This author has been following sports for about 40 years now. The officials have always been a subject of controversy in sports. Here is one opinion on the 10 worst calls in officiating. Few are recent. Most of these go back to an era before instant replay, before sports blogs, and before Twitter. Now, as noted by Pat Forde (who this author does not generally agree with): “Twitter, message boards and call-in shows are veritable forest fires of ref-bashing both during and after games.” This is true. If you follow Twitter feeds for two fan bases during a game, you would come to a conclusion that the refs of <insert league> are incompetent and biased in favor of <insert opponent>. Nobody loses anymore, they lose to the opponent and a bunch of bribed, incompetent, script-following officials. Obviously, this is not true. But respected and successful blogger Sean Keeley (Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician) tweeted a good point:
Re: coaches not respecting referees. Referees should be treated like coaches then and have to face media after games. Level the field.
One of the things that is frustrating is that coaches have to answer to the media after a loss. This can involve judgment calls–why did you call that timeout, why did you not call that timeout, why not play a backup, etc. In general, officials do not. And when Jim Joyce cost the Detroit Tigers’ Andres Gallaraga a no-hitter, his tearful admission of error and apology was, somehow, comforting enough to make it a non-issue. Human beings, for all their faults, are able to forgive someone who admits an error and is sincerely contrite. Are we at a point where there is so much media (formal and social) that officials should want to be in front of the media for their own sake?