Congratulations to the Albany Panthers. A couple of weeks ago, a big crowd cheered them on to the Southern Indoor Football League championship. The players and their fans proved to be the class of the league.
Unfortunately, the league itself needs some work. The championship game was briefly disrupted by a bizarre decision made by a man who wasn't even there. At halftime, the officials took three points away from the Panthers.
The team used an unusual maneuver, a dropkick, on extra points. They'd been counted as two points in previous games. But at halftime -- over the phone -- Supervisor of Officials Dan Blum said they should only be worth one point.
Apparently, Commissioner Gary Tufford – also over the phone – disagreed with that decision. But the points were subtracted.
It doesn't speak well of the league when the supervisor of officials and the league commissioner aren't clear about the rules or how previous games have been played. It's also kind of embarrassing that neither man even bothered to show up to their own league's championship game.
Thankfully, the Panthers quickly put the controversy behind them and went on to crush the Louisiana Swashbucklers in the second half and win the championship. They made south Georgia proud. More than 7,000 fans showed Albany will support professional sports.
Now, hopefully SIFL leaders will take steps to show they run a serious and successful league that's worthy of our champion Panthers.
Copyright 2011 WALB. All rights reserved.