Correct a sports related officiating error

Sorry if the title didn’t do a good job explaining what this thread is about.

You are given 3 wishes by the sports genie to correct any error that was made in the history of sports. Judgement calls are tricky. IIRC there was an “obvious” batter’s interference on a bunt in a World Series that is probably not correctable because “what is interference” is nebulous. However Jeter getting a home-run in the 1996 ALCS is correctable as it is clear the wrong call was made.

It should be an officiating error and not a bad rule so the “Tuck Rule” wouldn’t count. You may hate the rule but the call was technically correct according to the rules.

My three:

  1. 1972 Olympic Basketball finals.
    Take your pick.
    Basically giving the Soviets an official’s timeout
    Not assessing a technical on the coach for interfering with live play
    Telling McMillan to step away from the inbounder
    The illegal interference of FIBA’s Jones regarding a referee’s decision

  2. The “Fifth-Down” Game. Colorado vs. Missouri (1990)
    Although a relatively minor game between two ranked teams at the time, Colorado would later win the National Championship with one loss and a tie over and undefeated (but one tie) Georgia Tech. With 2 losses, it is highly probably Colorado would not have gotten the NC. As I hijack I’ll note that Colorado won the National Championship based on a phantom clipping call on Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl which under the genie’s rules is not correctable as it is a judgement call. This was a year that the pollster could have made things right by voting on Colorado as a 2 or even 3 loss team yet they failed to do so.

  3. Armando Gallaraga’s (im)perfect game.
    One reason is that it would have been the last out.
    Two is that perfect games are so rare
    Three is that the umpire admitted it was a blown call and begged for it to be corrected
    Four is that the Commissioner of baseball has wide latitude in the “best interests of the game” and could have reversed it.
    Five is that given the unique circumstances of the situation i.e. that the correct call would have ended the game and that it would not have change who won or lost, I don’t know if anyone would have objected to the Commissioner correcting the error nor would it have set a precedent.

Honorable mentions: Judgement calls or minor games or other.

  1. 1925 NFL Championship: Rightfully belongs to the Pottsville Maroons and not the Cardinals despite what Bidwell says.
  2. 1990 Orange Bowl - discussed above
  3. Super Bowl XL
  4. Game 6 Lakers vs. Kings
  5. Thanksgiving 1999 Lions vs. Steelers - you heard “heads”? When an error means rule changes on how to flip a coin, it deserves an honorable mention.

I’m sure some Buffalo Sabres fans will chime in with Brett Hull’s “No Goal” from the 1999 Stanley Cup Playoffs but it was the right call with or without the ridiculous “in the crease” rule.

Maradonna’s Hand of God goal in the 1986 World Cup Quarter Final has to be on the list, I suppose. Argentina beat England 2-1 (after he punched the ball into the net) and went on to win the trophy.

Derek Jeter’s “home run.”

No goal was going to be one of my two.

The other one would be overturning the Music City Miracle. You’ll never convince me that it wasn’t a forward lateral.

The Soviet coach called a time-out, before the second free throw, which the officials forgot to give.

IIRC, there was a split NC that year; Georgia Tech jumped over Colorado (and I believe that the phantom clip had something to do with that) to win the coaches’ championship.

I’m a little surprised nobody has included the 1982 Cal-Stanford game yet (which, if you go by the score as currently displayed on “The Axe”, ended Stanford 20, Cal 19; pretty much the first thing Stanford does when they win it from Cal is to change the score to 20-19, and likewise when Cal wins it, they change it back to 25-20). In no small part because of that game, John Elway ended up going to no bowl games in his four years at Stanford. Not that I would put it as one of my three, mind you…

My three:

  1. Maradona’s “hand of god” goal.

  2. Roy Jones Jr.'s loss in the 1988 Olympic boxing tournament - it probably spearheaded the way towards enforcing punch-count scoring (which has been the rule since at least 1972, BTW; back then, whoever threw the higher number of “effective” punches in a round got 20, and the other boxer got (the difference divided by 3 and rounded) fewer points. Of course, nobody ever actually did it that way.

  3. The 1972 Olympic basketball final, if they do what they should have done under the rules - go back to the point where the time out should have been granted (game tied - 49-49, I think - and USA has one free throw remaining with 3 seconds on the clock) and give the Soviets their time-out.

