Remember the call made by replay officials at last week's Penn State-Nebraska game? You can bet Penn State fans do. TE Matt Lehman appeared to cross the goal line, football in hand, in the fourth quarter of last week's game. Officials called it a fumble on the field and then, despite what appeared to be conclusive evidence of a touchdown, let the fumble stand.
Here's a video refresher, again courtesy of Diehardsport.com:
Without the touchdown, Penn State remained down 27-23 in the fourth quarter. Nebraska eventually sealed the victory with a 32-23 win.
Understandably, Penn State fans are a little miffed at the decision by review officials. That call didn't directly decide the game, but it definitely tilted the balance back in Nebraska's favor when it looked like PSU could retake control.
Unfortunately for the Nittany Lion faithful, there's going to be a lack of sympathy from Nebraska fans about that that call—not only because of the obvious advantage it gave the Huskers at the time, but because there's this one teensy-weensy call from 30 years ago that Nebraska fans haven't forgotten.
Let's go back to the video for that one too.
Yep, that's Penn State getting a pretty comical completion call on a pass play to the 2-yard line with nine seconds left. That play helped set up a game-winning touchdown for the Nittany Lions, and that win propelled Penn State to an eventual national championship that year. Nebraska, meanwhile, finished the year at 11-1, ranked No. 3 behind 11-1 PSU and 11-0-1 SMU.
Even though the game was in September, it's safe to say that the loss cost Nebraska the national title.
How egregiously bad was the call? Even the Patriot-News, a central Pennsylvania paper, called it the second-worst call in college football history back in 2010, topped only by the "Fifth Down Game" between Colorado and Missouri.
So yes, Nebraska fans are playing the world's tiniest violin right now. And per KLKN TV in Lincoln, they're also making shirts for the occasion:
"I know lots of Husker fans were discussing this after the game. The touchdown call that was or wasn't and there's some controversy about that. So, we kind of thought something fun to kind of show the karma behind football, sometimes it happens," Best of Big Red's Katie Lattimer said.
So they made a t-shirt showing a skewed football field with both of those controversial calls. Or "Thirty years to make things right."
The "Football Karma" t-shirts are now available at Best of Big Red. They're located at 70th and A in the Clocktower Plaza.
This is clever. It's fun. It's the type of smack talk sports needs. We're not sure we'd buy a shirt about it, mind you, but we don't think shirts should be reading exercises. We are old.
And really, if you're Penn State, isn't that trade-off totally worth it? If you could get a bad call that helps your team eventually win a national championship, but then 30 years later against the same team in a way less important game, one goes the other way, that's completely fine, right?