For decades, the officials of the old Southwest Football Conference were considered the most biased in the game. The fact was if was nearly impossible for a gridiron team to escape stadiums in Houston, Dallas, Waco, Lubbock, Austin, Fort Worth or Fayetteville with a victory. But what has been referred to as one of the most egregious calls in the history of college football occurred during a Big 8 match on October 6, 1990 on Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri, the home of the Missouri Tigers and while it decided the outcome of the game, the beneficiary of the call was not the home team.
Instead, the Colorado Buffaloes were allowed two running plays and two spiked passes before Buff backup quarterback Charles Johnson scored on what the officials thought was a “fourth and goal” play from inside the one yard line. In the aftermath of the 33-31 “win” Colorado went on to win the conference title and was recognized by the Associated Press as the 1990 National Champions.
Even though the error was apparently an honest mistake, Big 8 Commissioner Carl James suspended J.C. Louderback and his entire officiating crew indefinitely, The logic was simple, mistake or otherwise, the outcome of athletic contests in our society are far too important to allow those who apply the rules to arbitrarily determine the results.
Compare and contrast that to our judicial system. Judicial reform in the 1960’s has provided Oklahoma with an exceptionally fair system that has placed thousands of qualified and unbiased jurists on the bench all across our state. The process of selecting fair judges is important because of the real impact that judges make in the lives of people and families whose cases appear on their dockets.
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