Friday, February 22, 2008

I Just Can't Help Myself

The Miami folks are at it again.

The "dynasty" stuff was absolutely amazing. Then the writer came out with another article, discussing if officials should be allowed to work the games of their alma mater. Apparently there have been lots of complaints in a Facebook group due to the fact that Matt Shegos, a Michigan alum, was allowed to work the Michigan/Miami series, where Miami was fortunate to come away with a point.

Now, we get a Letter to the Editor from Rebecca Luzadis, an Associate Professor of Management at the school. She tries to explain how bias isn't something you can control and, despite the best efforts of the CCHA, bias in Matt Shegos still exists.

My question to those who were bitching, and those who continue to bitch: Did you, ya know, watch the games?

During Friday night's game Miami had seven, SEVEN, power plays in the the third period, which allowed them to make a game out of it.

The next night, he missed a blatant trip against Hagelin which started the rush on Miami's first goal. One of his linesmen tripped Mitera on Miami's second goal. And the fourth goal very possibly hit the netting out of play.

For the weekend, Michigan had a whole one more power play opportunity than Miami, which, when you look at the track record of the series, is actually below the usual amount that we get when non-Michigan-alum refs do the game.

Over the past 5 years, Matt Shegos has done 28 Michigan games. In that time, the Wolverines have been given 14 more power play opportunities than their opponents, or 1 additional opportunity per weekend. Not at all an unreasonable amount, given that Michigan has been one of the top programs in the country. They clearly play less-talented teams more often than not, so it's not absurd that they're getting more power plays than their opponent. Quite honestly, it's expected.

Additionally, in Michigan/MSU games, where you would expect Shegos's so-called bias to shine through, the Wolverines have actually had four fewer power play chances than the Spartans, including a game at Yost where the Spartans were given eight power plays to Michigan's four. Does it mean he screwed up? Absolutely not. But I'd also argue that if he were truly biased, he'd find a way to put Michigan on the PP a lot more often than he does. There are a number of refs who are more generous to Michigan with power play opportunities than Matt Shegos. Steve Piotrowski was by far the most kind to Michigan, and he was considered to be the best ref in the conference (Ferris State grad, for the record).

Where would this ban stop? Should Michigan State alums not be allowed to do Michigan games, since they generally would rather see us lose than have MSU win? Should a Michigan alum be allowed to work Ohio State games? Should Tom Anastos be allowed to rule on matters that could benefit Michigan State?

Miami's biggest problem in that series was that Jeff Zatkoff's glove was too slow. Not that Matt Shegos was the ref. If you don't like the way the games were called, chances are it's because Shegos is an idiot. Not that he's biased.

I'd be a lot more inclined to be sympathetic if anybody could point out some examples of this blatant bias that has led to all this talk. At least two, if not three, of Miami's goals Saturday night were official-aided. There's simply no way to watch that series and think "Man, I bet Shegos went to Michigan with the way he's calling this game."

Miami fan, I'm sorry your team choked when they were on the national stage. Get over it, try and do better next time. You've got a really good hockey team. Stuff like this letter to the editor and the column preceding it just make you look like Penn State football fans. To be clear, I don't think the article was especially bad, just that I think it's absurd that it was even discussed after that weekend of play. Matt Shegos has been a ref for a long time, and he's done Michigan games for a long time. What about those games warranted even bringing this up? Apart from the fact that Miami got pretty much dominated.

I'm as big of a Michigan fan as there is, and I'd gladly support a ban on Matt Shegos doing our games. That alone should tell you that he's not calling games blatantly in our favor.


colin said...

This is a product, imo, of a fanbase that has materialized only recently. They sound naive and out of touch, which is exactly what I'd expect for a program whose definition of dynasty is winning a lone CCHA title.

I don't mean any disrespect, but if you don't have any concept of history, then you're not going to be able to manage context.

Bucky said...

I couldn't agree more!! I think that Shegos should come to the WCHA. Mr Schmidt is currently looking for some work and that sounds like a fair trade to me. :)

Eric J. Burton said...

Bucky is right we will take Mr Shegos and I will up the ante you can have campion and sheppard as well. Make that both of the Sheppards.

Jim Bodmer said...

As a Miami grad (1960) who grew up a Michigan fan and set foot in Yost in the mid 1940, I think it all boils down to the fact that Matt Shegos is an egotistical pompous person who is nor biased but probably is an idiot. Have not heard about him since his blunder in the Notre Game game. Wonder where he is today?