Thursday, December 27, 2007

Say Something Nice About A Ref For Charity Day

Welcome to the first ever Say Something Nice About a Ref for Charity Day (a.k.a. Buck-A-Comment Day). For every comment made up to 250 (save the abusive ones), I will donate a dollar to the Special Olympics in my home state. In addition to that, whichever comment is determined to be the best comment of the day will get to select where a matching batch of cash (up to $250) goes, provided it is a 501(c)3 charity.

What should you say?

Well, anything, pretty much. Talk about officials in general (i.e. “Gee, it’s a hard job”). Talk about a specific official (i.e. “Gosh, Ed Hochuli sure has nice guns.”) Talk about a cool call that you like (i.e. “Wow, the replay showed he was in-bounds.”) Hell, I’ll even take a left-handed compliment (i.e. “Huh! You don’t suck so bad.”) Just stop for a second and say something that isn’t utterly abusive. My standards are quite low.

I’ll be keeping an eye out all day to make sure comments come from unique visitors. Then, at midnight Pacific, I’ll either pick the best comment of the day or pick a few to put to a reader vote on Friday. Once there’s a winner, I’ll be in touch to sort out sending the money out.

Part of this is an imitation of a blogger I like, part of it a desire to get some money to a good charity, and part of it a desire to be the center of attention. But this is also an experiment to see if this blog (which has, as best as I can tell, 4 regular readers) can, through word of mouth and a few links, get 250 people to visit in one day and somehow comment. So if you want to help, put a link up on your blog and I’ll recognize you in some happy, positive way.

While you’re here, feel free to poke around through the archives…this, this, and this are some of my favorites. If you want a sense of what a typical high school ref goes through every season (unless I'm atypical), open any November, December, January, or February game log from the past couple of years. That's where I talk about what I'm up to on a game-by-game basis (although, due to life circumstances, I've only had two games so far this year...but lots to come in January).

Thanks for dropping by. I look forward to seeing what y’all have to say. Play nice.


At 12:57 AM, Anonymous GOBLAZERSGO! said...

NBA Ref Joey Crawford is NBA a ref I actually enjoy watching officiate an NBA game. He seems to have fun out on the court. always quick with a smile.

At 3:31 AM, Blogger Young Ref: The blog for Basketball Officials said...

There are three teams out on the floor: the home team, the visitors and the officials. When the game ends the officials always come out on top. They back each other up, step up when one is unsure, and whenever their integrity is questioned their unbiased love of the game trumps any objection one could have.

At 5:18 AM, Anonymous Jack Bog said...

A haiku:

Poor Jake O'Donnell
He lost his job because he
Hated Clyde the Glide

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Larry K said...

Something positive....hmmmm.... well, no ref ever killed anyone in my family.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Jim Anderson said...

In one of this past Sunday's NFL games, the back judge had to dive into some extracurricular hanky-panky to pull a 300-pound lineman back from the scrum. It was the cleanest tackle of the game.

Without refs, sports wouldn't exist. Let us give thanks to the whistle-clad.

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous mkmnw said...

Jerry Markbreit, a generally comforting if ubiquitous presence on the field as I grew up watching the NFL...

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And let's give props to the side judge who correctly blew his whistle for timeout on fourth-and-one in the Ravens/Patriots game. Considering that Rex Ryan's calling timeout lost a terrific fourth-down stand for his Ravens (and saved the Patriots' perfect season), that ref was very unpopular in Baltimore that night. But he got it right.

At 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will always remember a couple of umps from my slow-pitch softball days. In both cases, I was involved in appeal plays where runners missed third base on their way in to score. The umpires, working alone, working for minimal pay, both had hustled out into position to see the plays, and got the calls correctly. Putting that much effort into a slow-pitch softball game really impressed me, and it must have been a good two innnings before I complained about another call.

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous swankette said...

I like Ed Hochuli's big guns. Even though they're not so big anymore.

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous PackFan said...

another Haiku:

Give Hartzell credit
He blew it for Coach V, but
later said "sorry"

At 12:29 PM, Blogger kw said...

refs are always better behaved than the spectators....and usually see what happened accurately. How do they do that???

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think refs are probably the biggest, sincerest sports fans. Why else would they take the thankless abuse? Go refs!

At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Jack Bog said...

I'm not trying to double up here, but thanks for reminding me of Jerry Markbreit. What a great ref.

At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Props to all the men, women, and youths who are brave enough to officiate at youth sporting events. They get heaps of abuse, very little of which is deserved. Thanks for continuing to get back out on the field/court.

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Aaron said...

Our hired ref failed to show for our rugby game against our rivals, with good reason- the pitch was 99% mud and 1% grass. A 64 year old bystander hiked up his socks and volunteered. There aren't many crazier people then rugby refs.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Bud said...

Refs are a vital component to gameplay.They provide order and they have a hard job. There should be an official appreciation day for them if they do not have one already.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger pankleb said...

The following is both a tirade and a compliment:

I think broadcasters (especially football broadcasters) should go through a few days of referee training before they are allowed into the booth. (They also need to be trained in noticing what we're noticing on the TV screen, but I guess that's a different story.) Case in point: tonight, Musburger is calling the ASU-Texas game for ESPN TV. There was an insane play involving ASU's QB, Rudy Carpenter, who chucked the ball behind him as he was about to be sacked. (A ref-broadcaster might have immediately pointed out that a backwards pass is always a "lateral" and a live ball, even if he goes into a classic Joe Montana motion as he throws it backwards.)

Then the ball bounced to the sideline, players chasing, and a Texas staff member in civilian clothes walked onto the field and reached for the ball, apparently touching it before realizing it was still live and trying to back away. A few seconds later, Texas recovered several yards down the field.

My point of this long tirade? The refs made sure they got it right. They did an instant replay review and confirmed a non-player touched a live ball on the field of play, resulting in a penalty and giving the ball back to ASU. Good call. Right call.

But what peeved me most was the broadcasters. The Texas coaching staff had acted like it owned the field and the refs all game long to that point, even getting the dreaded sideline warning from the refs once. But Musburger was oblivious to this. And he ended up focusing instead on TX coach Mack Brown's reaction to the call.

It's simple, really: Brown had no business letting his coaching staff (or whoever it was) step onto the field near a live ball. Thus, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was justified. End of story.

Maybe, just maybe, a broadcaster with some reffing experience would be fascinating. You know, someone who could focus on what's really going on, instead of on the talking points or Disney-fied drama that some ESPN genius had pre-scripted for the game that has yet to be played. That would be appreciated a great deal.


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