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Blame the Refs Guy!

I have been following professional and major college sports for a long time.  To me sports is just great entertainment. I don’t live and die with results, and I root for individuals and stories much more than teams.  If you spend enough time talking to die hard sports fans at some point you will run into ‘Blame the refs guy.’  This guy is convinced the refs cost his team every game they lose.  Blame the refs guy is a close cousin of ‘The league is rigged guy.’  The League is rigged guy insists that commissioners and high level executives determine who will play for championships.  I’ve got news for that guy; David Stern gets paid the same whether the Lakers or Clippers are in the NBA Finals.

As much as it pains me to admit it, after last night’s UTEP/ECU game I became blame the refs guy.  Anyone with at least a remedial education can look at the stat sheet and see the glaring disparity between free throw attempts.  Over the course of the game the Pirates went to the line 45 times compared to the Miners 17.

Photo by Steve Kaplowitz

The first half was pretty even as the Pirates went to line eight times to the Miners five.  After Tim Floyd and Phil Johnson were ejected early in the second half, the only logical assumption one can make is that the refs determined UTEP would not leave Greenville with a victory.  In the second half the Pirates went to the line 37 times to the Miners 12.  I know ten of those were technical foul shots, but that still leaves a 27 to 12 disparity.  Is East Carolina that much more disciplined that they committed 15 less fouls than UTEP?  That disparity in foul shots was the game because the Miners lost seven points.  By now C-USA must be aware what happened in Greenville and the proper investigation will ensue.

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