NCAA, discipline the 2017 Rocky Mountain Showdown Referees.
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On September 1st, 2017 over 70,000 people crowded into Mile High Stadium to see what should have been an amazing game, the Rocky Mountain Showdown. Instead, fans played witness to arguably one of the worst officiated games in years, certainly in the history of both the University of Colorado & Colorado State University. There is no telling what could have happened as we saw what should have been a close and intense game instead disappearing into an ocean of flag tosses, many of which were completely unjustified.
Instead of maintaining the safety of the players as well as the integrity of the sport, which is the function of referees, the officials chose to make weak and inconsistent calls on multiple game defining plays, all of which sided against Colorado State.
What are the calls in question?
-Olabisi Johnson's 21 yd. reception which was overturned by OPI
-Detrich Clark's 27 yd. receiving touchdown which was overturned by OPI
-Michael Gallup's 33 yd. reception overturned by OPI
-and several more...
I have spent my whole life watching the Rocky Mountain Showdown and football in general; before going to CSU I grew up in Boulder and for years rooted against the school I now attend. Any biases aside, I have never seen a game officiated so poorly.
Undoubtedly mistakes were made on both sides, there were calls that were justified, but to say that there were several bad calls which fundamentally changed the outcome of the game would be an understatement. The incompetence among the officials was overwhelming, and they deserve to see some form of discipline for blatantly disrespecting both the integrity of the game and the thousands of people who spent their time and money to watch a fair competition.
(If you don't believe me here are a few quotes from more reputable sources)
"The pass interference calls did as much to staunch the Rams' offense as anything Colorado's defense did." - ESPN
"Now let me make this clear. I’m not accusing the refs of being biased in CU’s favor. I’m saying they were incompetent to the point that CSU fans should be entitled to a full refund for price of admission." - Mark Kiszla, the Denver Post
"Atrocious officiating in CU-CSU game. Rams have lost three big plays to dubious OPI penalties, including a TD" - Ed Werder, Former ESPN reporter
"It was a game with unfulfilled potential because of a referee crew that wouldn’t have been out of place in a high school JV game." - Kevin Lytle, the Coloradoan
"Defeated by penalties, Colorado State quarterback Nick Stevens played better against CU than stats show" - Mike Chambers, the Denver Post
"Beyond the pure absurdity of it all, the calls were blatantly wrong and that is what will be the toughest pill for Ram fans to swallow." - Justin Michael, the Rocky Mountain Collegian
"Had several coaches text me about the offensive pass interference calls in #Colorado State-#Colorado game. They're as shocked as you are." - Adam Rittenberg, ESPN
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