It usually takes me several days to finish a game writeup, but I don’t want to wait until the end of the week to talk about Kriss Proctor’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of Saturday’s game. Nobody wants to pick at scabs when discussion is better served by moving on. You can’t really talk about the game without mentioning that debacle, though, so here goes.

I think the flag was justified.

First, I want to refer back to a comment I made after the Delaware game:

(By the way, Kriss might want to cool it with the little “let me hear it” thing he did after that first touchdown. The refs are all flag-happy about that stuff this year. Air Force even had a touchdown called back against South Dakota because one of their players was strutting his stuff as he ran into the end zone. Kriss’ run wouldn’t have been called back since his “celebration” came after he had already scored, but we don’t need any penalties on kickoffs either.)

That comment is sort of ironic now. The fact that there’s a little history here (however innocent it was at the time) makes it hard for me to buy into the whole “well everyone was being chippy the whole game” line. I’m sure they were, but I don’t see that as much of an excuse. If this was just a case of a couple of players jabbering after the play, then yeah, the ref should have just stepped in and told them to knock it off. This was more than that, though. Kriss got up, circled the pile, and intentionally (in my opinion) bumped an Air Force player before getting into his face. That guy plays for Air Force so he probably deserved it, but unfortunately, Kriss deserved the flag, too. If you want to be pissed about the refs, make it about the pass interference flag.

If this happened against Army or Notre Dame, Kriss might’ve had a Bucchianeri moment and be persona non grata in the Hall. Fortunately it was just Air Force, so whatever.

29 thoughts on “UPON FURTHER REVIEW

  1. Navy06

    Totally agree. You can argue all you want about if the flag should have been thrown or not but that is all moot. He shouldn’t have taunted, especially in that situation.

    If I was Coach I would have crushed Proctor for his conduct and never said a word to the press against the call, just the conduct. We sound like a bunch of sore losers, not leaders who take responsibility for our actions.

  2. I don’t fault the coaches. My first reaction was the same as theirs, and I can understand the sentiment that a flag shouldn’t have been thrown. After watching the game again, though, I don’t have a problem with the flag.

  3. navyrugger

    The time to have fixed Proctor’s behavior would have been the Delaware game. Either it was discussed and he had a short memory, or it wasn’t discussed at all, which means it might as well have been advertised as satisfactory behavior for a Navy player scoring a TD – THAT would be the coach’s fault.

    Bottom line though, Proctor should have known better, and his behavior cost his team big time. It can only be chalked up to lack of discipline, which is usually not a problem Navy has…….unless you are talking about LBs playing the run most of the last two years.

  4. BandL89

    Mike – I appreciate your take. I don’t think a flag was needed, but even more I don’t think it needs any more discussion. Coaches coach, players play, refs ref – each role required to make the game go. The incredible comeback – never quit – should be the touchstone for this game. If KN is the coach I think he is – all in, no favorites – and this team is as tough and tight as Navy football has been in this era, we will be just fine.

  5. tphuey

    I agree, the call was justified. How many times have we badmouthed the behavior of the AF players for trash talking and arrogance? I know that Navy players aren’t (and never will be angels) on the playing field. That being said, the most satisfying thing for me would be to kick our opponents butts while methodically executing the mission. No talking, no celebrating, just methodical, unrelenting pressure and precision in their performance. To me, that would be the most frustrating thing for our opponents.

  6. Navy93

    I agree with you, Mike. It was hard to tell on TV but it seemed like a lot of dancing around at times. I don’t mind excitement and emotions in a rivalry game. However, muscleman poses (think Teich had at least one), Dancing 15 yards behind los (Jubaree did this), and excessively arguing with a call (Snelson and Howell) have no place.

    We lost because we spent all of our emotions before the first kick. Even KN who I love had zero composure in his pre-game interview with the radio folks uttering four unintelligable sentences re: we spent everyday preparing for this game since lat year.

  7. Phil

    The call was probably justified, but as I’ve seen elsewhere, if this had been going on all game, the time to throw that penalty is in 1st quarter to cool it. I heard another line someone else said to (might’ve been on the post-game haiku), would these Big 12 officials have thrown that flag in the deciding moments of Texas/Oklahoma? Again, once I saw the replays, he wasn’t running back and telling someone to get out of the way, he sought out the guy.

  8. newt91

    Not sure how anyone on our team was anything but humble after the first 47 or so minutes of that game. here’s hoping that’s the last time anything like this happens this year.

  9. Navy72


    Your observation after Delaware game is prophetic in every sense.

    For the first time in the current run for Navy football, I have noticed small, but noticeable, instances of Navy players celebrating after TDs. Going 2-0 prompted me to ignore them.

    I always took pride in the fact that our team was different. Cross the goal, hand the ball to the ref, move on.

    Forget the ref’s call. All of us can easily cite four of five missed opportunities by Navy that properly executed would have won us the game.

    I salute Ivin Jasper for being unsparing in his criticism of Proctor in Bill Wagner’s article yesterday in The Capital.Proctor should know better.

    Either we move on or this season will quickly turn ugly.

    “Character is not made in adversity, it is merely displayed then.”

