clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wisconsin fans toss snowballs at refs after 3 overturned touchdowns

New, comments

Yes, "three" overturned touchdowns. One of which almost certainly looked like a game-winner.

Wisconsin lost to Northwestern, 13-7. After the game, their fans couldn't stop pelting the referees that called their 13-7 loss to Northwestern with snowballs.

There's never a good reason to toss things at referees. Don't throw things at referees. There's also no good reason to throw snowballs at cheerleaders, which Wisconsin fans also did. Stop throwing things at people, who don't deserve to have things thrown at them, idiots.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's recount why Wisconsin thought it was a good idea to throw snowballs at referees.

First, a Wisconsin punt return TD was called back due to an "invalid fair catch" because returner Alex Erickson tried to tell his teammates to get away from the bouncing ball.

Technically, that's the right call: the rules outlaw any waving from a return man except for a fair catch. But nobody in the stadium besides the refs, including Northwestern's coverage team, thought he was signaling for a fair catch.

Wisconsin didn't score and eventually had the ball down 13-7 with two minutes to go and no timeouts. Wisconsin QB Joel Stave completed a 22-yard pass to Troy Fumagalli that appeared to be a touchdown. But his knee was down at the 1-yard line. No complaints.

Then Stave threw another TD to Jazz Peavy. At first, it didn't look like there was any plausible way this one could be overturned.

But the referees ruled that Peavy didn't "complete the catch." You can see the ball coming out as he goes to the ground. This happens a lot in the NFL, but college refs tend to rule things that look like catches as catches. And, well, this looked like a catch. This really really looked like a catch!

On second down, Stave was sacked and injured. On third down, they had to spike it to stop the clock. And on fourth down, Stave's backup Bart Houston threw an incompletion.

Wisconsin lost for a lot of reasons. They had five turnovers, forced none, and had -26 yards rushing. (That's negative 26.)

But they also had three touchdowns called back. One of those was clearly right. One of them was a call you never see, against the intent of the rule. And one of them ... well, I don't really know why that Peavy TD was overturned. And they lost by six.

It's never a good idea to throw things at referees, but we're going to have a hard time convincing Wisconsin fans of that.

* * *

SB Nation video archives: How not to be an awful college football fan (2014)