Sport's Stuff by GARY ARRINGTON
Officiating is a strange thing and those who do it on purpose have got to be gluttons for punishment. Although they probably actually do it for honorable reasons, the only plausible explanation for continuously exposing yourself to vociferous fans is that you enjoy the abuse.
After attending multiple basketball games this past week, from junior high junior varsity to junior college, the one thing in common in each and every game was the continual harassment of the referees. They just never seem to get it right. It is as if they referee the way the Washington Generals play basketball.
Now we all would appreciate an official that could and would call a perfect game but that is simply never going to occur. It is simply not possible for any referee or umpire or official or whatever they maybe called to have a perfect game, the same as it is not possible for an athlete to have a perfect game.
They are human, and especially in a fast-paced game like basketball, they cannot be everywhere and see everything that goes on down on the court. That is the forte of us, the fan; we can see it all and never miss a thing.
The trouble that most officials have is not with 98 percent of their calls, it is the one call they miss that was obvious to each and every other person in attendance at that game except themselves. Unfortunately, almost every game has one of these moments. Usually this is not a call that can go either way, this is an obvious travel that went uncalled like for three or four steps, an obvious stepping out of bounds or an obvious backcourt situation.
Although I was at one time a fan that referees hated, I am now a much more mellow individual that comments to my self rather than making a spectacle of myself in the stands. I now just sit and mutter to myself and let it go. I actually appreciate the fact that these striped shirts are willing to expose themselves this way and to do a nasty job that needs to be done.
The truth is this; most calls do not make a difference in the outcome of the game. Although at the time one does not know that, when you get to the end and step back, take a deep breath and examine the issue, it was the play of the two teams the decided the game and not the officiating of the officials.
Officials are a necessary part of each and every game or match or whatever is being played. They make instantaneous decisions based on what they think they just saw and they are usually right. Once in a while, they are obviously wrong. But that is part of the game and one that each us look forward to because we want to get our money's worth.
But maybe now is the time each of should take a minute and thank those who dare put on the uniform of an official for all that they do so that the game can go on. We need them, life would not be the same without.