O Say Can You SEC?


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"Did you guys hear the one about the referee and the eye doctor?"

Since some of our high school readers are taking the SATs this month, let's take a quick analogy quiz together:

Batman is to Robin, just as SEC Football Officiating is to ____________.

A) Superman

B) Amazing

C) Controversial

D) Double-rainbow

If you answered "C", then you've clearly paid attention to the headlines that circulate each year during the college football season, specifically in the Southeastern Conference. It's gotten to the point where the SEC season doesn't feel complete without some sort of alleged blown or missed calls from the men in stripes. This year, however, it seemed like it was going to be a little different, as if the SEC officials might actually make it through this season free and clear of controversy … and then Arkansas played Auburn.

Long story short, the refs missed a couple of calls that helped Auburn score two touchdowns and win 65-43. Needless to say, Arkansas Razorback fans were furious. The Razorbacks football program showed their dismay by petitioning the SEC about the questionable officiating. However, nobody took it as far as a Fayetteville, Arkansas group of eye doctors called McDonald Eye Associates. It seems they posted an ad in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette which reads:

"Errors and incorrect calls from the game could have possibly been avoided with better vision. McDonald Eye Associates believes that a laser vision correction procedure will result in fewer mistakes in the future."

Yup, that's right – the company is offering free Lasik surgery to the SEC officials. That’s definitely a funny way to get their point across, but it got us thinking: why stop there? Here are a few past sports follies where perhaps a little laser surgery might have helped:

Old school NFL quarterback Jim Hardy holds the record for the most interceptions thrown in a game with eight. This occurred during a losing effort between his Chicago Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1950. Oddly enough, that was the same year Hardy made the Pro Bowl. Maybe he had the Lasik Procedure done after that game? Oh yeah … it hadn’t been invented yet.

While a member of the New York Yankees in 1999, second baseman Chuck Knoblauch simply couldn’t seem to throw the ball accurately. These throwing "yips," as they were nicknamed, made it look like he was throwing the ball to lucky fans in the fourth row. This would have been nice had it not happened mid-play. Maybe he had trouble seeing first base all the way from second base?

Jim Marshall of the Minnesota Vikings committed what many believe to be the most embarrassing play in NFL history. In a game against San Francisco, the 49ers fumbled the ball which, in turn, was recovered by Marshall, who then proceeded to run the football the wrong way and into the wrong end zone. Marshall celebrated by tossing the ball out of bounds, resulting in a safety for the 49ers. Luckily, his team won the game and spared him more embarrassment. However, had he been able to see which way he was going, the whole mess could have been avoided.

This just goes to show that a little Lasik could prospectively go a long way.