Hey there sports-fans!! Sometimes I wonder how referee’s become refs. Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s a rigorous set of courses designed to create an objective and fair individual, but who knows if said individual is ever truly what they were supposed to be. Now I’ve become muddled. Let me explain:
A week or so ago my fiancé Ziad and I attended a Raptors basketball game vs. the Hawks (sorry, don’t know where they’re from) my father and his friend Pat were also in attendance. Obviously, I am not a basketball fan. I know the basics, and have been to many Raptors games in the past with my family but I could never be considered an expert on the sport. Nevertheless, I seemed to grasp what many audience members as well as several radio experts on the sport discovered to be amiss at the game. The Refs. Not only were they unfair, (they were biased), but they were obviously so!
Even from a statistical point of view, it is clear that these men weren’t doing the job very well. The Hawks shot more than twice the number of foul shots than the Raptors, often being awarded 3 foul shots, as opposed to the customary 2.
Then there were the plays in review. I don’t know how many times I’ve ever seen a play in basketball in review in my life! Probably two, and both times took place at the game last week. The refs called the first review several minutes after the play had taken place which was disastrous as it automatically awarded the Hawks points over something the disgruntled audience had managed to forget in the last five minutes. Needless to say, we weren’t happy with the call.
As the game continued to progress it was noted by me that the refs were receiving more boo’s by the Raptor’s audience than Vince Carter. It did little to fuel their abilities the way it seems to do for Mr. Carter. Instead they became less and less official and more and more biased.
Offensive fouls that are almost never called were piling up on Bargiani (who I might add was more than frustrated by the end of it all) who was simply planting his feel and allowing players to run into him repeatedly, face-first I might add. Although this is considered to be a foul, I’ve been told by numerous people that this is one that’s not normally called. My sympathies to Bargniani.
My final upset comes from the game turner. Thanks to the refs we lost the game. The raptors were up 101-95 in the last few minutes when foul after foul is called on the Raptors (including one of those offensive fouls I mentioned before) putting the Hawks ahead of the Raps, 102-101. Then, in the last ten seconds of play, Calderone pitches head first off the court into the media, after what seemed like it would have been a slam dunk or at least a layup by, him misses the net. Confused, the spectators watch as the refs call an officials time out to review the play (the second review I’ve ever seen). After much deliberation, they determine that Calderone has fouled himself!!! Because of course, every major player in the NBA purposefully trips himself and then crashes into the media! Possession is awarded to the Hawks who score two points and call a time out with two seconds to go.
The Raps tried hard, and Bargniani almost sunk a three pointer in the last second that would have evened it up. After a very exciting game that the Raps should have won (we were up for the last two quarters after all) the fan’s went home feeling confused and cheated. All thanks to the moronic refs.
Some people would accuse me here of talking about things I don’t understand. My hats off to you, I do know very little about basketball, however, I did have my ear glued to the radio the entire hour-long drive back home and the “experts” on the matter (the Fan 590 AM) felt exactly the same way I did. They did make a few comments on the lack of defence (which is common at Raps games anyways) but generally found consensus when they talked about the utter bias of the refs.
It appears that professional refs just aren’t what they used to be.
Let me site one other, small example, which, although it did not lead to any game changing events, certainly had the crowd going at this game:
The night before last I found myself at an Oshawa Generals game (OHL) in which they were playing against the Ottawa 67s. A very exciting and fast game in which both teams played hard! It appears that the refs had had a few too many beers and jelly donuts before the game though, because they just couldn’t seem to move fast enough.
Over and over, players would find referee’s in their way as well as in front of shots, other players, pucks etc. Many times, I saw players crash to the ice, into the boards and into other players to avoid hitting the refs.
Then there was the ref who deflected a shot off his skate by accident. This didn’t hurt us too much since we gained possession from the 67s as a result however, I’m sure they weren’t too happy about that slow-footed official.
Finally there’s the ref who I’m sure is jogging or working on his agility after his little almost-incident with the puck. Being sort of behind the net is a bad place to be when you and the goalie are the only ones who pucks are being fired at. I understand if there are a lot of players around, a ref might want to make sure fights don’t break out or people don’t become too overbearing in front of the goalie etc. etc. But in no way is it a good idea to be hanging around behind the net when none of this is happening, unless you happen to be wearing the extensive padding that makes up a goalie’s equipment. Our ref, however, found himself in exactly this predicament when a puck came hurtling off the stick of a General’s player in search of netting. Unfortunately, it didn’t find its mark and almost caused the ref in question to receive a double knee replacement. Thank goodness he was an inch or so out of the way. Just imagine if the puck had been a little higher and he could have kissed away any hope of having children in the future. This is a slap shot I’m talking about people, not something to stand in the way of, unless you are a very very brave and dedicated defenseman.
Perhaps if the ref had been a little closer the entire body would have learned a lesson, which he might have, in turn, passed onto his fellow officials so that they would get their butts the hell out of the way next time. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Congrats to the Gennies who won that night 6-5, and to the Ottawa players who did such a good job of embarrassing themselves after they lost by trying to fight the other team after the game was over. Thank goodness they had their coach with them who come out onto the ice to leash them and drag their miscreant bodies away.
A very entertaining ending to say the least. We definitely left with a smug sense of superiority…