On the second to last play of the TCU-Michigan college football playoff game last night, TCU apparently made forth down stop to win the game, but as the TCU defensive back was securing the tackle on the Michigan receiver, he struck him with the crown of his helmet bringing forcible contact to the head and neck area of the Michigan receiver. That is a textbook definition of the penalty “targeting”. The referees looked the play on video, and announced to the crowd that after reviewing the hit, there was no violation for targeting. The video evidence was clear. The hit was a prime example of targeting, but it went unpunished.
The issue was that targeting is a 15-yard penalty with an automatic first down. That would have negated TCU’s game-winning stop and given the ball back to Michigan with 25 seconds left and the possibility of scoring the game-winning touchdown. It is obvious that the refs and the NCAA officials they were conferring with, did not want to let a targeting call potentially change the outcome of a college football playoff game, so the head referee stood in front of tens of millions of people and lied. With a straight face, he said there was no targeting, when the video evidence clearly showed that it was. He lied, and he expected us to believe something different from what we saw with our own two eyes. This missed call was not simply a referee in real time getting it wrong. Targeting is reviewable; the referees took their time to review it; they saw the play for what it was, and then lied to us.
If the refs are not going to make that call at that time, they should eliminate the targeting rule altogether, and also eliminate reviews. We cannot selectively enforce the rules and selectively employ the review process. Some people will argue that, it was a good “no call” and the refs were correct in “letting them play” because it occurred with 25 seconds left in the game and the 15-yard penalty may have changed the outcome of the game. But in any one score game, a targeting call at any point of the game, could potentially change the outcome of the game. If the same play occurred on Michigan’s third drive in the first quarter, the refs would have called targeting and given Michigan the first down which could have led to a touchdown which would have been the difference in the game.
In all my years of playing or coaching sports, I’ve never understood this. It doesn’t make sense that some people believe that the game should be called differently in the last two minutes as it’s called in the first 58 minutes. Are there two sets of rules and two different criteria for calling penalties, one in the first 58 minutes of the game, and the second in the last two minutes? And if so, are the coaches and players aware of these changes and understand the different criteria so they can play differently in the different parts of the game? And are these changes applied consistently by every officiating crew and every game. At what point does officiating become arbitrary?
The game should be called the exact same on the first play of the game as it is on the last play. They don’t change the scoring based on the part of the game. Crossing the goal line doesn’t equal six points in the first quarter and then equals nine points in the fourth quarter. We see this all the time and all sports. Referees “let them play” at the end of NBA basketball games, and the player taking the final shot gets mauled and there’s a “no call”. Plate umpires in Major League Baseball do not like to end the game on a called third strike so he will squeeze the strike zone to prevent that from happening. But a strike should be a strike in the first inning as it is in the ninth-inning. You don’t change the strike zone based on the inning and based on the score of the game.
But this happens far too often in our country, and it is not exclusive to sports. We constantly change the rules to determine or protect a desired outcome. Hunter Biden’s laptop was authenticated within days of its release to the public, but the intelligence agencies and the legacy media feared that this type of disclosure to the American people would change the outcome of the 2020 election, so like the referees last night, they lied to us. They called it “Russian Disinformation” even though they knew it wasn’t, and had the story censored on social media. They tried to make us believe that what we saw with our own two eyes, we didn’t really see.
The Biden administration is selectively enforcing our immigration laws to achieve a desired result. They have completely opened our southern border, allowing millions of illegal immigrants to enter our country, some bringing crime and drugs which are destroying our communities, and the Biden administration officials look at the American people with a straight face, no different than the referee last night, and say that the border is completely secure. And we are expected to believe them because they happen to be an official of the government. Meanwhile, we see video footage on a daily basis of thousands of illegal immigrants walking into our country in places like, Del Rio, Texas or Eagle Pass.
We see this in our major cities where prosecutors are selectively enforcing laws against theft, drugs and violence, and are cities are being destroyed by massive crime waves because of it. Stores are being shut down because the non-enforcement of shoplifting has made keeping the store open unprofitable. Homelessness and drugs are littering our streets. Car-jackings are almost double in many cities. Violent crime is up 50%. And all of this is a result of District Attorneys wanting to reduce the arrest and incarceration rate, believing that arbitrarily changing those numbers makes us safer when in fact, it does the exact opposite.
We witnessed for 5 straight months in the summer and fall of 2020, our major cities being torn apart and burned to the ground by BLM and Antifa rioters, and not only did government officials turn a blind eye to the violence, many of them looked the American people in the eye and called these violent riots, “peaceful protests”. And then many of those same government officials suddenly were aghast at one riot breaking out at the Capital a few months later. If the one riot at the Capital was wrong and the rioters should be prosecuted, then the 500+ riots in 2020 were equally wrong and the tens of thousands of rioters should have also been prosecuted, but that was clearly not the case. They selectively targeted certain rioters for prosecution based on their political point of view. That would be as bad as finding out that the NCAA official who made the final ruling that the hit was not a penalty is an alumnus of TCU.
And all of this is being allowed to occur because the legacy media, social media, and our intelligence agencies are working together to selective target people and information for censorship based solely on political affiliation. As long as the American people are being systematically lied to by the powers to be, there will always be a selective application of the laws and a two-tiered justice system. Our elected leaders will not only have no shame in looking America in the eye and lie to them, but those who are supposed to hold those officials accountable will instead work to protect those who lie to us. The lie that was told to us at the end of last night’s game, was essentially meaningless, but we cannot allow ourselves to be lied to so easily because the lies will eventually permeate into every aspect of our lives.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.