No replay required of this episode
THERE were, Thursday night, a handful of calls in the Hawaii-New Mexico State men's basketball game at Stan Sheriff Center, that many in attendance, including myself, did not agree with. You know what I'm talking about. You yourself have yelled at the television over things like this. (Or at least you are related to someone who does this. Possibly by marriage.)
And then the replay would come -- because as part of the multi-million-dollar deal with UH, KFVE has installed huge, incredible, cool video screens in the SSC. And there, with video replay, in slow-motion, suspicions were confirmed: How could that be a foul! What were they watching? See!
Again, you know what I mean.
So people, understandably, made a little extra noise.
This happens. Basketball happens in a blink of an eye, and sometimes the refs miss a few, sometimes calls just go the other way. And then people hold their heads in disbelief.
Nothing dishonest. Nothing going on. But sometimes we're less forgiving of the human element when we've got a camera lens to catch what we might have otherwise missed. Sometimes, things look different on video than they do in real life. Sometimes, we don't know as much about basketball as we think we do (it's true).
Sometimes, yes, officials can and do have off nights (and we notice them more often on slow-mo).
No big deal.
But then, after yet another "questionable" whistle, one of the officials went up to one of KFVE's broadcast crew and ordered that no replays be made of "controversial calls." And he was pretty adamant about it, no questions asked.
Three feet away, I started laughing.
Are you kidding?
Then stop making bad calls!
He wasn't kidding.
This looked really, really, really, really, really bad.
Luckily, KFVE handled itself well, even as the guy got on the headset to have a "let me talk to your manager" moment. Um, they're TV. There seemed to be some misunderstanding on who exactly this ref thought he had authority over.
"We have nothing to do with it," KHNL/KFVE Vice President and General Manager John Fink said yesterday. "There is no rule. Zero rule about blacking stuff out. ... If UH chooses to cover it up and put their big H logo up over controversial calls they can do that. It's their arena."
After all, UH does replace KFVE's commercials with its own, in the arena. UH controls the feed.
And that is, Fink said, what UH eventually ended up doing in the final minutes, to calm everyone down. Apparently, including the officials.
You did have to feel bad for the guys. It did seem like they were having a heck of a rough night -- and with every replay, you could see it. In slow-motion to boot.
And in the end, it doesn't matter if they were wrong or right. Too late. That's the call.
And, of course, you don't want things getting out of hand, when the fans think they're seeing injustice after injustice, and with video proof.
"I understand the human logic for wanting it," Fink said.
Of course. But the way it went down, with what the ref seemed to be saying, in that environment, after all that had happened, at that moment, it just didn't look good. Just didn't feel right.
And that's a shame, for all involved.
Fink said the WAC, and the MPSF, might want to make rules about replays, so everybody knows, to avoid situations like this. And he's right.
Until then, make a bad call, take the heat. You know? This happens, in basketball. That's the way it goes, too.
And that's all it was, that night. Sometimes a replay will prove a ref wrong. Sometimes it will prove him right. Nothing's up. No big deal. No hard feelings. Everything's cool.
But Fink said he did get a kick out of it, at the end of the game. When after having ordered that replay not be allowed, the refs had a question about how much time was left on the clock. And they had to come over to ask to take a look at the videotape.