundreds of replays and thousands of irate column inches later, it is clear that there was no discernible foul by any American in the buildup to the goal.

Let’s Be Honest! You All Saw It..

Written By: Stephanie Santa Maria

Today, it is still on of the most memorable plays of Michael Jordan’s career. Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, 5.2 seconds on the clock, and the Chicago Bulls down by one. Jordan takes the long shot—he scores! The Bulls win the championship and the shot remains Jordan’s final playoff moment of his career. 

Problem is, the shot should never have counted. Replays show quite definitively that Jordan pushed off the Utah Jazz defender, Bryon Russell.

The officials never saw it. Or at least, they never called it.

A Pricey Souvenir

Written By: Stephanie Santa Maria

Jeffrey Maier was just a 12-year-old kid in the right-field stands of Yankee Stadium when Game 1 of the 1996 American League Championship Series began. With the Yankees down 4-3 in the eighth inning to the Baltimore Orioles, Derek Jeter hit a long one to the right-field fence. But when outfielder Tony Tarasco reached up, Maier’s black glove got there first and deflected the ball over the wall. 

The umpire called it a home run. The Yankees went on to win the game, and the World Series. 

When the Time is Right

Written By: Stephanie Santa Maria

Just recently, I was watching one of the NBA playoff games and it was 1:15 left in the 4th with home team up by 1. The away team inbounds the ball and by the looks gets rid of a good 9 seconds and then the ball gets deflected out of bounds by the home team. The technicians at this time have forgot to start the clock. So without looking at the cameras for a definite replay of how much time passed, the referees just ask to take off 4 seconds.

Now with 1:11 left the away team got the better ends to it for they did not lose the time they have clearly used.

Times like these make me wonder why don’t they go to the tape?

Let the King Walk..

Written By: Stephanie Santa Maria

Now were in the Lebron James era where he can walk at will and never gets in to foul trouble, the league changed the rules this year officially allowing two steps before dribbling, I guess it supposed to make up for having allowed Lebron James 4 steps when he drives towards the basket since he entered the league.

Lebrons a great talent . The league continues to kiss his ring, even though he has not won a ring yet. His ability to run down players on the break to block there shot from behind at the last possible moment is unmatched in the league. But much too often he gets away with a hard foul . And it goes beyond the normal star treatment it now bleeds down to his teammates that also get star treatment even the bench players. It just would have been nice to see him earn his way like players before him. It would also be nice to call the game by the rules. I guess there is still high school basketball.

Palms for Days..

Written By: Stephanie Santa Maria

Now lets examine the palming violation a rule that should not be ignored , but it is ignored in today’s game. Mainly its the point guards that get away with this one, at least there the biggest offenders.

Lets start where it really began to change , where I first noticed anyway Tim Hardaway, A talented point guard with explosive speed and great ball handling skills. Once he was given the free pass to palm the ball his killer crossover was very hard to defend.  

Allen Iverson, a player with even more explosive speed then Hardaway . The amount Iverson was allowed to palm the ball was limitless , Iverson would slide his hand under the ball midway through the dribble causing a hesitation that would throw off the timing of a defender that was already disadvantaged trying to guard Iverson. Now make no mistake Iverson was not the only one allowed to do this he just magnified it with his natural ability. Currently point guards such as Chris Paul and many other speedy guards palm the ball fairly often with out a whistle being blown.

NBA Playoff game 2011 Nuggets vs. Thunder Game 1

Written By: Stephanie Santa Maria

With 1:20 left in the fourth quarter, the Denver Nuggets held a one-point lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-100.

Russell Westbrook dribbled the ball to half court on the right wing and passed to Kevin Durant on the left wing. Durant took a dribble back toward Westbrook and passed the ball back to him.

Westbrook then drove toward the basket against Raymond Felton before quickly stopping, pivoting with a ball fake and forcing up a tough, off-balanced shot.

The ball first bounced on the front of the rim, then the glass and as it was on its way to bouncing out of the “cylinder,” Thunder player Kendrick Perkins reached his right hand up through the net to tip the ball back down for a two-point basket. 

By rule, this should have been called goaltending. There should have been no basket and the play waived off, thus the Nuggets still having a one-point lead with the ball and close to 55 seconds left in the game.

This play made Westbrook reach the 30-point mark on the night and more importantly, it gave the Oklahoma City Thunder a 102-101 lead with under a minute left in the game.