Sunday, July 1, 2007

Oklahoma's Favorite Ref

It's official I have a sports addiction. I ended up watching some Arena Football League. Following a wonderful family wedding last night I spent a few moments winding down before going to bed. I was able to catch the final 10 minutes of SportsCenter, which I enjoyed. Then, as is the case every night, a replay of that night's televised sporting event started.

This time it was AFL playoffs. I never watch the AFL, find it boring and wonder where all of the players come from. I watch as much college football as is humanly possible and I have no idea who any of the players are. It baffles me that it is possible that I never recognize the players. Though I don't know any of the players I apparently know one of the referees. And that is when my sports addiction hit me. The ref made a couple of penalty calls in the 10 minutes that I watched. I instantly knew who we was and so did the residents of Norman, OK.

It was none other than Dave Cutaia. He is of the onside kick fame in the Oregon vs. Oklahoma game last year. There is no need to go into the details of that day. The Sooners got screwed, plain and simple. Nothing more can be said. I understand there are only so many referees in the world and only those with severe sports addictions would even recognize Cutaia. I also understand that good people make mistakes. Given the Pac-10's track record, it doesn't surprise me that the Pac-10 has promoted Cutaia since his moment in the spotlight (see agreeing to TV rights deals with regionalized Fox Sports Net and then wondering why no one east of the Rockies watches the games), but the AFL deciding to use Cutaia in a playoff game?

America truly is the land of second chances. More power to Cutaia for taking advantage of this even when you wouldn't think it was possible. When all was said and done the replay referee in the Autzen Stadium press box is the one that took the fall. Based on the call made on the field that day he had no other choice but no one cares about that. Cutaia continues his distinguished career as if nothing happened.

(Photo from Don Ryan/AP.)

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