Blog Entry

Sans "bad" officials, what would we talk about?

Posted on: May 30, 2009 7:57 pm
The puck is soon to drop on the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings, two teams with passionate fan bases, are about to face off in a repeat of last year's Cup Finals. Question is, how long will it take for the first fan on one side or the other to accuse the referees of making a poor call, particularly if it is one that happens at a critical point in the game or one that potentially affects the outcome of a game?

It will not be the first time this happens across all the major sports we watch. Every week of the NFL season, there is a catalog of threads specifically about bad calls in games. This year, in the NBA playoffs, we have been treated to a veritable ongoing litany of threads about officiating, or the lack thereof, in these series. The accusations in the NBA seem to get more outrageous as the playoffs go on, even to the point where a player on one team in a series accused their opponent of "buying" a win in the series. Talk about sour grapes.

That brings us to the question: Without poor officiating, what would we have to talk about? I have been guilty in the past of participating in some of these discussions, particularly regarding the NFL and the NHL. I don't watch much NBA play, but I have been intrigued to follow all the folderol about the officiating during the playloffs this year. As anyone who spends even a short amount of time as a Community member knows, this place abounds with any number of threads about poor officiating, how calls have affected the outcome of games, a player's individual stats, etc. In fact, some Community members at times appear to make a hobby out of complaining about officiating in the sport(s) they follow.

The one sport that appears to be exempt from as high a level of criticism is Major League Baseball. That is not to say that poor calls don't happen in baseball. It's just that the season is 162 games long, and fans, I think, a have a tendency to forget about a lot of bad calls as the season rolls on. Bad calls that occur in the playoffs are mostly few and far between for MLB. In the NBA and NHL, teams play about half as many games during a season, and the NFL has the shortest season of them all. NFL fans can zero in on officiating quicker than almost anybody.

So, if you follow a particular sport, what would be your solution(s) to poor officiating? Better training? Full-time officials? Closer league scrutiny of officials? I likely will come back with my take(s) after seeing a few responses. I hope we can have a constructive conversation about something that can be quite bothersome and distract fans from quality play in four wonderful professionals sports.
Category: General

Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: June 1, 2009 11:24 pm

Sans "bad" officials, what would we talk about?

A bit from Shakespeare:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

This is a short, succinct description of those who continue to whine continuously about nought that can be changed. All the obstreperousness and vilification one individual could spew would not change the result of one game one whit.

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: June 1, 2009 12:36 am

Sans "bad" officials, what would we talk about?

I just wonder if these people have ever actually tried to officiate any sort of game. Heck it is hard enough to ump a 12 year olds softball game. Umping the high school games keeps me up at night. Fans are brutal. I dont know how those major league officials do it in every sport. They do a great job in my opinion.

Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: May 31, 2009 11:26 pm

Sans "bad" officials, what would we talk about?

Well, so far, most fans on either side of the Pens/Wings matchup have been fairly reasonable about the officiating, saying that, for the most part, the referees are trying to stay out of the game and only make necessary calls. Of course, there are a smattering of "The refs are trying to give it to the Wings because they ALWAYS give it to the Wings!" or "The refs want the Pens to win so Cindy Crosby can get his Cup and become the NHL deity that we all know he is!"

Amusing as it all is, it's also tiresome, because it's the same thing year after year after year. It just goes to help make my point. Some can get so distracted by their hate for another team, or for the fans of another team, or become so obsessed with winning a championship, that they lose all reason. It's sports, for crying out loud! If the Penguins don't win, or the Wings don't win, the sun still comes up tomorrow, and everyone goes about their lives!

Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: May 31, 2009 7:46 am

Sans "bad" officials, what would we talk about?

Option 4: Eliminate the rule book. Anything goes. Kill or be killed baby

Rollerball meets Slap Shot? Outstanding!!

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: May 31, 2009 1:34 am

Sans "bad" officials, what would we talk about?

So, if you follow a particular sport, what would be your solution(s) to poor officiating?Very simple...

Option 1: Robots that have jet packs so they can hover above the ice to get the best possible view.

Option 2: American Idol Style voting that play is immediately stopped after every close play and voted on for 15 minutes by the fans.

Option 3: The internet does away with message boards and tough guy fans no longer have a medium to cry and yell and threaten.

Option 4: Eliminate the rule book. Anything goes. Kill or be killed baby.

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