General musings following Purdue’s
38-34 victory 31-34 “loss” to the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Its times like these that you need to be guided by the wisest among us. Often times, like most Americans, I rely on Forrest Gump. Purveyor of such wise words as “Life is like a box of chocolates” or “I’m not a smart man, but I do know what love is” or “Stupid is as stupid does” … Forrest Gump was one of the wisest people ever to grace the silver screen.
My favorite quote of his is, “It happens.” Here’s how it plays out, while Forrest Gump is running across the nation for some reason… He is approached by a young entrepreneur looking for inspiration.
Entrepreneur: Oh man, you just ran through a big pile of dog "it"!
Forrest: It happens...
Entrepreneur: What... "it"??
That young entrepreneur used Forrest’s wisdom and eventually came up with a bumper sticker concept, making a lot of money. All because Forrest said, simply, “It happens.”
Sometimes, however, “it” is a little bit more than a minor blip on the radar. Sometimes “it” is a huge, steaming pile. Sometimes “it” can not be ignored.
People make mistakes, and I get it. Human error is definitely a part of every day life, and a factor in every bit of competition. Certain mistakes, however, are significantly worse than others, and can’t be chalked up to understandable error.
You see, if a Burger King employee makes my whopper incorrectly “it” isn’t that big of a deal. If that same employee serves me a fully rotten, raw burger, that can make me sick, its clearly more significant. That employee should not be doing that job.
If an airplane pilot experiences some turbulence during a flight, “it” might be nerve wracking, but no biggie. If a pilot forgets to put the wheels down on a landing, “it” is a tremendous mistake. I’m sure a major airline won’t hire em’ again.
If your surgeon takes an unexpected extra two hours to perform your surgery “it” is an inconvenience, but life goes on. If your surgeon amputates the wrong limb “it” invalidates the expertise of your surgeon. He or she clearly can’t do that job.
If a football official makes a bad holding call, then that sucks. Happens regularly in this sport. If a football side judge makes a phantom offensive pass interference call on the game winning touchdown (which also covers the money line) with less than a minute to go in the game… that is par for the course in Commissioner Kevin Warren’s Big Ten.
Under Friday night lights, our Purdue Boilermakers became a national headline twice in the same night, for two different aspects.
- National Story #1: The long anticipated return of All-Universe wide receiver Rondale Moore who had a tremendous performance. Hauling in 15 catches for 116 yards, rushing three times for 20 yards, Moore looked incredible. He finished the day with
2er… 1 touchdown which came early in the game, but was every bit the playmaker that he we know he can be.
- National Story #2: On the presumptive game winning touchdown to Purdue TE Payne Durham in the final minute of the game, side judge [Name Redacted] threw a flag for offensive pass interference that was so incredibly bad, that national pundits were calling it the “Worst call in football history.” It is presumed that [Name Redacted] saw a minor transgression in which Durham and Minnesota DB Phillip Howard mutually reached towards each other midway through the route. That was apparently enough to be flagged for offensive pass interference. Purdue threw an interception on the very next play… a play in which Rondale Moore was clearly interfered with… More on this later.
Anyways… Jack Plummer got his first start of the season and looked great in his season debut. Plummer went 35/42 for 3 touchdowns and an interception. His mobility really shined as he was able to keep the defense leaning, and make plays with his feet.
David Bell was his usual tremendous self catching 8 passes for 104 yards and two TDs. Likwise, David Bell made a series of excellent blocks on the outside, one of which sprung teammate Rondale Moore for his rushing touchdown.
Photo Credit: Purdue Athletics
The Purdue (D)efense?
Well, swiss cheese has less holes in it right now. Minnesota scored at will until late in the game. That is when the defense caught fire and finally started getting stops when it counted. Statistics will tell you that the defense did it’s job holding Minnesota to 130 yards rushing and 264 yards passing, but the eye test tells you something different. Minnesota was facing a paper defense for 3/4 of the game.
What Went Well:
- Wow factor: Purdue’s offense looks a tad bit more dynamic when you have Rondale Moore on the other side of David Bell. Together these folks have that one-two punch that will be nightmares for opposing defenses.
- Captain Jack: Jack Plummer looked poised and fluent in the backfield. Calm as a cucumber, he looked like the rightful heir to the QB cradle. As this game progressed, I became more and more confident that this offense will get the job done.
- Fill that stat sheet!: Jaylan Alexander, Corey Trice, and Derrick Barnes tallied tremendous games garnering 12, 9, and 9 tackles respectively.
