Sunday, February 1, 2009

UM-Purdue: The Flop heard round the World

This was a game that Michigan could have won.
It was a game Michigan needed.
Yet, as the Wolverines were up by three just minutes into the 2nd half, the bottom fell out on the upset bid when Chris Kramer hit the deck on a Manny Harris elbow.

Harris deserved to have a foul called. Swinging your your body with your elbows out is like baiting a ref to call a foul. But clearing space is a legal thing to do. Zack Novak deserved what he got with an obviously intentional elbow and the suspension that came with it vs. OSU. But there is no way Manny should have been thrown out. He made a basketball move. If Kramer hadn't acted like he had be blown away in a Tarantino movie, I don't think Manny would have been tossed.

Calling someone out for faking an injury, or embellishing, is a double edged sword. You want to argue that Kramer took a dive to get Manny tossed? OK. But some could argue that what we saw last weekend with Steve Kampfer (having played this week after the MSU incident) could be something along the same lines. How can a guy act like he was hit by a bus and then come back a week later?

The difference with Kampfer and Kramer was that Kampfer seeked additional medical treatment. He took a stick to the head (twice) after nearly dying from a head injury just a few months back. He wasn't ready to come back out and play and needed further attention after the incident. After lying on the ground for two minutes, Kramer hops up and starts waving his arms to get the crowd fired up. Five minutes after that, he is back on the floor with a mask ready to play. Both these athletes lay prone on the playing surface this past week, but only one had a reason too.

This was a game Michigan needed. And, even more sadly, could be seen as the one that got away come March.

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