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Blame the ref

Just for the record, it's not my fault.

To the senior girls of Thomson High School - who played hard but came up short in the inaugural Powder Puff Football Game at The Brickyard Saturday - I have to say you wouldn't have won the game anyway.

For those who were unable to attend the game of football greats, there's no other way to describe it other than a "hoot." The stands were loaded for this first ever event at THS that was organized by science teacher Jody Keith to raise money for a science club trip.

The juniors - coached by Thomson football player D.J. Hitt and others - outlasted the seniors, 14-0. I was drafted as a guest referee, and boy did that prove to be a dicey place to be.

After scoring early in the first half and following the touchdown by a two-point conversion, the juniors were up 8-0. Then came the "controversial" call that the seniors - and their Thomson football player coaches, Phillip Bonner and Rodney Reeves - are still fussing about to this day.

One junior girl, Casey Brooks, juked her way around everybody on the senior defense. While she was headed for the home sideline, I kept a close eye on her flag to make sure I blew the whistle when someone "tackled" her.

Then I heard it. One of the other refs - Former Thomson offensive lineman Jason Jones - gave a short blast of the whistle then yelled and motioned for everyone to keep playing. I knew the play wasn't dead because no one had pulled the runner's flag yet.

I watched her cross the goal line and raised my arms as she celebrated the touchdown that put her team up 14-0. The seniors were not happy, to say the least. They claimed the play should have stopped on Jason's whistle.

I've got news for them; the girl running the ball earned her way into the end zone no matter what happened away from the play. The seniors went on to move backwards on every single play of a drive in the second half, but they still claimed they were cheated.

Combine the junior lead with the abysmal senior offense, and we get a junior win, even if the second score was taken away. So no more complaining girls, and most especially coaches.

Phillip said he wants a rematch. Rodney said he wants new referees.

I told them I'd be more than happy to oblige them. But as long as the referees' paychecks were the same as they were this weekend, they'd better expect to get exactly what they pay for.

Web posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007

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