“You guys must have a short car ride home tonight”

I just got home from a great girls’ basketball game in southern Minnesota. In fact, the drive took approximately 90 minutes. The home team won a close game by 3; the visiting team had a chance to tie it at the end of regulation, but missed. After the game, my partner and I talked in our locker room about the fact that neither of use wanted to change a call or felt me missed a call that we should have gotten. We were particularly sharp tonight. We are most nights, but as we all know some games are a lot more difficult to officiate than others. This game had a lot of shooting fouls, but few violations, no illegal screens and little displacement. The players on both team were obviously well coached in the fundamentals of the game.

After leaving the locker room, my partner and I walked past a group of parents presumably from the team that lost the game, judging by their sweatshirts and other garb sporting allegiance to their town. One of the dads just couldn’t help himself. He said “You guys must have a short car ride home tonight.” To which my partner replied, something about the ride being not so bad that we just had to return to the Twin Cities.

After we past the parents and were by ourselves, I said to my partner, “That comment completely went over your head, didn’t it?” He didn’t get it. The losing dad obviously implied by the short car ride comment that we lived in the city where the game was held and wanted the home team to win. It was comical that my partner missed that, even though he didn’t miss any calls the whole night. After my partner’s reply, I wonder what the dad thought/said after we were out of earshot.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Referees don’t care which team wins. When we screw up, we deserve to be criticized. When there is a well-played/well-officiated close game, don’t use us as a crutch.

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