Sunday, November 06, 2005

Way to argue, man. Way to argue.

I hate to say it, but it probably is only at a flag football game involving law students that you'll ever hear players giving their team captain props for successfully arguing a protest on a call the referee made. But I guess you've got to give credit where credit's due: our captain was right, the refs made the call our way, and we ended up winning the game. To get really law-school nerdy, his protest wasn't sufficient for our victory, and it wasn't even technically necessary . . . but as a result, we only had to defend one more play in the game to win, instead of two, and if I don't have to know what could've/would've/should've happened if we'd had to defend two plays, then I'm happy with that.

In our flag football league, a game has only ten plays left after a certain point in the second half. I'm not exactly sure why this rule exists, but I bet it's probably an expediency thing to make sure games end on time. Anyway, we were within the last 10 plays; we had successfully scored another touchdown to pull ahead; and all we needed to do to win was keep the other team from scoring. On the ninth play, they completed a pass and we got a roughing-the-passer call against us. The referees ended up tacking on a 10-yard penalty to the yardage that the team had gained with the pass . . . and they repeated the play, calling the play count as two plays remaining.

Sound fishy to any of you flag football aficionados out there? It did to our captain; this is where he stepped in. He argued that the other team should only be able either to decline the penalty yardage and repeat the play, resulting in two plays left, or accept the penalty yardage and count the play, resulting in only one play left. Makes sense, doesn't it? To let them have both the yardage and the play repeat wouldn't be fair by normal football rules; it would give them two benefits from one penalty call. The refs ended up agreeing with our captain; I think he did the right thing by arguing.

But, of course, it took probably a good ten to fifteen minutes to hash it all out with the referees while we stood around on the field, further building up the reputation of attorneys as litigious, argumentative, nit-picking nerds. Oh, well. The refs made the call our way, we defended the last play of the game, and we won. And a bunch of litigious, argumentative, nit-picking nerds are going into the CHAMPIONSHIPS on Tuesday. That's what counts, right?


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