Updated May 18, 2012 - 3:56 pm
Bad refs are a natural part of Arizona sports
Many a time has a game, series or season turned on some questionable calls, which consistently seem to go against Arizona's teams.
Are we complaining too much when, in reality, our teams are just not better? Perhaps. But that doesn't change the frustration of what's gone down.
So, in no particular order, we present to you a rundown of
some of the
worst most questionable
officiating ever seen.
May 12, 2007: Suns vs. Spurs, Game 3 of Western
The Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs split the first two games of matchup many thought was "the real NBA Finals," but things got shady when the series moved to Texas.
That night the Suns shot 27 free throws to the Spurs' 36, and while that may not have been unusual, one thing was:
One of the referees that night was Tim Donaghy, of fixing NBA games fame.
A collection of bad calls and no calls led to this being considered one of the worst officiated games you will ever see.
The Suns ended up losing the series, and possibly their best chance for a championship, in six games.
February 1, 2009: Cardinals vs. Steelers, Super Bowl
The Cardinals, in the Super Bowl? Yes, it happened.
We don't need to rehash what went down in Tampa Bay that night. Everyone knows the Cardinals got off to a slow start, took a late lead and then watched Ben Whatshisname lead a scoring drive for the win.
Take, for instance, James Harrison's 100-yard interception and subsequent touchdown return. Yes, it was a great play, but what if he only ran 99-yards? The ref was not in position to see if his knee touched before the ball reached the goal line, and may have missed a key call.
Sadly, though, that wasn't the last of the controversy.
And of course, who can forget the Kurt Warner fumble that may not really have been a fumble to end it? How many of us would like to?
Did the refs botch these calls? Perhaps, and while it would not be the first time an Arizona team got the short end of the stick with officiating (as this story goes to show), it is likely the most painful.
May 13, 15, 17...2012: Coyotes vs. Kings, Western
But really, do the refs have to be so blatantly bad?
Whether it's the consistent "embellishment" of calls, as Coyotes coach Dave Tippett calls it, or the absolute lack of consistency with which the games are being called, Phoenix certainly seems to be getting the, ahem, short end of the stick here.
And, sadly, the series isn't even over yet, so there's likely more to come. Oh goody.
March 26, 2005: Arizona vs. Illinois, Elite 8
History remembers this game as one of the greatest comebacks of all time. ASU fans remember this game as a glorious moment where the Wildcats choked.
The Wildcats, up 15 with just over four minutes remaining, fell apart amidst a run of missed shots, turnovers and clutch hoops from the Illini.
But come on, refs, call a foul. You had plenty of chances, as there were even times when it looked like Illinois was trying to foul. Ugh.