Bad Officials

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

If you watch any sporting event anymore with other people, the topic of bad officiating cannot be avoided. It has reared its ugly head in the NFL, the NBA, college basketball and, now even horse racing.

Let me confess up front that I know very little about horse racing. I did, occasionally, over the years go to the track for dinner and a night of very minor betting. It was just a night out. I have never studied the horses. My betting and knowledge is based on virtually nothing but whim.  In fact, the first time my wife and I went to the races with other couples, we decided to bet every other race; my wife would pick a winner for one race and I would pick a winner
for the next race. We each threw in a whopping $2.00 per race.

I remember winning a few bucks. For my wife’s last bet she picked a horse who was a 40-1 shot to win. I would always place the bet for her and as I headed toward the window, I felt by placing that bet I would just be throwing $2.00 away. So, without telling her, I bet a different horse to win.  Her horse won! She thought she had won $80.00 on her $2.00 bet. I had to tell her she did not because I messed up. It was not pretty. Suffice it to say, I would not do that again.  Lesson learned. I know no more to this day about the sport, but like many ignorant fans, I still have an opinion.

I watched the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. I was both fascinated and confused.  Fascinated by the turn of events and confused by the controversy. It was somewhat obvious that Maximum Security did move out to his right, but it was just as obvious that that movement, no matter what the cause, did not affect the winning horse, Country House, at all. In other words, the horse that won was not impeded by the horse that was disqualified. The horses that were affected finished back in the pack and it appeared they would have finished that way anyway.

To me (remember I know nothing about horse racing), it would be hard not to have some bumping. I’ve read that this race has the largest number of competitors (20) of any race and I have seen it described as “demolition derby”. It appears to this viewer that the penalty here did not fit the “crime”.  For the first time in 145 runnings, a winner was disqualified. A winner was denied the $3 million purse. A new winner was declared. That horse was never fouled the entire race.
It appeared to me that this was just another case of bad officiating. This was the non-interference call that cost New Orleans a win in the NFL playoffs. This was a missed call at the end of almost every NBA playoff game. This was the biggest of all horse races with 150,000 people in attendance. This was another bad call.


  1. The payouts for the Derby were as follows:
    First Place – Country House: $132.40 (Win), $56.60 (Place), $24.60 (Show)
    Second Place – Code of Honor: $15.20 (Place), $9.80 (Show)
    Third Place – Tacitus: $5.60 (Show)
    The $2.00 Exacta paid a whopping $3,009.60
  2.  Jordan Hicks, a closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, has thrown the 20 fastest pitches in the major leagues this year. His fastest pitch was 104.2 mph.  Aroldis Chapman has recorded a 105.1 mph fastball which seems to be the
    accepted record.
  3. Max Homa won his first PGA tournament on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship. He won $1.4 million. His father, John Homa, went to high school at Marian Catholic.
  4. I know that Jeopardy is not a sport, but it is a contest. And right now, it is worth watching. James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, has won 22 games and $1,691,008. He averages $76,864 won for each
    show, a record. He is in second place for most consecutive wins and total money won. Ken Jennings won 74 times and $2.5 million. He has a two-week break now before returning on May 20. His style is different and
    exasperating to his opponents. Set your DVR.
  5. The EPC playoffs start next week. RCN-TV will have the semifinals (5/14) and the championship (5/15) LIVE next week. The games will be played at DeSales University for the first time. Join us.
Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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