After the penalty in Athens against AJ Green, the official couldn't have seen AJ do anything, he was screened out by the other UGA players. He just saw Georgia players jumping around, and AJ facing the crowd. The line judge in that case made the decision that something must be going on, even if he couldn't see it. Out comes the laundry.
It seems a similar thing happened in Gainesville last Saturday.
Marc Curles says as much.
"I saw out of the corner of my eye -- the play went over near the sideline," Curles recalls. "I'm trailing the play, moving in that direction. And out of the corner of my eye, I see a vicious blow, and I see the Florida player go flying down 20 yards behind the play. And in my mind, the Arkansas guy had blindsided him and knocked the player that was completely out of the play, which would have been a personal foul. Obviously, that isn't what happened. Where I made the mistake is I didn't see the whole thing. I didn't see how it developed. I saw out of the corner of my eye what I thought was a foul. I can't think something is a foul. I got to know it is. And that was my mistake. And I know better than that. What makes me mad at myself is that I know better than to call something if I didn't see the whole thing. And I've been sick about it ever since, quite frankly."Look, we all know that feeling. We all have had that moment when we made a snap decision based on something we thought we saw. It happens about once a day if you have kids. It is just that Marc Curles did it in front of 90+K jean short wearers and a national TV audience. I certainly don't advocate calling his house, emailing him or blowing up his cell, but I understand why people are upset.
It is good to see him thinking about this in terms of improvement. Two weeks ago, the head scratcher happened in a game that was close, but hey, if Georgia could stop a run or a kick return, the penalty doesn't turn out to be determinative. Plus, there was a make up call. Last weekend, there was no such opportunity.
Seriously, Marc Curles did a very manly thing in his apology and owning his mistake. Here's hoping he and other officials learn from it.
It was me.