SportsFest controversy: the call that wasn’t made

David outsmarted Goliath. The New York Giants stole one from the New England Patriots, and now, there is Stanford Residential College’s story.

By this point, word has spread far and wide that Stanford upset the nine-time defending champions Hecht this past weekend at SportsFest. History books are being rewritten to include this clash as another famous battle in which the underdog took down an overwhelming favorite.

But what if that wasn’t necessarily the case?

Controversy arose during the flag football championship matchup between Stanford’s “The Ocho” and a commuter team “Shifting Gears.” During the final play of the game, there was an alleged push on an extra point attempt that was not called on Stanford that, had it been called, would have sent the game into overtime.

The controversy here isn’t that the commuter team was denied an opportunity to win the event outright. It is the fact that the call was intentionally held back so the game did not go into overtime.

According to a Facebook screenshot from a player of “The Ocho,” one of the game’s referees admitted to holding off on the call in order to “not have the game go into overtime.”

As most students in both Hecht and Stanford know, Stanford won the trophy by the slimmest of margins, a mere 9.36 points. Being that flag football was worth 100 points for the overall winner, had the game gone into overtime, “Shifting Gears” may have had an opportunity to win the event.

So what does this all mean? If the foul had been called and the game had gone into overtime, then the commuters would have had a chance to win and Hecht could be celebrating its 10th SportsFest win in a row. However, it’s also important to remember that Stanford could have gained the lead back and things would have ended the same way.

What about the referees? Although there is still no word on what happened to the referee in question, it’s not fair to criticize them all for the mistake of one. Having personally seen intramural referees at work, I know about the hard work that they put into making sure their games run as smoothly as possible.

There is no way to know exactly what would have happened if the penalty had been called and the game went into overtime. But to speculate about things that could have happened won’t change what occurred on the field. Stanford won the title, fair and square. Now only one question remains: can they do it again next spring?

Ernesto Suarez may be contacted at