22 October 2009
ESPN's Mike Fish has written an article in which the feature is an interview with suspended SEC referree Marc Curles. While it looks like the suspension might not have been handed down prior to the interview, I have to say that I am more than impressed with the way that Curles has handled the situation.
Handling the situation well doesn't make up for making poor calls. But I'll give him solid credit for even speaking to the media. The fact that he flat out admits to making a mistake earns him a ton of respect points for me.
Here's an excerpt:
I saw out of the corner of my eye -- the play went over near the sideline. 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.
I've just been thinking about it, replaying it and beating [myself] up over the call. I guess where our true character is found is in how we handle it and what we do the next time. Are we able to recover from it? We try to find a lesson to learn in every game -- me individually and as a crew. Could somebody else have seen something and come to me and said, 'Wait a minute, I saw that happen, and this is what it looked like to me'? That didn't happen, but this is a way for us to talk about it as a crew.
Like I said, it doesn't excuse the bad calls. But you do have to like the fact that he's admitting his mistake, taking the blame for the call, and talking about how he wants to improve. That's certainly better than hiding behind the public relations staff of the conference office and hoping it all goes away.
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