Friday, January 26, 2007

Seriously, fire that clock-operator guy

If you watched SportsCenter today, or, shit, anything on the ESPN family of networks, you saw Duke -- at #10, unequivocally the most overrated team in the polls -- score a basket with like a tenth of a second remaining to beat Clemson 68-66. This is notable because the Devils shouldn't have had enough time to get the shot off, as is proven by the YouTube clip over at Deadspin; because of a presumably 97-year-old and senile clock operator, the clock didn't start on time when Clemson got possession and tied the game, and then ran too far once the tying basket had gone in. This led to an officials' conference wherein the refs but too damn much time back on the clock, which in turn allowed the Dookies to take a shot that they wouldn't have had enough time for had the correct number of seconds been on the game clock. And they made it and they won.

Why is this a big deal and, in my opinion a firing offense? Because the exact goddamn same thing happened at Cameron Indoor Stable on January 6 against Virginia Tech. Duke scored to tie the game with like 15 seconds left, and when VT inbounded the ball, the clock didn't start, and then a timeout was called and the clock ran for like 2 seconds after that. The officials put too little time back on the clock, and the Hokies got a tip-in "after" the buzzer had sounded, a shot which probably would have counted had VT had that extra 2 seconds that were stolen. Yes, even if they had the extra time they might have still worked the clock down to 4 seconds before shooting, leaving no time for a tip-in, and yes, the Hokies still ended up winning in overtime. But seriously, how does this keep happening? What the fuck is the timekeeper doing at Duke? Whose thousand-year-old grandmother is at the switch? Do we really want Old Man Patterson with HIS FINGER ON THE BUTTON?!?!

(edited to add: the absolute best part of the Deadspin post is the commenter who says "Man...Clemson got RAPED! Yikes...too soon?")


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