That, if you'll recall from last year's BYU/Washington game, is what happens when you take apes, give them complex and sometimes poorly written rules, and ask them to navigate them 14 times a year under the live fire of crowd noise, bodies hurtling all over the place, and the confusion of real-life angles and blocked perspectives. Necessarily stated: officiating is hard, especially in football officiating, a job akin to being a traffic cop stuck without a car vainly trying to flag down speeders without the benefit of a radar gun or pistol.
There's really just four sets of eyes out there to watch 22 players in motion, and this bad math leads to worse calls. Realistically, holding really could be called on every play, and every game contains a thousand variables being processed by very fallible brains working very quickly under immense pressure. Faced with an impossible job, most crews seem to stick to the big stuff, calling the most egregious penalties while letting little ones slide.
Unless, unless, unless: the crew is captained by Ron Cherry, the most annoying spotlight-slutty referee in the nation and a kidney stone of an official at best, or the crew actually decides to call the excessive celebration call.
The rule is a bad one, especially when called as insanely as it was against Jake Locker above, but it's unmanageable not just in its content, but in its further clouding of the ol' mental windshield for officials already trying to balance a zillion things at once. People's cognition tends to suffer as more variables are thrown in, something that applies to both quarterbacks and officials. Add enough of them, and soon the rule book is as incomprehensible and unpracticeable as the Dave Clawson offense.
Thus Mack Brown's fear of what may result from the new emphasis on ejecting players for above the neck contact from defenders: he's terrified of the possibilities of officials being given one more thing to think about and interpret, and of watching the Texas program's coaching scion, Will Muschamp, die on the sideline as his head explodes on a particularly ticky-tacky call against Sergio Kindle in a big game.
In the same Kirk Bohls article R.C. Slocum makes an even darker point: not only does an additional fuzzy and ultimately subjective rule make for official confusion, but it opens the door for corrupt officials to influence games even more than they might already:
"I've got nothing against officials," Slocum said, "but we've got politicians who have less than perfect integrity. Bankers, doctors, preachers, lawyers all have problems, but we've got no crooked officials?
"We've got TV ministers and priests, some of them proven not to be (upstanding), and it's unthinkable that a whole group of officials have total integrity? It's an insult to our intelligence."
This will get out hand, gentlemen. And when it does, you'll experience rage untold. Even money on the most egregious being from the blind collection of random hankie machines called the Pac-10 Officiating Corps, since they've been the ones most likely to walk face-first into the logical bear traps of new rules. (Dan Fouts' beard still deserves a group hug for making the "Horrible call!" judgment on the spot, and for doing this with his alma mater getting the upside of a demonstrably monstrous call.)