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Tom McEwen

The late Tom McEwen, sports editor of The Tampa Times from 1958-62 before being named sports editor of The Tampa Tribune in 1962, graced the Tribune sports section with his award-winning column, The Morning After, and his Breakfast Bonus notes columns were a signature offering from the 19-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year. McEwen died in June, 2011 at the age of 88. His wife, Linda, occasionally contributes past columns and exerpts to this blog.

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It’s Official: Bulls Got Raw Deal

Posted Oct 19, 2007 by Tom McEwen

Updated Oct 19, 2007 at 08:23 PM

Bulls

Easy to shout: ‘‘DADGUM OFFICIALS!’‘

All Thursday night and all day Friday.

Bulls coach Jim Leavitt did, in private and to his bride.

I did. After the worst thing that can happen, happened to Leavitt and his University of South Florida Bulls at Rutgers.

They have a shouting point in Bullville these days.

That official who in the tense, terrific Bulls-Rutgers game Rutgers was assigned Thursday night after an official’s decision, very late in the game - which surely could have gone either way - favored the home team and can be questioned by us all, made the ruling that decided the game. It was an awful scenario. But it was a call and it is on the books, and it was final. Leavitt, who demonstrated justified anger during the game, didn’t beef then about the officiating.

But you and I can, will, and be justified.

Leavitt said the Bulls should have won. Agree.

But Leavitt was right. Rutgers did what it had to do, USF did, and did not.

Game in Tampa instead of New Jersey? Different finish. Perhaps, but it wasn’t.

USF remains a Top Ten team. One of the best, the best in USF history. Win out. That’ll do it. A big bowl reward and justification for the support this sensational team has received and deserved.

But, should they have won and been 7-0 and 2-0 in the Big East?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Even the first president, Jack Brown, would have loved this.

This is only the llth team and season, at USF, you know. Had they won — they did not — this would have been the sports story of the year. May still be. Have to win out, you know. Win out. I think they will. But, big games ahead.

A hoot, isn’t it?

Remember when Coach Leavitt was pursued by Alabama? Offered the Bear Bryant job there?

He said thanks but no thanks. When he came here as the only Bulls coach ever, he said he wanted to stay. And did. I think he’s settled in. Want him. Need him. He’s just right. Needs a raise, and will get it.

He is not a money guy. Like Joe Torre, I guess. Just got married. Happy.

Money and a new contract might make him happier. Beyond that, it is deserved.

Now, when the Bulls were No. 2 and perfect, we did not know they were. Do now. A Top Ten team they are and will be when they win the rest.

Hereabouts, the team and Leavitt and his staff need this groundswell of support to continue, if for no other reason than to thank former president Jack Brown for approving football, and for the support of his successors, Bob Bryan, Betty Castor and Judy Genshaft now. She’s been swell, as were the others.

Heck of a story this, including the star play of quarterback Matt Grothe.

The loss to Rutgers.

Forget it.

I have.

Dadgum officials!

Reader Comments

Por (Ronnie Conrad) on October 19, 2007 (Suggest removal)

A great football game on Thursday Night that the Bulls should have won regardless of calls. Special teams play must improve if the Bulls win out, need to keep the defense off the field and then let them take over in the forth if needed, Matt’s got to get rid of the ball quicker. It’s still great to be a BULL and who knows maybe a 1 loss team will be in NO come Jan. 08’ could it be the BULLS…. OH YEA !

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Por (Greg McManus) on October 19, 2007 (Suggest removal)

whatever buddy! I’m a bulls fan and watched the same game you did - those were 2 intentional forward laterals - Amarri Jackson did push off - the only bullshit call was the excessive celebration in the endzone - 9 times out of 10 we would have won that game but the refs weren’t the reason we lost - plain and simple we were out coached and Grothe looked like a deer caught in the headlights all night.

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Por (Pete Lucas) on October 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Tom, I think you are more senile than my Uncle over there in Clearwater at that Top of The World retirement community. In referring to the pass inteference (I assume) us Rutgers fans at the game saw it as soon as it happened. Yes sometimes the calls are close-(Rutgers might have one loss as this point sans a 15 yard in their Maryland game unsportmanlike conduct call on a Rutgers player for doing “the chop” on what would have been the winning touchdown drive. USF twice had the ball at midfield in the late 4th quarter yet came away empty.  Congrats to coach Leavitt and the Bulls on a solid team and effort but last night they were outplayed and outcoached by a very motivated-and improved Rutgers team.

