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Roddy’s Rant: Referees

January 14, 2004 Columns No Comments

Roddy’s Rant: Referee Who?

by Chris Roddy

I was watching the Duke women upset the Huskies of Connecticut, a damned fine match of talent and a historical upset, when BAM — I had an epiphany. Yes, one of those sit up straight, look around quickly in a confused manner, and be overwhelmed with your own insightful genius.

The referees were good.

To the layperson, or in the case of basketball viewers, couch potato, there is never any public recognition for the fine job our jailbird-fashioned friends do. Surely, a bad call is pounced upon with commentary from the peanut gallery. The lapse time between a bad call and snide remarks is shorter than Tom Cruise (camera angles people).

Yet, a masterfully called game, aside from the droning voices of baseball announcers for the ump, is rarely debated or bandied about in conversation. These cool cats had just made very good calls and in some cases, non-calls, in a huge game for women’s hoops and nerdy statisticians.

Where is their moment of fame?

John Madden gives out 47 turkey legs to players that exhibit exemplary talent. There are countless other points of recognition, from the formal Naismith to the informal Phil Simms Stars (do not let me go on a rant about this blond brainiac); players’ heads are gargantuan from these ego massages, oranges on toothpicks.

What is the solution? We can’t have a referee dole out the awards, because no one will recognize the name attached to the honor. Who then can possibly vet the field of scurrying pinstriped persons, laying a critical eye to their performance and production?

Well, let’s make this happen folks! I invite you to participate in the first ever, Roddy’s Rant Poll! Pick your favorite candidate for hosting and honoring an award show for referees below. I will report the winner in two weeks! To vote, please click here. Good luck!

Denis Leary
• Starred as a cat burglar in the strangely titled, The Ref.
• Sports fans would understand this Denis over the other Dennis.
• Swears like a sailor.

Bugs Bunny
• Starred with Michael Jordan in Space Jam.
• Looks good in a hula skirt and in a pinstriped shirt.
• Could get sponsorship for award show by connecting carrot juice to good vision to referee excellence (yes it’s a stretch).

Billy Crystal
• Played a basketball referee in the romantic comedy, Forget Paris.
• Could have potential sidekick stand-in of Robin Williams.
• Short, balding, glasses, wise=ass. Can we say, ref?

Robert De Niro
• Because he is Bobby De Niro and totally sweet.
• Posed as an umpire in the scary movie, The Fan.
• I mentioned he is totally sweet, right?

Whoopi Goldberg
• Has court experience with the (dry heave) movie, Eddie.
• Needs to resuscitate a painfully dying career.
• Wouldn’t you want to win the annual, Whoopi Winner?

Kevin Bacon
• Knows the hoops with his hypnotic (sleep sweet sleep), The Air Up There.
• Apparently everyone knows this guy through some guy who knows some guy.
• Bacon tastes good.

Write in votes will be considered.


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