ROLLIN' WITH DOLAN: Give Him a Break

| 10/7/09 10:00pm

In last week's column, I predicted that our football team would win, the season finale of "Entourage" would seem too short and Michael Moore's new film would tank. Well, we lost the football game, "Entourage" was actually 15 minutes longer than usual and Moore's film "Capitalism: A Love Story" grossed $4.5 million dollars last weekend.

Now some people might see that first paragraph and think to themselves, "Ha, that kid's a joke, he went for 0-3." Fine, maybe that's a fair response and even Jordan missed sometimes. But I want to quickly throw out a few things in my defense.

First, the football team only lost by six points. If Vegas had placed a spread on the game, it's pretty safe to say it would have been bigger than one touchdown. I think realistically we would be looking at double digits. So, since nobody bets on sports these days without using a spread, in my book it was a decent prediction.

I admit I was just embarrassingly wrong on my "Entourage" call. The finale was hilarious and didn't seem too short at all.

As for Moore's film, yes it made $4.5 million in its opening weekend. However, here are a few movies that did better than "Capitalism" on their opening weekends: "Snakes on a Plane" ($13.8 million), "Spice World" ($10.5 million) and "Good Burger" ($7.1 million).

Not that "Good Burger" isn't a classic, but after seeing those numbers I wouldn't exactly say grossing $4.5 million is impressive.

So with a little finagling, I'd say I was more like 2-1. I think it's clearly just one of those "You say po-tay-toe, I say po-tah-toe," things.

Anyway, back to this weekend's football game. Late in the game, Dartmouth was down but had the ball. On one play, quarterback Alex Jenny '10 threw a pass that appeared to be on target until a Penn defender hit the Dartmouth receiver with the ball still in the air, and Penn ended up notching the interception. It was pretty blatant pass interference, yet the referee didn't call anything.

I've never seen a Dartmouth crowd show as much emotion as it did after watching that play. The student section was obviously booing but it looked like everyone else was too. From the seven year olds to the 70 year olds, everyone was letting this referee have it. Three generations of Dartmouth families were telling this referee they thought he sucked.

It was definitely a bad call, and significantly hurt our chances of pulling off a victory. The ref even allegedly apologized to Teevens for it later.

Still, I think you kind of have to feel for him a little bit. When Teevens called the ref over to talk after the play, and he had to jog towards the Dartmouth sideline, the "boos" just relentlessly rained down. It was like he had murdered a puppy.

The guy's human. He's going to try his best, but like everyone, he's going to make mistakes. Think about all the stuff an official has to watch for during a play it is not an easy job. Who knows exactly what he was looking at when he failed to make that call.

Being an official is a pretty thankless job. When's the last time you heard someone go, "Hey, that ref is having a great game?"

Being a referee is kind of like being a limousine driver: if you don't mess up, you don't get much credit, but if you mess up in the slightest, man are you gonna hear it.

It's also not like that one call lost us the game. Our inability to stop the run and our lack of efficiency on first and second downs lost us the game. A PI call would have helped, but it by no means would have guaranteed a Big Green win.

Without referees, we wouldn't have organized sports. Yes, they should be qualified, and too many mistakes should perhaps lead to consequences but maybe referees should occasionally be cut some slack. Imagine if every time you made a mistake on a paper or something, you got booed. It would suck.

I'm not saying I'm going to stop booing referees, because I'm sure I won't but I might at least feel bad about it.

It's like using your roommate's deodorant when yours runs out: you feel guilty, but come on, odds are you're going to end up using it anyway.

I'm just saying it's something to think about the next time you ask a referee if his wife knows that he's screwing us.