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Por (Susan) on October 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Bottom line question is this… why did we go from a running game 1st 1/2 to a passing game in the second 1/2?

Was waiting for the HOA to call Hillsborough’s finest, as I was in my lanai and screaming at the top of my lungs at a few points.  Did anyone catch George Selvie and the spearin’ he received within the first 5 minutes of the game??!!  Can we send tape too??

“Mom”

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Por (John) on October 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

2 intentional fumbles, yea right. If you watched the replay you can see that when Mckenzie’s left arm was hit from the side the ball went to the right and hit of his right forearm, and since most people use both arms when they run it got knocked forward. And with Jenkins the ball barely got past his fingertips.  another penalty that was close was the personal foul on the kickoff/punt, he was still inbounds when he got hit.

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Por (Burton J Hollabaugh) on October 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Last night I watched UCONN defeat Louisville thank to a touchdown on a fake fair catch. I am not a fan of either school. I can’t believe with all the Big East officials on the field, no one saw it, or why they let it stand.  I am an alumi of the University of Pittsburgh, but ESPN football is about the only on Friday night.

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Por (chris devine) on October 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Dudes…USF players looked too excitable and not composed…result penalties and very bad special team play…Levitt is an already excitable guy and 60,000 sceaming Rutgers fans…well wouldn’t you be just a little nervous? Levitt should take full responsiblility…give Grothe more options than run out of the pocket. When Rutgers took the corners give him the short play to the back or TE. GEEZ!!! GO BULLS!!

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Por (Don Brown(watervendparts)) on October 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

The Bulls lost was not a surprise.  The bulls was way over ranked going into this game.  Remember Rutgers gave the bulls two punt fumbles, a gift.  You look at WV game and with 6 turnovers, backup quarterback starting in the second quarter and still WV had the opportunity to tie the game in the last minute of the game.  Bulls will probably drop another two games.  They just don’t have any offense.

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Por (Charles Brayton) on October 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Bulls should have been prepared for fake punts and kicks.  Knights are not going anywhere and had nothing to lose.

Out of control players also cost the team - both are coaching errors.

That is not Tom Landry on the side line, control yourself and the team,Coach.

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Por (Susan Harrison) on October 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

BOTTOM LINE:
Came out 2nd 1/2 @ were not the same team.  Why did we go to a throwing game when the running game was working?

Mom here’s just a little miffed that the kids’ got ONE touchdown taken away…(face it… the psuedo ‘defensive flea flicker play’ had a forward motion pass ~ therefore we didn’t deserve to score on it… as much as I would have loved it!).

I still am a die hard believer ~ as I ALWAYS HAVE BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE ~  I’m just hoping that this separates the wheat from the chaff!! ;D

GO BULLS (and someone shut up those crazy, vapid, self indulgent Gator, FSU and UCF Fans… get over yourself and the envy!!  So you finally watched a Bulls game and realized we can hand you your glutious maximius! :G

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Por (Tony Grier) on October 21, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Hey Tom—

Yes, I think we were hoodwinked in Jersey. By the way you are profiled well in my book A Raging Bull: Chasing the Big Time. The football story is documented. Funny how the school that was never to have “sports” is now in the Big Time.

Tony Grier

www.aragingbull.com

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Por (James R. Kinzer) on October 21, 2007 (Suggest removal)

If you baby “bullies” can quit crying in your beer long enough and take the “Whoopin” that yoy got in NJ the way that you should, you would not be blaming the refs. !!!!!!!  I hope that you can loose one more so the Mounties can win the big east.  Go Bullies

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Por (joe cole) on October 22, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Thanks james for another bitter WV post.  Tom is making a point. Are you blind? Did you watch the game?  The officiating was criminal, and soooooo obviously bias.  If I were Rutgers, I woudn’t get too cocky.  It’s easy to win when the refs are taking the opponant’s points off the board.  The takeaway of our special teams TD after the blocked punt was a crime.  Give us our points back which we scored legitimately and we have the w.  One more thing,  it took Rutgers more than 100 years to crack the BCS.  It took us a piddly 10.  Remember that.  Now go back and finish licking your wounds.

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Por (Chip Wienges) on October 22, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Your editor should be fired.  Not only is the content in this column sophomoric and adolescent, but the sentence structure is parallel to that of a third grader’s.  Crying over a self-perceived blown call in print???  How very Division 1-AA, Mr. McEwan.

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Por (Big Time) on October 22, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Chip, did you see the call? Why are you so angry? I take it the Bulls are doing better than YOUR team?

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