HM: Evander Holyfield’s disqualification in 1984 - I might have put it higher, but technically it was correct under the rules (the referee did say “Stop” and then Holyfield threw his knockout punch), even though the fight should have been stopped much earlier and the other boxer did have one of his gloves over Holyfield’s ear at the time so it’s possible he didn’t hear it. (If nobody had a problem with it, then why did AIBA go against its own rules and give the disqualified Holyfield a bronze medal?)

My picks:

Galaragga’s perfecto
'72 Olympics
Jones Jr. in '88

Sean O’Sullivan’s Olympic boxing loss to Frank Tate in 1984. Everyone complains about Roy Jones and nobody remembers the U.S. was handed a similarly ridiculous free gold medal four years earlier. The judges actually gave Tate a round in which he took two standing eights and was outpunched about five to one.

Roy Jones, too.

And Galaragga’s perfecto.

1985 World Series Game 6. Denkinger’s blown call at first base.

Other two… Gallaraga’s perfecto and Roy Jones getting jobbed.

Phil Luckett got that one right. Here’s an article from Referee Magazine that explains what actually happened.

Maradona’s cheating goal.

In no particular order:

The Patriots/Raiders “Tuck Rule” playoff game of 2002. It was a cold/snowy day and Brady fumbled the ball because it was wet, slippery and cold. Don’t give me any of this “tuck rule” nonsense.

The Chargers/Raiders “Holy Roller” game of 1978. Raiders QB Stabler threw the ball forward as he was being tackled, and it should have been ruled an incomplete pass when it hit the ground, as well as intentional grounding. Then another Raider pitched it forward, which should’ve been an illegal forward pass for having been thrown in front of the line of scrimmage.

The above-mentioned “Phantom Clip” in the January 1, 1991 Orange Bowl between Colorado and Notre Dame.

The “Bush Push” Notre Dame/USC game of 2005. USC’s winning TD should’ve been disallowed for an illegal push.

You might be able to tell I’m a longtime Nebraska Cornhusker fan:

1994 Orange Bowl: Nebraska vs Florida State. Floyd did not cross the TD plane before he fumbled and there was no clip on a punt return TD. Reverse one of those and NU wins the game and 1993 national title.

1982 Nebraska vs Penn State. Receiver catches the ball 20 yards out of bounds. Correct the call: Penn State doesn’t convert and NU wins. NU went 12-1 that year. NU wins the 1982 national title.

1984 Orange Bowl: Nebraska vs Miami. NU goes for two, but is batted down, giving Miami the victory. The ref calls pass interference* and Nebraska gets a do-over at the 1. Probably converts and NU wins the 1983 national title.

*Relax Cane fans. I know there wasn’t any pass interference, but I still want the call reversed, okay? :stuck_out_tongue:

  • Diego Maradona
  • Torsten Frings (GER) handball against USA in 2002 World Cup
  • In a USA World Cup qualifier in 2000 against Jamaica, a phantom handball was called against Gregg Berhalter in extra time that gifted the game to Jamaica. Not the most important call ever, but one of the worst examples of CONCACAF refereeing I’ve ever seen. Wiping it from history would give me much pleasure.

I seem to be obsessed with bad handball calls. :slight_smile:

  1. Maradona
  2. Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal against Germany.
  3. And just to offer a contrast with Lampard, this.

These two. And 3. Beckham getting a red card v Argentina in 1998.

What. The. Fuck? Did the ref live?

I suppose that Jeffrey Maier’s fan interference in the Orioles-Yankees playoff game was a judgement call.

But MLB made an error by putting a blind umpire on the field.

These days, that would have been overturned on replay.

Bunch of rationalizing motherfuckers in that video, aren’t they?

And why are they only interviewing Yankees about what happened? I don’t see why they have to give more publicity to the people who should have lost the game. I’d like to hear and see the people who should have won.

Nope, you don’t get any of those until you give up “The Flea-Kicker”. :wink:
As for me, The Holy Roller, Roy Jones, Jr. and Torsten Mother-Bleeping Frings stick out in my mind.

Yup, this is the one and only that came to mind for me immediately. Simply an awful, inexcusably bad call.

I did not personally have a rooting interest, but one that sticks out for me is the Bert Emanuel catch-to-noncatch ruling late in the 1999 (season) NFC title game, which cost the Bucs a real chance to beat the Warner-Faulk Rams and to create a very un-Hollywood, un-Madison Avenue (do you sense my cynicism) Superbowl matchup against the Tennessee Titans. I can forgive almost any on-field call, but that this was overturned on review, where the evidence supposedly needs to be extra-conclusive, put it up there with the worst of NBA oddhandedness.