I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Despite its weak offensive output, MSU has only one loss this year, mainly due to its aggressive, physical defense. However, MSU's aggressive, physical defense has led them to becoming the 117th worse NCAA team (out of 125) for penalty yardage [70 yards/gm].
At ND, MSU's aggressiveness on defense led to numerous key defensive penalties which gave away the game to the Irish.
After the ND game, MSU AD Mark Hollis made an inquiry to Big Ten officials regarding the penalty calls against the Spartans. Mark Dantonio was quoted by the Detroit Free Press as questioning whether the penalty calls against his DB's reflected a change in standards for pass defenders. Many media members questioned the calls against MSU. In MSU's most recent home game vs. Purdue, MSU was only called for 2 penalties for 14 yards.
I think the key determinant in Michigan's upcoming game at Michigan State will be whether the refs fairly call MSU penalties, especially for pass interference/defensive holding and roughing the passer. If Big Ten officials continue to experience a "backlash" effect and exhibit reluctance to fairly call MSU penalties in East Lansing, it will doom Michigan's chances for a big road win. In addition, excessively rough play by MSU (as has occurred in past match-ups) could also result in injuries to Michigan's key players.
The ejection of Miguel Cabrera in today's Tigers game, which most people (Tigers fans at least) thought was a result of the ump being way too sensitive, has me thinking about how different sports manage sportsmanship.
In many sports, there are penalties that referees can call when they think players are whining or being overly demonstrative to the detriment of the game. Football refs throw a flag for a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, NBA refs call a technical and the other team shoots free throws, soccer refs can hand out a yellow card.
In baseball, there aren't really penalties. The ump's only power move is to eject someone.
And then there's hockey, which I don't watch a ton of, but my impression is that the notion of a ref calling a penalty on a player for unsportsmanship is just silly.
So my question for you all is, which sport do you think handles sportsmanship the best? Would you like any sports to change their rules?
My opinion: I hate when player antics that have nothing to do with gameplay affect the outcomes of matches. There is nothing more frustrating than having a big 3rd down stop nullified by an excessive celebration penalty, or a tech called on a player for arguing a call late in a close game. At the same time, it's also annoying to watch players whining, and I think there should be something to keep players somewhat in line.
With that said, I think hockey does it the best, because the culture of hockey players sort out most annoying players. You don't want to get labeled as a whiny POS because players will hunt you down during games. In this way, whining is limited and gameplay is unaffected. I'd love NBA and especialy soccer to develop this mentality, but I think in the meantime increasing fines is the way to start.
There was a nice discussion on some other thread about whether there should have been a penalty called when Roundtree was pushed out of bounds just prior to an interception by some Alabama defender. I bring it up here as I am just curious if there are any "real" referees out there who know the rules well enough to judge the play.
Let us assume (for the sake of argument) that the ball was NOT in the air, and therefore rule out pass interference.
It is pretty clear from the rulebook that other contact IS legal, i.e., there is no NFL-like non-contact rule after five yards. Thus, a defender can often block (above the waist) a receiver who is running out there.
However, I contend that there still should have been a penalty on the play. This is from my read of what I think is a relevant rule (Rule 9, Section 3, Article 4, Part c):
"Defensive players may ward off or legally block an eligible pass receiver until that player occupies the same yard line as the defender or until the opponent could not possibly block him. Continuous contact is illegal."
I believe the key passage is that you can ward off or legally block a pass receiver "until that player occupies the same yard line as the defender". Roundtree was clearly even with or slightly beyond the defender.
But, I don't really know the rules very well. So, refs out there, should a penatly have been called?
(as an attempt to ward off certain comments which may arise, yes, Michigan still would have lost by a lot to a much better team regardless of this call)
The beginning of my new screenplay [Ed-M: ...that's not a screenplay]. I hope you enjoy!
For discussion, here's an article suggesting that Tom Brady may have most-favored-player status:
I don't watch enough NFL games to know whether Freeman's position is reasonable.