  10. EightyFiver

    Maybe the pain of all of this was magnified by it being this being a game against AF–a school that has made unsportsmanlike conduct its stock and trade for the better part of five decades. (See, e.g., TBD’s Great Moments in AF History video.)

    Nonetheless, we need to own this one, and the team should watch the celebratory behavior. I’m sure the coaches and team captains are talking this out pretty thoroughly.

    Time to move forward.

  11. MGRL

    As noted by others, I’ve seen a little too much celebrating, complaining, etc from the team this year….very uncharacteristic for Navy Football. While the call (it was the right one!) was unfortunate, I sincerely hope the team “gets it”. The game was not lost on the one call! Lets’s get back to Navy Football and turn this thing around!

  12. 81Zoltan

    I was surprised to see Proctor going around the pile at the goal line giving AF a ration. He earned the flag.

    The eyes of the fleet and the eyes of the nation are on the Navy team. If you get the honor to run onto the field carrying the Stars and Stripes, you carry the responsibility to conduct yourself as a Naval Officer, on the field, as well.

    Play hard and win. Talking trash isn’t classy.

  13. Greasless

    Excellent observation, Actually I swore off reading this blog ever again after some of the post game comments especially from usmc53. Gosh this is not night carrier landings but a game. My wife who is not a sports fan but perceptive nevertheless had the observation that said it all. She happened to walk in the room for the last two minuets of the game and overtime. After the call on Procter she said,” I bet he never does that again.” Isn’t that the point of all this? If Proctor learns to harness his mouth and emotions in times of stress he will have learned a great lesson and be a plus factor in any group to which he is assigned. One last observation. I think Coach Niumatalolo has matured. His sideline composure has greatly improved over last season.

  14. Kevin

    Why do I have to be the person that disagrees. Obviously Proctor did some taunting but the question is whether it should be a flag or not. I don’t know the rulebook, and many times the rulebook isn’t enforced to the T on subjective areas (unlike the diving in endzone or helmet off rule). I am mixed on the call, but to see so many people jump on the “it was a great call” bandwagon troubles me. Either way Proctor shouldn’t do any kind of taunting in the future. I still enjoy Tuani’s celebrations, which usually don’t occur near the opposition.

  15. USMC53

    Clearly, the ref had every right to throw the flag, but the fact that he waited until that play to call unsportasmanlike conduct, when similar jawing had probably been going on all game long, sure makes it hard to take. Lesson learned for everyone on the team, though — Don’t give the refs the opportunity to make that call, because they just might.

  16. USMC53

    Yeah, I saw that. I just looked back through every post-game comment I made on this site and GoMids, and I can’t figure out what he’s talking about. I used the words “Air Force pricks” in a post-game haiku (which isn’t exactly polite), and I said I was annoyed with certain posters’ comments in the game thread about Jasper. Other than that, I’m clueless. Whatever.

  17. The line was crossed IMO when Kriss made contact with the AF player. It’s not like he was shoving him or anything, but the intent was pretty clear IMO, and that’s exactly what the rule is there for.

  18. Anonymous

    Proctor was wrong and the team paid the price. However, before we totally hang him out to dry. Watch the replay, when he scores the back judge blows the whistle but the AF player continues to drive Kris backwards and shoves his knee into his chest. The ref runs into stop an altercation. Flag could have been thrown. The AF coaches beckon Jefferson to the sidelines because he was jawing as well after his touchdown. Flag could have been thrown. What makes a call tough like this is the subjective manner in which it will be implemented.

    As far as celebrating, we have flyovers, SC had smoke, plebes are doing push ups. Some schools have fireworks going off. NCAA 2011 football promotes a lot of over the top entertainment. Why can’t the players, who pay all the dues, have a little fun??

  19. Salty98

    Nobody is hanging him out to dry. We are pretty much all Kriss Proctor fans. But a lot of folks have come out and said it was an unjust or incorrect call. It appears that’s not the case.

  20. To quote Jimmy…
    “According to my watch, the time is now
    The past is dead and gone
    Don’t try to shake it, just nod your head
    Breathe in, breathe out, move on

    Dont try to explain it, just bow your head
    Breathe in, Breathe Out, Move on….”

    GO NAVY, Beat Southern Miss!

  21. navyjoe

    Nothing has been decided about whether the call was right, wrong, justified, unjustified … It was a subective call. We all have an opinion. I think it was a bad call.

  22. Anonymous

    Mike, Given your observations do you think NAAA should still be sending e-mails encouraging us to vote for Kriss Proctor for the Davey O’Brien award?

  23. Woody87

    Thanks for bringing this up, Mike. The moment I saw him run around the pile and confront the AF player, I was like that’s a flag. And there it was. Next, I told my mom – they are going to block the kick (mr karma) and my mom was like “hush!” Ah, well.

    On 70+ plays Kriss showed why he should be leading this team. He showed his donkey on that one. Powerful lesson learned for the young man. We – and he – will be fine. But AF will have to wait until next year…

  24. Section 130

    I recall something like this from Plebe year:

    “So though, when thou maketh a touchdown
    And the peak that is gilded is nigh,
    Give heed to words and thine actions
    Lest a ref toss a flag nearby…”

  25. f14 driver

    Pat him on the back for the good things he did in the game, and then flog him 15 times (once for each yard of the penalty) bound to Tecumseh.

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