Monday, October 23, 2006

Shame on Dan Rooney

I disagree with Bones on this one. The Steelers lost that game fair and square. The Steelers have no business pointing fingers at the officials. Yes, they beat up the Falcons good. The defense was great. But the team, especially the offense and the special teams, utterly failed to do the simple things--e.g., protect the ball--required to translate that beat-up into victory. As with the Cincinnati game, the Steelers let this one get away and they have only themselves to blame for it.

The officiating was inconsistent, sure, but the refs are human. We know that going into the game.

The top story on Ballbug this morning is the piece of crap that maybe was or maybe wasn't on Kenny Rogers' hand for one inning. So he forgot to wash his hands after using the bathroom. That's no way to summarize the game.

What's gotten into so many sports fans? The city of Seattle leads the way when it comes to public reactions to sporting disappointment. The country has gone nuts with all this working of the refs. Why such outrage, such suspicion, such disrespect for the rule of zebras? Next thing you know, people will be hollering about "purity of elections." If we can't practice civility as sports fans, there's no hope for us as citizens. What if, some day, (knock on wood), we are shaken from our prosperous slumber to debate real-world emergencies such as a war, a coup, or an environmental disaster?

There can be no sports of any kind without referees. And there can be no long-term enjoyment of the game if people don't respect fundamental rules of sportsmanship. Unless the zebras screw up as terribly as they did with Polamalu's interception in the 2005 Steelers-Colts playoff game, there's no reason to do anything but hold your tongue and sublimate that anger into any more worthwhile activity.

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