I used to believe that sports fans who complained about calls made by referees were sore losers making excuses for a team loss. After the soccer game I saw tonight, I must admit I was wrong! Sure, sure, "it's just soccer" but along with the rest of the world, there are young American men and women who are as in love with that sport as most of us are in basketball or football. Apparently, a lot of the referees could care less about high school soccer games and really aren't interested in setting a good example or enforcing actual rules for these kids...they just want to get paid. If I didn't have to answer to a boss or get periodic evaluations, I'd do the least I had to do, also!
Tonight two local high schools met for a regular season soccer game. During warm-ups, the field ref was heard saying to one player from the visiting team, "You hicks won't win tonight." As usual, I thought the ref must know that player personally and was just joking. Still, it was a strange thing for a ref to say, right?
The first half was pretty exciting and the opposing team was up 2 to 0. Though quite spirited, nobody in the crowd booed, argued calls or got the least bit out of hand. In fact, there were hardly any calls at all. The second half was completely different.
That same field ref gave red cards to two of the opposing team players almost immediately for quote, "Kicking the ball out of bounds on purpose," unquote. Really? A couple minutes later, a home team player grabbed the jersey of an opposing player, tearing it and knocking that player to the ground. Somehow, the player on the ground was given a yellow card. Really? The astonishing thing about that was the father of the offending player started yelling at the ref for NOT calling a foul on his own son.
The opposing team scored three more times but two were disallowed because the field ref "overruled" the other ref. The home team scored five times even though two hit the crossbar and didn't cross the scoring line. Once again, the field ref overruled and those goals were awarded. At the end of the game and ten minutes of extra time, the score was 5-3 home team.
I have never seen a victorious home team crowd so upset. I have never seen a crowd yell at a ref for so many legitimate reasons. I have never seen high school kids realize that a ref actual was calling the game against them.
Refs are human, I get it. They get harassed most of the time. It's a thankless job I suppose but grown men shouldn't blatantly show their prejudice against players or teams. The opposing team tonight was a small school from a small town but for a ref to refer to their players as"you hicks" is disgraceful. The entire second half was disgraceful but the ref accomplished his "own goal" by ensuring the opposing team lost. Like I said, "Some refs really DO suck." I stand corrected.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
It was the night of the Michigan vs. North Carolina title game. 1993. My mother is from Detroit and the Fab Five were my guys. I was confident in my Wolverines so it was "bring on the Tar Heels!"
Growing up in a family of guys teaches you a lot about sports and I was ready. As luck would have it, I received an invitation to a party an hour before the game's broadcast. I decided to go to the party. Nothing dramatic was going to happen that night anyway. Michigan would win, I would watch the replay on TV and Life would be grand. Well.........
After much exhaustive research, the minute Chris Webber called that famous 'time-out' in the game, was the exact minute I was meeting "the one" at the party. Long story short, our son was born in December of 1994.
Our son grew up hearing about the night his parents met. "Mom, if you had been a real sports fan," he says, "I wouldn't be here." He is right! If I had stayed home and watched the game that night, there would be one less Wolverine in the world.
When our son was ten years old, Dad and I found the "Chris Webber game" on ESPN Classic and the three of us watched it in its entirety for the very first time. Now our son is eighteen years old and the Wolverines have the chance to go to the title game again. That is why we came to Atlanta. It's a family affair. All three of us in the arena to see Michigan play for a chance at another national championship game: Mommy, Daddy and "Christopher." Bring on the Orangemen!