In my view, neither Wing nor Crowell's actions were unsportsmanlike. Certainly not to the degree of getting a touchdown taken off the board. Yet both instances were closer to flaggable offenses than what AJ Green was penalized for in 2009. Actually his endzone "celebration" was similar to what Crowell did in that they both faced the crowd after scoring. While AJ's seemed to end there with teammates mobbing him, Crowell had distanced himself enough from his blockers that it took awhile for everyone to get to where he was jumping.
And therein lies the problem. The unsportsmanlike penalty is a judgment call that can be interpreted differently by me than it is by you. Did Wing taunt the Florida players? Yes. So the referee was doing his job. But for the fans watching the game the punishment hardly fit the crime. By making it a live ball foul this season that thin line of judgment can carry with it a lot of weight.
To make matters worse, SEC officiating in particular appears to be worse than it ever has been. I know right? Like that ever seemed possible to type. But the "fumble" that never was...or may have been yet was recovered by a hamstring plus one achilles tendon is the perfect example of where SEC officiating has sunk to. Here we are a few days after the fact and no one really knows if he was simply ruled down (which replay clearly indicated he wasn't) or if the Tenn player had recovered before Herrera wraped his actual hands on the football (which replay also confirmed didn't happen).
If it was the former the refs are at best, simply incompetent. If it was the latter then they are at worst terribly biased. Which leads me back to the original discussion about the unsportsmanlike penalty. I'm left with two questions:
- When is the time at which this rule truly hurts Georgia? In a game they can probably handle anyway such as Vandy or New Mexico State? Or in Jacksonville where everything works against us anyway?
- Since it was the coaches that wanted this rule, will there be enough carnage from it this season for them to change their collective minds?