George Black and his "Mechanic"


  1. The line judge who was closest to the play on Avery's fumble (yes it was a fumble because he landed on top of another player when the ball came out --not caused by the ground) clearly did think it was a fumble (no whistle blown),the ref had no idea what happened,and the other officials (LATER in conference) were "failrly certain" (not 100% certain) that is was not a fumble (but they were furthest away and in any case NO ONE OF THE OFFICIALS BLEW A WHISTLE)....So according to George Black,CFL Dir. Of officiating,the ref was right in reversing the touchdown by Moss and taking the ball back to the point were they lost sight of the call (awarding it back to the Argos) BECAUSE the officials have this operating "mechanic" procedure where they would take the ball back to the point where they lost sight of what really happened and give it to the team that had possession prior to them losing sight of what had happened--ALL on a "fairly certain" hunch (which was clearly proved wrong if you watch the reply) by furthest away officials who did not have the guts to blow a whistle on this "fairly certain" hunch that there was no fumble becayuse Avery was down before the ball was out....THIS IS A STUPID "Mechanic" ..the CFL must change this operating procedure for officials because it is TOO ARBITRARY and alllows
    the officials to be INFLUENCED not so much by the Jumbotron replay (which from that distance would look inconclusive anyway,though on close inspection on the t.v. monitor you could see that Avery was on top of another player and not on the ground when the ball came out) ---but rather
    INFLUENCED by crowd booing...the CFL cannot allow such ARBITRARINESS...

  2. Is Black right that officials have the rigfht to "CONFERENCE" and to reverse a play if no whistle is blown --YES---HOWEVER it should only be reversed if any ONE of the officials is "CERTAIN" (not just "fairly certain") he saw the player down before the ball came out --as to why then he failed to blow a whistle--who cares? CLEARLY the "Mechanic" allows that irrespective of a whistle ,the play can be reversed LATER by any ref who saw the call otherwise--BUT again MR. BLACK--ONLY
    IF any ONE of the officials in the "CONFERENCE" was "CERTAIN" that there was no fumble--barring NO CERTAINTY ("Fairly Certain" does not cut it as a
    standard on which to base a reversal of any play),then the play should stand with the team of last possession (ie. Moss' touchdown should count)...

THEREFORE ---Right "Mechanic" but Wrong application of the standard for reversing the unseen call..the stadard must be CERTAINTTY --even if it is
LATE ...NO CERTAINTY--you cannot reverse is as simple as this...

Otherwise imagine:

a) Line judge doesn't see a player step out of bounds before scoring a touchdown;no other official blows a whistle for that;they then "CONFERENCE" --but one or more officials say they are 'FAIRLY CERTAIN" he did step out of bounds --so they take ball back to the point they
couldn't tell for certain what happened! IF you believe Mr. Black stupid "MECHANIC" procedure that is what should happen=that is ridiculous of course...

b) a ball is fumbled (everyone of the officials agrees) --and in the ensuing pile up for the loose ball ,no whistle is blown---tihis should allow everyone in the pile to fight to strip the ball from the opponent and whoever has final possession once a whistle is finally blown should get the ball right? But maybe the "MECHANIC" calls for an official to reverse the obvious
--player in final possession AFTER the whistle gets the ball--and reward it to the other team whose player he was "FAIRLY CERTAIN" had the ball as he blew his whistle! AGAIN the "FAIRLY CERTAIN" STANDARD of applying the "MECHANIC" is not good enough! Unless this official is CERTAIN that such player had the balll as he blew his whistle--you just cannot allow a reversal...because again --it leads ito possible officiating decisions being influenced by the crowd...Officials must be CERTAIN --otherwise they must allow what they see,--not what they don't see--whether that is a guy running into the endzone from an apparent fumble,or a guy who has the ball in his hands after a whistle retaining it,or a guy scoring a touchdown because they did not see for certain that he stepped out of bounds...GET IT GEORGE?

The "STANDARD" in any officials decision whether on time or LATE--must be CERTAINTY--if not--you allow the obvious of what is seen --not what is not seen...

Of course none of the zebras would admit to peeking at the replay! Black's defense of his officials is moronic and self-serving. Why bother equipping the refs with whistles then? They can all "conference" after every play to make a call!!! I'm sick of the incompetence demonstrated by the people running this league. George Black is a joke.

give it a rest the call was the correct one regardless of how they got there

Mig, first the line judge did not "clearly think it was a fumble" by not blowing the whistle. He did not blow the whistle, because he was uncertain if it was a fumble or a down.

As for he not being down because he was ontop of a player, he was down because he was in the grasp and had no more forward momentum, which is a down.

And what does "not caused by the ground" have to do with anything. Many people seem to think that the ground can not cause a fumble. No where does it say that in the rule book. Now if there was no player underneath him and he had hit the ground after being contacted by an opposing player then he would have been down as soon as he contacted the ground.

I admit to being somewhat surprised by the call, but on reviewing the play and reading what Black had to say, I think the right call was made AND in the manner it should have been.

Am I still critical of the some of the officiating in the league, yup, but in the end they were right on this one.

I do look forward to the day that instant replay is brough in.

You guys need to read Als all the way's post on the "creative officiating" post. I think he nails it on the head and his post makes logical sense.