Opportunities for Improvement:
- Not the best of days…: Purdue kicker JD Dellinger missed two kicks this weekend. One of which was blocked, the other was a traditional miss. Dellinger has been a consistent player for the Boilers and sometimes people have bad days.
- Following the game Dellinger issued an apology to the team for missing the kicks. Stop right there, JD. There is absolutely no reason to apologize. Sometimes kickers miss kicks, and for you to harbor disappointment in your performance is natural. I will speak for the Boilermaker Nation in saying that we got your back. Use this disappointment to fuel yourself to improve. You got this.
- 0. 5.: Zero sacks and 5 TFL. Minnesota only threw the ball 22x this weekend, but zero sacks should be a pride-point for the defensive front. 5 TFL is a little more concerning. Minnesota carried the ball 41 times this weekend. Only 5 TFL means that the Golden Gophers offensive line was blowing the Purdue front off the ball.
- Can we at least get someone neutral?: The Big Ten Network color commentator for this game was Glen Mason. Glen Mason was the Head Coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers from 1997-2006. To say that he was biased is the understatement of the century. Mason spent the entire game with his lips firmly planted on the Golden Gopher’s rear end.
Big Man On Campus:
David Bell continued his dominance with 8 catches for 104 yards and 2 TD. David is a leader on this team, and will continue as a force going forward.
Enough Is Enough Already:
The very first college football game was played in 1869 between Rutgers and New Jersey University (aka Princeton). That is 151 years for those keeping score at home.
One hundred and fifty one years.
Imagine how bad a call has to be to be considered the “… worst call in college football history.” Imagine the total of plays that have been performed. Imagine the flags which have been thrown over 151 years. Imagine it. We’re talking hundreds of thousands, if not millions of penalties over the last century and a half.
An official named [Name Redacted] made a call so egregiously, disgustingly bad that ESPN mocked him for it on the premiere college football TV show, College Gameday.
(For the record, on air media personalities are trained not to disparage a referee unless it is egregious.)
Countless “blue checkmark” sports reporters bemoaned the terrible call online. Multiple sport books have given automatic refunds for anyone who bet on this game, because the call was so wrong.
CASINOS ARE GIVING MONEY BACK BECAUSE THIS CALL WAS SO BAD.
Imagine being the official information director of this game. The professional who, following this call -REDACTED THE NAME OF THE SIDE JUDGE- from official gameday press releases. That is how bad this call was. It was so bad that [Name Redacted]’s name was -LITERALLY REDACTED FROM OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASES-. How awful is this situation? They had to hide who the side judge was because it was… THAT bad.
A quick Twitter/google search will reveal [Name Redacted]’s name. Twitter users are claiming some very nefarious things about [Name Redacted], the type of things that are very, very damning on the presumed ethical status of Mr. Side-judge [Name Redacted].
Imagine being [Name Redacted]. An official who just made the worst call in the 151 year history of college football. He just made a phantom pass interference call, which tore the game from Purdue’s hands. Is he happy? Is he happy being the laughing stock of officiating in the nation? He is a punch line. He is emblematic of ineptitude which is the recent history of officiating in Big Ten Athletics. The entire sports world has actively laughed at him. Does this guy sleep well at night? Can he look himself in a mirror?
He is the Burger King employee who served a rotten burger. He is the airplane pilot who neglected to put the landing gear down. He is the surgeon who sawed off the wrong appendage during an amputation. He is the human being who is so egregiously bad at his job that he made college football history, 151 years in the making.
Imagine being Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. Look at your wonderful baby, Kevin. Your officials are the laughing stock of the College Football world. Don’t look now, your officials are the laughing stock of the College Basketball world too. You’ll find out in the next couple of weeks. Have some pride.
At the writing of this blog it is approximately 48 hours since the worst call in college football history happened. The Big Ten has said nothing. They have done nothing.
I get it. Major public relations moves and human resources moves normally don’t happen on weekends. I understand that. It might be naïve of me to think that the Big Ten would publicly announce disciplinary action against the perpetrator of the worst call in football history in expeditious fashion.
I guess Monday will tell the tale. Does the Big Ten have the guts to make an example of an obviously inept official? Does the B1G have the toughness to hold anyone accountable? Does the Big Ten really care that their officials are a laughing stock? Do they care that the product is immensely suffering?
Spoiler alert, they probably don’t care. Kevin Warren has made a series of “questionable” decisions since he took the helm. Does Kevin Warren have the guts to do what is right? If this happened against Ohio State, would Warren tuck his tail between his legs? Doubt it.
Do what is right, Mr. Warren. Hold someone accountable. Or be a coward. Your choice. Judging by your history thus far, I predict the latter.
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