The blown pass interference call that may have cost New Orleans a shot at the Super Bowl will go down as one of the worst calls in history. How could the official miss a call that was so blatant? Only a present or former official who has experienced such a nightmare can explain it. The saying, “hesitate and you are lost” is helpful in understanding the call.
As an official, you have a split second to react to what you see and throw a flag. If you hesitate, it’s too late, even when you know it was a penalty. Your brain is frozen with panic as the fans boo and the replay is shown on the screen. Too late to do anything, and a sick feeling overwhelms you. It happens to the best of officials.
I can recall almost every bad call I ever made along with the accompanying sleepless nights. I recall one in Ocean City when Coach Ed Wooley stopped me at halftime and questioned the call. My response was, “I blew it.” My candid explanation was accepted by the coach.
Thankfully, it wasn’t before millions of fans
Turning back the pages to ...
1949: Phillies catcher Andy Semenick became the only player in major league history to hit two home runs in one inning. In the eighth inning, the Phillies also set a record by hitting five home runs. Trailing the Reds 3-2 in the eighth inning at Shibe Park Del Ennis, pitcher Schoolboy Rowe, Willie “Puddin Head” Jones, and Andy Semenick(2) homered as the Phillies exploded in the big inning to beat the Reds 13-2. As a young boy I remember listening to the game on the radio at my grandfather’s house in Atlantic City.
1970: Bill Bennett took over as captain of the Brigantine City Beach Patrol from Rick Derrickson. Bennett advanced lifeguarding upgrading technology and adding nine beaches.
1982: The Brigantine Elks became the champs of the Brigantine softball league, defeating the A's. The Elks team included Bobby Ricci, Butch Reed, Craig Smith, Ron Basille, Larry Lamkin, Bear Clark, Andy Simpson, Mike Branco, Joe Pietropolo, Bart Beck, Brian Sibson and Don Marrandino.
1991: Jim Masino was the BCBP Lifeguard of the Year and Mike Rynkiewicz copped the Rookie of the Year title.
1996: J.R. Henry was named as the head coach of the Holy Spirit swimming team. He was assisted by former Spartan swimming champion Michael Brooks.
1997: Jen Szeker accomplished a feat seldom performed at the collegiate level. The junior from Brigantine lettered in three sports at Beaver College. Jen was the starting center on the basketball team, catcher on the softball team, and No. 1 singles player on the tennis team.
1998: P.J. Cooke had a sack and a fumble recovery to help Atlantic City High School beat Holy Cross 41-29.
1998: Jim Mogan and Allen Boo Pergament were inducted into the South Jersey Hall of Fame. Mogan coached the Sacred Heart of Vineland boys basketball team to a state championship. Pergament and Pinky Kravitz founded the Atlantic City-Puerto Rico basketball program. For many years Boo’s Clinic at Holy Spirit High School on Wednesday nights helped produce some of the area’s finest high school players. All three of my children participated in the program.
2008: Carly Burbridge and Megan Coffman helped the Holy Spirit Quad take third place in the Nationals in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
2016: Valerie Garafola had 11 points and Summer Crilley (Holy Spirit) nine points and six rebounds in Rowan’s 72-68 loss to Stockton. Summer averaged 12.5 points per game and led the team with a 44 percent 3-point field goal percentage.