As defined by Webster's New World Dictionary, the word incompetent means: "Without adequate ability, knowledge, fitness, incapable, unskilled."
The definition listed above was displayed by seven adult males at a high school football game on Friday, Nov. 12, 2010 at Bellwood-Antis High School.
The game was a great and competitive contest between two worthy participants. The incompetence, however, was displayed not by the players but the referees. How can all seven of them lose track of the downs?
In this writer's opinion, they should never be allowed to referee, umpire or officiate any type of sporting event ever again. The boys on that field gave a great effort and have worked all their short lives to get to that pivotal moment and to get cheated by incompetent adults (the people they are supposed to look up to) is just plain sad.
The worst part to this whole disaster was even after losing track of the downs, Bellwood-Antis completed a fourth-down pass (really a third-down pass) to the 1-yard line. In their overwhelming incompetence, the referees spotted the ball at the 5-yard line. It should have been first-and-goal on the 1 for B-A with 20-plus seconds to go.
Instead, the ball was given to McCort, and the game was over. This - and other odd calls, a phantom face mask and defensive holding on a running play - was the play that showed the referees' yearning for a Bishop McCort victory.
I hope there is some kind of consequence for this incompetence, and it is imposed by District 6 officials.
I would like to add that I know that no one is perfect, but I would like to think that people who are paid professionals can get it right when it matters most.
I would like to commend this year's Bellwood-Antis football team on another great season, and hopefully these young men can take a valuable learning experience from this heartbreaking blunder.
District 6 attitude 'disturbing'
I was in attendance at the Bellwood Antis-Bishop McCort football game last Friday evening. I came away confused. The game ended on a sour note.
Should Bellwood have been given another play or not? Did the officials make a mistake? Was it third down or fourth down? The PIAA official on the sidelines was consulted, and it was decided that it was fourth down.
When I departed the game, to me it was a dead issue. Most of our fans thought the officials were wrong. When reading the Altoona Mirror the next morning, PIAA official Dick Scialabba stated a mistake was made and it should have been third down, but you have to live with it.
I find that attitude disturbing. The players at Bellwood and all other schools deserve better from the officials.
That mistake clearly cost Bellwood an opportunity to win the game. I hear all the time about letting the players decide the game on the field. In this instance, the officials overstepped their boundaries.
I would hate to think the PIAA and the officials chose not to make the right call because the B-A fans were so vocal and correct.
Shouldn't have to 'live with it'
The arrogance of the PIAA was in full view from your article on "Downs and out" (Saturday, Nov. 13).
Instead of an apology for a wrong call which could have cost Bellwood a win over McCort (look at the game stats), Dick Scialabba, the official from the PIAA, quoted the mistake as something that "you have to live with it."
Scialabba was on the sidelines watching the game. Did he not know the rules well enough or was he not watching the game closely enough at that time to correct the mistake so that our boys who played their hearts out would not have to "live with it?"
PSU program continues slide
Once again Joe Paterno and his loyal staff of puppets (coaches) lose a big road game.
When was the last time Penn State won a big road game? Maybe around Joe's 350th win?
It's a shame to see a once great football program again collapse before our eyes. Joe has managed to reduce this envied program into a very average at best mess of a team.
Having a walk-on quarterback starting a big game in Columbus says it all and shows how fast this sinking ship is going down. Yes, Penn State has had their share of injuries, but the past Penn State teams had depth.
This team is lucky to have a good starter let alone a decent backup. What's even more pathetic is the apathy of the Penn State Nation that has come to accept this Saturday display of cluelessness.
Somebody better wake up in Happy Valley and figure out that the captain of this sinking ship needs to bale before it becomes a major accomplishment beating Youngstown State on autumn Saturdays.
So Joe, who's the starting quarterback next Saturday, Rob Blocker?