Holding Pattern

OK, the update from the hospital is SOS- no not an call for alarm, but Same Old Situation as we now play the waiting game. The extended stay is providing moments of boredom for both Kelly and I, but the baby could arrive like a thief in the night, so we have to be ready. I swear, though, that if my daughter ends up being a kleptomaniac, she most definitely will be grounded. Changing subjects . . .

Two days later, I still think the big news is the poor officiating in Super Bowl XL. Some of you might dismiss this all together as excessive whining, but I really didn't care who won the game [actually that might be a fib; I didn't care who won the game as long as it wasn't Pittsburgh]. The NFL has a big problem on their hands here, and they're not taking it seriously. I'm shocked that Paul Tagliabue, NFL Commissioner, hasn't come out and made a statement; the silence is deafening.

The integrity of their product is at stake here. On their biggest night, in a game that more people watch than any other televised event, their officials goofed. Now people who aren't even football fans, who tune in just for the commercials and the chance of eating those little cocktail hot-dogs, questioning the legitimacy of NFL officiating. And it doesn't help with the recent news that Bob Waggoner, the official who called the phantom pass-interference play against Seattle, IS A NATIVE OF PITTSBURGH! Are you kidding me? Allowing a guy who probably grew up with Terrible Towels out his yin-yang to referee a Super Bowl in which the Steelers were playing? Bad idea. Like Bob's going to want to come back home to the family reunion on Memorial Day and hear it from all his family how he did nothing to help the Yellow and Black win. He did what he had to do to keep his family intact.

Look, I'm not saying that Bob was rigging the game. I'm sure he tried to make the call he needed to make. But if I'm at the Final Four refereeing when UC has a chance for a national championship or behind the plate in the World Series with the Reds I'm sure I'd be impartial. But in my impartially, I'd lean towards the 'Nati.

And this isn't just unfair to Seattle. It's unfair to Pittsburgh. At a time when their fans should be able to enjoy the fruits of a Super Bowl victory they have to constantly defend how, despite playing a horrible game and benefiting from questionable officiating, they are worthy champions.

The NFL needs to do something, and do it quickly. And they should look no further than the Atlantic Coast Conference who suspended an officiating crew one game for blowing a call. Their bad call in second half of Saturday's Florida State loss to Duke game led to the ejection of a leading Seminole scorer. The ACC, aware that Duke is perceived as being the least penalized team in the conference, wanted to avoid even the hint of a fix.

Who knows, this could spawn the return of baseball to the official role of America's pastime.

Well, except for that whole steroids thing.