Good morning, NatsTown - All is well here after watching the Packers finally take down the Vikings, once again with the timely help of Brett Favre, who found Packers at all the key moments of last night's game, including linebacker Desmond Bishop for the game-winning touchdown. Some would say Favre's comeback stats are overinflated, that he's a horrendous clutch quarterback who has been lionized by the media. Me? I'm just happy to know he can still lift the Packers to victory at Lambeau Field.
Anyway, I've spared precious few punches in my exchanges with Vikings fans, whom I generally find to be an abhorrent lot as a fanbase. They are fair-weather fans to a T, packing the Metrodome when there's something good to watch but forcing local companies to snap up tickets and avoid blackouts when there's not. And perhaps it's just a repressed inferiority complex, but they act as though their legacy is on par with the Packers', despite their four Super Bowl losses and recent chokery.
It makes me chuckle.
The refrain from Vikings fans this morning, predictably, is the referees, despite Favre's three picks; they were the victims of home cooking, they continue to say. So I bring the question to you, partially because you're an impartial, discerning lot and partially because this might translate to baseball better than it does football, when an umpire's interpretation of the strike zone affects every pitch of a game: Is blaming the way a game was officiated ever OK?
My general answer is no, unless we're talking about USA-USSR in Munich. The reason? In a game that could have turned on one pitch, one play, one moment, there's always another instance to point to that could have changed the game.You could have always asked more of yourself before asking more of the officiating.
Now, the obvious counterpoint to that is something like what happened this June in Houston, when a blown check-swing call, which would have ended a game against the Astros with a Nationals win, instead went Houston's way. Given an extra strike, Lance Berkman singled off Matt Capps to score two runs and give the Astros a 7-6 win. That's the game I thought changed the Nationals' season after they played .500 ball for the first two months of the year.
But I'd tend to look at that game and point to other things, like Ryan Zimmerman's error at the beginning of that inning, before I'd blame the check swing call.
Am I off-base on that? Is that oversimplifying? Let me know what you think.