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In Defense of Refs

+12 HS
Sonof'47alum's picture
May 28, 2019 at 12:24pm

I won’t be surprised to see some downvotes for what I am about to write but my tendencies are not to get riled up over refs—in any sport, for that matter—and not to blame them for losses.  I actually think that, all things considered (especially the speed of the action), it’s amazing how many calls the refs get right after close video review.  

My perspective comes from not just being a longtime fan, but also from when I played various sports for many years—pickup, scholastic, and adult leagues—and even from having done a bit of reffing years ago (in soccer).

Do I think refs can be influenced subconsciously by crowds at games?  Absolutely (and I have seen some studies over the years in different sports that seem to substantiate this).  

But do I think they are consciously trying to call a game for or against a particular team?  Absolutely not.  (And, yes, I fully acknowledge there can be the rare or isolated instance of a crooked ref.)

Turning to basketball for a moment, among the many reasons I enjoyed watching Walt “Clyde” Frazier years ago was that he was seemingly unflappable; his expression never seemed to change, including when there was a seemingly suspect foul call.  (Kawhi Leonard actually reminds of Clyde.)  

The bottom line: stuff happens during a game including the wrong call being made against your team at different times.  I think that, as fans, we would all be better off taking a cue from Clyde in those situations.



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