I love professional sports. The intense drama that unfolds in the playoffs is usually well worth watching. Players step it up a notch and we live, breathe and die right along side our teams throughout. However, it seems that anytime a marginal call can go against a Canadian team, it gets shafted.
Tonight, I watched a Toronto Raptor’s team perform a near miracle comeback to tie up the game at the buzzer, leading to an overtime period. The Raptors weren’t doing well, down six, the Miami Heat were called for a shot clock violation. Off they go to video replay to determine if the ball touched the rim. If it didn’t, Raptor’s ball, only six points down. If it did, the Miami Heat get a fresh 24 seconds to try and score. Replay after replay is shown. The announcers are like, “Air ball,” or “We really can’t tell either way,” they show slow motion footage of the ball going by the rim. One that they stopped on it clearly shows the backboard beneath the ball, yet it is ruled in favour of the Miami Heat, who with a fresh 24 manage to score giving them now a commanding eight point lead.
Now, I wouldn’t be writing anything right now if this was an anomaly, or that calls seemed to pan out 50/50 in professional sports during the playoffs. However, you can almost guarantee that if there is a marginal call, and a Canadian team is represented, the call will ultimately favour the American team. The Blue Jays for example in last year’s MLB playoffs had calls that would always without fail, go against them. Is it ratings? Is it because we happen to live in a different country that promotes common decency and gun control? Maybe they just can’t stand seeing anyone outside of their country do well. It really spits in the eye of fair play. It’s not like I’m mad at a single incident either.
If I sound bitter I am. I’m sick of feeling shafted by officials in major sports, especially with terribly bad inconclusive replay as the evidence. The call on the floor was a time clock violation, and it should have stood. Sure this is my opinion, but I’m sure there are those who will agree. Canadian teams never get the call in their favour. This is a trend that needs to stop.