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LOVE IT or LEAVE IT: Zebra Abuse

Be nice to the men in stripes.

LOVE IT: Matt VandeBerg followed up his dominant performance over the Cyclones with another solid effort immediately afterwards. VandeBerg proposed to his girlfriend before even taking his pads off.

To be clear, my wife and I are both huge critics of what I would call “game day proposals.” We’ve all seen them. Some guy fan had the brilliant (*sarcasm* it’s not original anymore) idea of taking his soon-to-be-wife to a sporting event and then instead of actually having the courage to say the words “will you marry me?” he has to get the scoreboard guy to put it on the big screen for everyone to see. Classic cop out, in my opinion. Having said that, VandeBerg is a completely different story and I think it’s cool when athletes pop the question on the field/court. Not to mention he just kicked the crap outta the Cyclones. He does what he wants. Congrats to the future Mr. and Mrs. Meerkat.

LEAVE IT: A lot of the chatter this weekend stemmed from the Central Michigan-Oklahoma State end of game situation. For those who lived under a rock this weekend, here’s what you missed (starting at 2:00 mark):

The OSU QB threw a pass to no one close as time expired, thereby drawing an intentional grounding penalty. The MAC crew officials ruled that the game should be extended by one untimed down since the penalty was accepted. And you know the rest. The rule is pretty straightforward. The game can’t end on an accepted penalty EXCEPT for those resulting in a loss-of-down (i.e. Grounding). Whoops. ESPN reported that the officials and the replay officials have been suspended. Fine. Accountability for the officials is clearly warranted when they screw up a rule like that. But then chatter on the college football analysis shows proposed that the NCAA should declare OSU the winner, because officially the play should not have happened.

No. I hate the slippery slope argument for just about anything, but that is exactly the reason this would be a terrible idea. What about that missed facemask in the second quarter that would have granted a first down? What about that holding that should not have been called when Central Michigan was threatening late in the third quarter? Ok I made those up, but you can see where I’m going here. Suspend the officials. Leave the outcome alone once they are off the field though.

LOVE IT: In case you haven’t heard, the Big Ten is kinda kicking ass so far (except Northwestern). The latest polls have five B1G teams in the top 15. Not only that, but nine conference teams scored at least 39 points this weekend and five of those scored at least 50. Of course, this is adjusted somewhat for the level of competition (*cough* ISU *cough*), but I still enjoyed seeing the domination from the conference.

LEAVE IT: This next one is touchy for me. Full disclaimer that I offered in my very first column: I am a high school basketball and football official and I absolutely love it. Nothing brings back nostalgia from my own not-so-glory days than being on the football field on Friday nights. Now then, the attacks on officials are becoming way too common (or at least are always captured on film nowadays). The latest incident comes from the California JUCO ranks.

I’ll be the first one to say that the ref was good up until he extended his arms with a push. I have no problem with him physically forcing the player back towards his huddle. I know I’ve had to pull guys off of piles before so that nothing else happened. I have also made it clear to players verbally that I won’t take their crap. Having said that, the official shouldn’t have pushed. Let alone twice. But the player has got to own up to his role in getting everything going. No one should get punched on a football field. The official probably needs a talking to from his conference commissioner. The player, on the other hand, has been arrested and has been suspended for five years (not sure how that works in JUCO but whatever). Ugly situation all around, but this stuff needs to stop somehow.

LOVE IT: I couldn’t leave this week’s edition of Love/Leave It without mentioning the actual CyHawk game, could I? Well how about one final stat to demonstrate the pure domination of the Cyclones? Here it is: the Cyclones had more punts (9) than Joel Lanning completions (8) and preseason all-Big 12 RB Mike Warren had carries (7). Oh and their punter had 100 more yards punting than the Cyclones had in total offense. Lol.

Iowa State v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

LEAVE IT: Call me a fun hater. But I do not get the love for the football game at Bristol Speedway this past weekend. Yes I know they set a new outdoor event record at nearly 157,000 people. But this was a football game played on the infield of a motor speedway. I don’t get it. I cannot say that I would enjoy watching views like this for a Hawkeye game, but that’s just me.

Have a good week folks. Do your part and help end zebra abuse. If you don’t, this fine species will soon be extinct (I actually mean that literally in the referee context—funny wasn’t it?)