During Oklahoma State games my point of view at Boone Pickens Stadium is on the sidelines on the south side. I really enjoy my job of broadcasting from there for nearly six hours every home game. But Saturday, unfortunately only in hindsight, my point of view nearly changed.
One of our Go Pokes subscribers, North DFW Poke, a rather inquisitive type that often comes up with some fairly off the wall questions, asked who in the stadium on Saturday first knew the MAC officials had made a mistake in ruling that the intentional grounding penalty needed to result in an un-timed down for visiting Central Michigan. That is one of North's better questions.
We now know that former college and NFL official and NFL supervisor of officials Mike Periera of Fox Sports alerted the FS1 broadcast team that the crew was making a mistake before the play took place. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said his biggest disappointment was that he did not trust his instincts and his belief that the ruling was wrong and peel off his coach's polo and lie down at midfield until the officiating crew called someone right then and asked for a ruling.
I'd like to have seen that but my story has maybe an even more bizarre scenario.
I now know that a good friend of mine and a former high school and Big Eight official that was in the stadium text my teammate and voice of the Cowboys Dave Hunziker. I'm not exactly sure when the communication between them was consummated but Dave was on to the issue in the booth pretty quick and it was because of that communication.
I ran into that former official on Monday and I asked him why he didn't also text me his knowledge and concern. He asked me what would I have done with it. My answer gave him something to think about. Some people that I've told think I was bluffing, but my wife tonight shook her head and confirmed that she believed that I would have done exactly what I told him.
I told the former official that I keep my cell phone on the sidelines and while I can't hear it, I do have it on vibrate and I do check it unless I'm getting a bunch of nonsense from people during the game. There are a few times that I have quit checking it. Saturday was not one of them.
If I had seen that and knowing how much I trust this person on football rules, especially college, I told him I would have gone out and walked right up to Tim O'Dey. I had met O'Dey before the game when I introduced myself and asked if I could join he and umpire Brett Denker at the coin toss. O'Dey said sure and I asked his hometown. Learning he was from Nebraska, we talked about that for a minute or two.
If I had approached him on the field I would have said, "Look, I have a good friend in the stadium that is a former official and he really believes that because of the loss of down on intentional grounding that the game is over. There is no un-timed down."
Now, I know O'Dey may not be as friendly now and my ask me to leave the field or he will have me escorted out and even arrested. I would then say, "Look, I'm trying to save your career because if you do this you will never work in any football higher than the MAC the rest of your life."
Okay, that might really tick him off, but my hope is the other officials might be thinking this over. I will still not leave, meaning the police would have to come and get me. Now, if he does pay attention and check then I become a hero giving full credit (okay, most of the credit; well, some of the credit to my former official and friend). Still, I think that I never would have to pay for a meal or a drink in Stillwater ever again.
Now, if the police get me and cart me off to jail, then it's the matter of a half-hour or hour that people begin learning that my friend and I were right and I become a martyr. Either way, hero or martyr they both are remembered forever.
So darn right I would have gone out there. I bet most of you would have too. Next time, please call me.