So here's a brain twister for you to chew over. Walnut High School in northern Mississippi has a playoff game tonight in the Class 2A quarterfinals—that is, unless lawyers for the parents of the team they beat the previous week can successfully petition the state supreme court to overturn a lower court ruling and put their school back in the playoffs. And all because of one of the most boneheaded refereeing decisions since, let's say, Sunday. It's all started last Friday when Walnut was leading Leland High School in the final seconds of their second-round playoff game. Leland had the ball on the 33-yard-line on the final play of the game, when their quarterback ran down the field to the 15, then chucked the ball forward to the goal line, where it hit the ground and was picked up by a teammate, who then ran it into the end zone as time expired. Now in no world is this a completed forward pass or a touchdown, but the referees called a penalty anyway, and gave Walnut the choice of accepting that or the score. They took the penalty, but since there was no time left on the clock, that should have been the end of the game. Yet, somehow Leland got the ball on the 20-yard line and was given another untimed down. Naturally, they scored a touchdown and won the game, 24-21. Click to view And you thought the Steelers-Chargers refs were in the tank. Walnut was understandably ticked off about the whole thing and complained to the state athletic association who almost unanimously agreed that it was completely bogus. So they reversed the ruling on the field and gave the game to Walnut, putting them back in the playoff picture, and knocking Leland out. So Leland sued. And lost. Now, a tipster says that they're appealing that ruling as we speak (just hours before the kickoff of Walnut's next game) and the head of the Mississippi High School Activities Association says that if they win, he's just going to call the whole damn thing off.
"If (the parents) carried it on any further and a judge overruled this judge, we probably just wouldn't have any 2A playoffs," said Proctor. "We would just go on and have playoffs for 1A and the others (3A, 4A and 5A). It wouldn't be fair to let somebody play that had violated the rules and didn't go by the rules of the association."Leland does have a point—the rule book says that game officials have the final say and cannot be overruled. But the rule book also says they got beat. Like "5th Down" Colorado beat. Like this isn't rugby and you can't just throw the ball wherever you want to beat. Like Bush v. Gore beat. You can't just go to court and expect that... oh right. Update: Our same tipster tells us the Supreme Court told Leland to take a hike (something about not giving a crap about a stupid football game?), so Walnut's victory stands. Leland parents' bid denied by Hinds judge [Clarion-Ledger] Football refs really fouled up in Leland [Clarion-Ledger]