The Overturn: Debunking the Irish Image

Submitted by Seth on September 15th, 2009 at 3:38 PM

In his response to Brian's "The Overturn" post, MGoUser Irish went through the video and grabbed a screenshot that seems to make it very unclear whether the foot of feet went out of the bounds of recent memory.

Before we debunk, let's all remember for a second why we love Irish around here -- the guy rips a screenshot from video of the replays to make his case. The link to the comment where he did this is above and negged to all get-up. Please go back and give him some plusses for at least making his argument the right way.

Our question is how Irish got the pic below:

(click for larger)

and Brian got:

First of all, Brian's shot shows the heel down, and out of bounds. Irish's image shows the heel coming up. He missed the screen, if by the barest 'ieth of a second.

Second, the camera angle is too close to the ground, which hurts the depth you see this at.

All me to pull out my iPhone...

Okay, now, is this finger on or off the white sheet of paper?




Now, same finger, same paper, from above:

Is this finger on or off the white sheet of paper?

I swear on the Forcier I didn't move the finger. It's an optical illusion. Try it yourself.

My cousin (the one who made me a U-M fan) taught this to me at a Passover Seder* of yore: take a napkin and your knife. Now, put your head on the table, and line up the knife with the edge of the napkin. Now come up -- Ha ha, you missed kid! You must be blind (which is why you can't find the afikamen**)!



September 15th, 2009 at 3:44 PM ^

There was also an angle that I saw where it was without question that the foot was out of bounds, I think it was the camera under the south end zone score board. I would like to see a slide from that shot.


September 15th, 2009 at 3:52 PM ^

what the irish are even complaining about. When I saw the first replay I thought he was out. when I saw the second replay from the far side of the field, I KNEW he was out. End of story. "wAAAAaaaaAAAAaaa"

Hey domers, if you really think you got cheated on that play, just think of it as cosmic justice for all the BULLSHIT you get in your favor on your field.

The King of Belch

September 15th, 2009 at 5:03 PM ^

You'll notice you have negative points for this post.

Personally, I neg bang anybody who uses any form of the word "douche" or "douchebag" as an insult. Sorry, but it's played, stupid, and Scout.

Gotta get more creative than the average 13 year old here, IMO. Try "lop-eared sapsucker" or something next time (in context, of course).


September 15th, 2009 at 4:03 PM ^

The irish photo that you just posted appears to have been photoshoped and the heel erased... the shadows are still there though...

Bottom line: Replay booths do not overturn calls unless they have a good reason to.

Michigan 38
Irish CryBabys 34


September 15th, 2009 at 4:29 PM ^

In the real photo the foot is obviously breaking the sight line of the sideline, i.e., you can't see the whole sideline b/c the heel is in the way. Now, this could happen even if the heel was simply over the line and in the air but not touching the ground (even though you can, I think, see one of the back spikes on the ground). The problem with basing the call on that possibility is that this asks us to ignore the simplest explanation for the real photo, namely that the foot was out of bounds...Yes, as Weis pointed out, the original call was that he was in bounds and burden of proof is on the overturn and etc. But I very much doubt that the officials on the field saw the moment captured in that photo and thought "his foot looked out of bounds but in fact his heel was just hovering over the line, ever so close to the ground."

The simplest explanation is that the refs did not see the above moment and that the heel was out of bounds...It's also worth pointing out that under Weis ND has been reduced to picking through each moment of a game to see where they can argue against each and every little thing that arguably went against them. I'm wondering if they're going to change their name from Fighting Irish to Appellate Attorneys.


September 15th, 2009 at 5:56 PM ^

How about we lose some simple logic:

1. If the foot was out of bounds at any point in time, even if only for a millisecond, the play is dead. (This is an obvious given, but I'll include it for the sake of completeness. Then again, everything here is pretty obvious, so this is simply redundant. Oh well.)

2. If any picture taken from an angle, in which the foot itself does not mask the sideline, shows the foot to be clearly on the ground on top of the out-of-bounds line (assuming no photoshop), then the foot was out-of-bounds. It does not matter whether another angle or point in time does not show the foot to be out-of-bounds. It still was irrefutably out at one point.

3. Because Brian's photo is photoshopped, doesn't obscure the sideline, and shows the foot to be clearly on the ground out-of-bounds, the foot is out.

Also, a question for Irish: Are you sure that your photo was taken at the exact point in time as Brian's?


September 15th, 2009 at 7:31 PM ^

Irish is taking a still from the torrent - what we all saw on TV as shot by ABC - as he clearly states in his post.

Brian is taking a still provided by WNDU, an NBC affiliate in South Bend - ostensibly from video taken by its sideline cameraperson because the headline, subhead and lede of the story refer to "WNDU cameras" or WNDU footage" - as is clearly indicated by Brian's link.

It seems entirely possible to me - in fact highly likely - that the replay officials did not have access in the replay booth. I mean, this is appears to be video taken by a local NBC affiliate during the game - how the heck would the replay official have this shot?

Many will mention - and I have no evidence to refute this - that the replay official may have had access to camera angles other than the ones shown on TV. Possible of course, but I doubt it had anything similar to the shot Brian referenced as it appears this camera angle is similar to the ABC camera angle seen repeatedly on the broadcast; it's possible, but unlikely, that ABC would have had another camera with a similar angle.

Could the replay officials have has another camera angle that is as equally conclusive as the WNDU shot? Or could they have higher resolution video equipment that allows them to see more frames per second? Absolutely. But, while the WNDU footage, to me at least, proves the runner was out of bounds, it doesn't prove that the replay officials had access to this "smoking gun" at the time they made the call. I think that is the source of their frustration.

I'm glad we got the call, though.